A 10-year analysis of cutaneous mesenchymal tumors (sarcomas and related entities) in a skin cancer center


  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Professor Uwe Wollina, md
Department of Dermatology and Allergology
Academic Teaching Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt
Friedrichstrasse 41
01067 Dresden
E-mail: wollina-uw@khdf.de


Background  Mesenchymal neoplasms (sarcomas) of skin are rare. Patients with sarcomas were analyzed over the last decade.

Methods  Over a 10-year period, we conducted a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed and treated in an urban academic teaching hospital in Saxony, Germany. Clinical and pathologic files were used.

Results  We identified 65 adult patients with 67 primary cutaneous sarcomas. The mean age was 73.1 (±15.5) years with a male predominance (78.5%). None of the sarcomas was detected by a skin cancer screening program. The diagnosis was atypical fibroxanthoma (n = 41 patients with 43 tumors), cutaneous angiosarcoma (eight), dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (two), nodular epithelioid cell sarcoma (one), Kaposi sarcoma (three), leiomyosarcoma (five), malignant fibrous histiocytoma (two), fibromyxoid sarcoma (one), and cutaneous angiomyxoma (two). The preferred tumor localization was the head and neck area (44 patients). Follow-up was 0.5–5.5 years (mean 18 ± 12 months). We observed metastatic spread of atypical fibroxanthoma in 12.5%, demonstrating that this type of sarcoma can run an aggressive course. Mohs surgery is still the cornerstone of treatment, although new options in palliative or adjuvant treatment are available.

Conclusions  Mesenchymal neoplasms (sarcomas) are an important group of cutaneous malignancies. Awareness needs to be improved.