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Surgical treatment of pediatric desmoid tumors. A 12-year, single-center experience.

BACKGROUND: Pediatric desmoid tumors (PDTs) represent a group of rare, distinct lesions. While sparse, available literature suggests that PDT are particularly aggressive and difficult to control when compared with their adult counterpart.

METHODS: A retrospective review identified 39 patients who underwent treatment of PDT at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital over a 12-year period. Clinicopathologic and treatment characteristics were analyzed to identify predictors of outcome.

RESULT: A total of 39 patients were treated during the study period, with a total number of 67 resections. Median age was 12.2 years; 49 % of patients were male, and 51 % were female. Median tumor size was 9.8 cm. PDT most commonly arose in the extremities (40 %), thorax (23 %), head and neck (21 %), and trunk (16 %). Also, 18 % of resections had negative margins (R0), 48 % were microscopic positive (R1), and 30 % were macroscopic positive (R2). The 1- and 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) was 97.1 and 73.1 %, respectively. Factors associated with worse RFS were patient age >12 years (HR = 5.08, p = 0.038) and tumor size >5 cm (HR = 1.22, p = 0.0597). Margin status did not affect RFS. Selective use of radiation therapy appeared to improve RFS.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that margin status alone at the time of extirpation is not a predictor of ultimate cure or likelihood of recurrence. Many patients received adjuvant therapy, with benefits suggested after analysis. For patients with PDT, surgical extirpation should not come at the expense of functional preservation, as overall survival is excellent.

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