Desmoid Tumors

HIFU used for Desmoid Tumors

What are desmoid tumors?

Desmoid tumors are benign, but locally aggressive soft tissue tumors characterized by abundant fibrous tissue, similar to scar formation. These tumors are rare, representing 0.03% of all neoplasms with an incidence of 2–4 million per year, but can cause extensive morbidity.

More established therapies for desmoid tumors include close observation, surgical resection, radiation therapy, and systemic medical therapy. Surgery, even with negative margins, can have recurrence rates as high as 50%, and multiple recurrences following surgery can result in local morbidity. Radiation results in tumor control in approximately 75% of adults but can be associated with pain, reduced motion, pathological fractures, and secondary malignancies.

How is HIFU used to treat desmoid tumors?

Because of the similarities between desmoid tumors and uterine fibroids, HIFU was pursued as a treatment for patients with desmoid tumors. HIFU is not FDA-approved for this indication, which means that the government does not believe there is enough evidence to definitively judge its safety or efficacy. However, in several early clinical studies, HIFU has shown promise as a treatment option. In the largest study to date of 15 patients with desmoid tumors (25 total treatments), total tumor volume decreased 63% and pain improved from approximately 6 on a 1-10 scale to 1.3, on average.

Treatment scheduling

In order to determine whether or not you are a candidate for HIFU treatment of a desmoid tumor please contact our practice assistant, James Sanchez who can be reached at [email protected] in order to collect your imaging and clinical history for review.