Fernandez MM, Bell T, Tumminello B, Khan S, Zhou S, Oton AB. Disease and economic burden of surgery in desmoid tumors: a review. Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2023 Jul;23(6):607-18. doi: 10.1080/14737167.2023.2203915

INTRODUCTION: Desmoid tumors (DT) are soft-tissue tumors that infiltrate into surrounding structures with ill-defined margins. Although surgery is a potential treatment option, complete excision with negative margins is not often possible, the postsurgery recurrence rate is high, and surgery can result in disfigurement and/or loss of function.

AREAS COVERED: We conducted a literature review to assess the burden of surgery in patients with DT, focusing on recurrence rates and functional deficits resulting from surgeries. Since economic data related to DT surgery is lacking, reviews of surgery costs in soft-tissue sarcomas and of general costs of amputations were conducted. Risk factors for DT recurrence after surgery are young age (<30 years), tumor location (extremities), tumor size (>5 cm in greatest diameter), positive resection margins, and history of trauma in the area of the primary tumor. Tumors in the extremities have the highest risk of recurrence (30%-90%). Lower rates of recurrences have been reported when radiotherapy was used after surgery (14%-38%).

EXPERT OPINION: Although effective in specific cases, surgery may be associated with poor long-term functional outcomes and higher economic costs. Therefore, it is imperative to find alternative treatments with acceptable efficacy and safety profiles that do not adversely affect functional aspects in patients.

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