Original Research

Fibromatoses of Head and Neck: Case Series and Literature Review

Muddasir Bhati, Gurukeerthi Balakrishna, Kamaldeep Joshi, Kajari Bhattacharya, Munita Bal, Sarbani Ghosh Laskar, Shwetabh Sinha, Amit Joshi, Poonam Joshi, Sudhir Nair, and Pankaj Chaturvedi


Objective: The objective of this study was to retrospectively review clinical data, management protocols, and clinical outcomes of patients with fibromatoses of head and neck region treated at our tertiary care center.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 11 patients with confirmed histopathological diagnosis of fibromatosis registered in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at Tata Memorial Centre, India, between 2009 and 2019. Various clinical and pathological features and treatment modalities were evaluated.

Results: Age at diagnosis ranged between 18 and 74 years, with a median age of 36 years. The female-to-male ratio was 5:6. Supraclavicular fossa (n=4) was the most common subsite of origin in the neck (n=8). The lateral (n=2) and posterior cervical regions (n=2) were other common neck subsites. Less commonly involved sites were the mandible (n=1), maxilla (n=1), and thyroid (n=1). A total of eight patients underwent surgery at other centers before being referred to us for further management. Out of a total 11 patients, nine patients had unresectable disease at presentation. Six of the patients with unresectable disease received a combination of weekly doses of vinblastine 6 mg/m2 and methotrexate 30 mg/m2 for a median duration of 6 months (range 6–18 months) followed by hormonal therapy with tamoxifen. Three patients received metronomic chemotherapy followed by hormonal therapy. One treatment-naive patient with fibromatosis of posterior cervical (suboccipital) region underwent R2 resection (excision of bulk of the tumor with preservation of critical structures) at our center along with adjuvant radiotherapy. One pregnant patient reported to us after undergoing surgery outside and defaulting radiotherapy. During median follow-up of 29 months (range 1–77 months), six patients had stable disease, and four patients had disease reduction. Disease progression was seen in one patient. The two-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 90% (95% CI 70%–100%).

Conclusion: Gross residual resection (R2) was the mainstay of surgical treatment in our series as obtaining clear surgical margins is seldom possible in these locally aggressive tumors. Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy are the other preferred and more conservative treatment modalities. The goal of surgery should be preserving function with minimal or no morbidity. As fibromatoses in the head and neck region are extremely rare, their treatment awaits the development of standard treatment protocols.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2021;12(3):e0022