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Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans in Children: an Update on the Diagnosis and Treatment



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Corrigenda Volume 30, Issue 3, 399, Article first published online: 26 April 2013
  2. Errata: Corrigenda Volume 30, Issue 3, 399, Article first published online: 28 April 2013

Address correspondence to Joyce M. C. Teng, M.D., Ph.D., UW Dermatology Department, 1 S. Park St 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715, or e-mail:


Abstract:  Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a fibrohistiocytic tumor of low grade malignant potential. Although rare, pediatric cases pose a particular challenge in diagnosis and management. In children, the clinical appearance may be heterogeneous and a high index of suspicion is necessary to avoid delays in diagnosis which can lead to further morbidity. Histologic examination, often with the use of appropriate immunostains, is necessary for diagnosis. Advances in the understanding of the molecular genetics of DFSP have led to further diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. DFSP is thought to result from a translocation between platelet-derived growth factor beta (PDGFB, 22q13.1) and type 1 collagen (COL1A1, 17q21∼22) leading to a fusion protein (PDGFB) which stimulates the PDGF receptor. Detection of this translocation in tissue via PCR or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) can be helpful in difficult cases. While surgery with wide local excision or Mohs micrographic surgery is the mainstay of treatment, the use of targeted therapy with imatanib mesylate shows promise in large or unresectable tumors. Knowledge of the clinical features, histology, genetics, and treatment options is important for successful management of these tumors.