Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Am Acad Dermatol


Background: Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a malignant fibrohistiocytic neoplasm that is slow-growing, has low metastatic potential, and is locally infiltrative with a predisposition for recurrence. The development of DFSP can occur spontaneously, but anecdotal evidence suggests a correlation between preceding injury and tumor onset.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed using PubMed, Embase, and web of science for articles with unambiguous reporting of DFSP with a history of physical trauma. Of 139 identified articles, 23 (17%) met criteria and were analyzed.

Results: In total, 52 patients were reported as having had some form of physical trauma prior to DFSP development, and of these, sex was reported for half (40% men; 60% women). The mean (standard deviation) age at time of diagnosis was 42 (14) years, and lesions ranged from 1 to 20 cm. Involved locations included the trunk (62%), lower extremities (19%), upper extremities (12%), and head/neck (8%). The median (range) time between injury and self-reported lesion was 10 (1-19) years, while the median (range) time between injury and DFSP diagnosis was 10 (2-41) years. Types of injuries reported included tattoos (most common), vaccinations/injections, burns, surgeries, radiation, insect bites, and various levels of minor to blunt force.

Discussion: A subset of DFSP cases arise in the setting of prior cutaneous trauma, which may play a role in their pathogenesis. Recognition of this possibility is important to avoid misdiagnosis (i.e., hypertrophic scar or keloid) or delay in diagnosis.





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