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Malignant fibrous histiocytoma

Malignant fibrous histiocytoma
Classification & external resources
OMIM 8830/3
DiseasesDB 31471
eMedicine radio/420 
MeSH D051677

Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) is a type of cancer that is the most common soft tissue sarcoma of late adult life, most commonly occurring between age 50-70. In rare cases MFH does occur in children, but it is usually in a less aggressive form. However, malignant tumors have occurred in children as young as 13. It occurs more often in caucasians than those of African or Asian descent. Its male:female predominance is 2:1.



MFH occurs most commonly in the extremities and retroperitoneum, but has been reported in many other sites (lung, head/neck, etc.). Development of metastasis depends on the tumor's subtype. Metastasis occurs most frequently in the lung (90%), bone (8%) and liver (1%). In the extremities, it presents as a painless enlarging soft tissue mass. It can develop anywhere in the soft tissue, but also occurs at sites of previous radiation treatment, shrapnel implantation or next to prostheses.

It can be divided into two subtypes: "spindle cell" and "pleomorphic".[1]


It can be detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but a biopsy is required for definitive diagnosis.


Treatment consists of surgical removal (the extent of which ranges from tumor excision to limb amputation depending on the tumor) and in some cases chemotherapy.


Prognosis depends on the primary tumor size and grade (aggressiveness). 5-year survival ranges from 35-60%.


  1. ^ Scapolan M, Perin T, Wassermann B, et al (2007). "Expression profiles in malignant fibrous histiocytomas: Clues for differentiating 'spindle cell' and 'pleomorphic' subtypes". Eur J Cancer. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2007.10.012. PMID 18054831.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Malignant_fibrous_histiocytoma". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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