What is a Desmoplastic Fibroma?

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  • Written By: Katie Munday
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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A desmoplastic fibroma is a type of benign bone tumor. Benign means that it is not cancerous; it does not spread to other parts of the body. Desmoplastic fibroma was first recognized as a distinct kind of tumor in 1958 by Henry L. Jaffe. Unlike most other benign lesions, a desmoplastic fibroma tends to be very aggressive at the local site. It can destroy the bone or bones on which it occurs.

Several treatment options, including resection, bone grafting and radiotherapy, might be recommended for patients who are suffering from a desmoplastic fibroma. The treatment option that a doctor will recommend will depend on a variety of medical factors. Sometimes desmoplastic fibromas will reappear even after treatment has taken place.

A desmoplastic fibroma is set in collagen fiber. It might involve either bone or soft tissue. The tumor can appear on any bone but most commonly appears on long bones, and it is most likely to occur on the femur, the tibia, the mandible or the pelvis. This tumor is very rare — there had been fewer than 200 documented cases as of 2010 — and is most likely to occur early in life, by the time a person is in his or her 30s. Symptoms might include pain and swelling.


In X-rays, a desmoplastic fibroma is marked by its honeycombed appearance. The tumor can be difficult to diagnose via X-ray, though, because its appearance often mimics those of other lesions. It is key that it be diagnosed properly, though, so that it can in turn be treated correctly.

Tissue diagnoses of desmoplastic fibromas are often more accurate than radiological ones. When reviewed histologically, desmoplastic fibromas are gray or tan in appearance and in texture might be either rubbery or firm. They appear as a group of fibrous tissue. They might resemble fibromatosis.

There are a variety of ways in which a desmoplastic fibroma can be treated. To begin with, there are a range of resection — or surgical excision — options that vary in the extent of tissue they remove. There are also radiotherapy treatments for desmoplastic fibromas. Another treatment is bone grafting.

Determining the proper course of treatment for a desmoplastic fibroma will depend largely on whether the bone in which it occurs is expendable. The treatment will also depend on the size of the tumor. Rarely is amputation necessary. If this occurs, the initial treatment can be instituted again, or the doctor might suggest a different course of treatment.


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