Malignant fibrous histiocytoma: outcome of tumours in the head and neck compared with those in the trunk and extremities.

Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Poole Hospital, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB, UK.
British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Impact Factor: 2.72). 07/2006; 44(3):209-12. DOI:10.1016/j.bjoms.2005.06.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Malignant fibrous histiocytoma is one of the commonest soft tissue sarcomas in adults, affecting, in order of frequency, the extremities, trunk and head and neck. We treated 131 patients with malignant fibrous histiocytoma by radical, wide, or marginal resection. Their mean age was 43 years, and there were 54 in the head and neck and 77 in the trunk and extremities. The extent of clearance of the tumour, local recurrence, and 5-year survival were studied in these two groups. In the head and neck group, local recurrences developed in 86% after marginal resection, 66% after wide resection and 27% after radical resection. The comparative figures in the trunk and extremities group were 75, 71 and 18%, respectively. The overall 5-year survival was 48% in the head and neck group and 77% in the trunk and extremities group (p=0.03). Repeat operations for recurrences of tumour offered a 'cure rate' of 23% in the head and neck group and 61% in the trunk and extremities group. Inadequate resection of the sarcoma in the head and neck was associated with a high incidence of local recurrence and a poor prognosis. Therefore, we suggest that the initial operation for sarcoma in the head and neck should be as radical as possible to reduce the chance of local recurrence and to improve the outcome.

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