Clinicopathologic re-evaluation of 100 malignant fibrous histiocytomas: prognostic relevance of subclassification

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) has been regarded as the most common soft tissue sarcoma (STS) in adults. Yet its true nature and the validity of this diagnostic concept have increasingly been questioned. Available data suggest that most patients with MFH can be subclassified into specific STS types, but the clinical relevance of such categorization has been argued. In a retrospective study, we reclassified 100 tumors of the extremity and trunk wall primarily diagnosed as MFH and analyzed the outcome. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were adults (median age, 70 years; range, 32 to 94 years). The median tumor size was 8 cm (range, 1 to 30 cm), and the thigh was the most common tumor location (n = 31). Median follow-up was 8 years (range, 3 to 16 years). The overall 5-year metastasis-free survival rate was 0.64. The tumors were reanalyzed histologically, immunohistochemically, and, where available, ultrastructurally, and were classified according to strict diagnostic criteria. Patients were staged according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer system, and prognoses were compared among different groups of the reclassified diagnoses, paying special attention to myogenic tumors. RESULTS: In 84 of 100 tumors, a specific line of differentiation was either proved or strongly suggested. The most common diagnoses were myxofibrosarcoma (n = 22) and leiomyosarcoma (n = 20). Overall, 30 tumors could be grouped as some form of myogenic sarcoma. These tumors had a worse prognosis, even within the same American Joint Committee on Cancer stage, and a shorter time to metastasis than nonmyogenic tumors. CONCLUSION: This retrospective study confirms that most so-called MFH can be subclassified by defined criteria; it provides evidence that such classification is clinically important. Specifically, pleomorphic STS showing myogenic differentiation are significantly more aggressive, a finding that allows planning future therapeutic trials.

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  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3045-3050
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume19
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Department of Orthopaedics (Lund) (013028000), Pathology, (Lund) (013030000)