Desmoid tumors are locally aggressive fibroproliferative neoplasms that can lead to pain and dysfunction due to compression of nerves and surrounding structures. Desmoid tumors often progress through medical therapy, and there is frequently a delay of multiple months before radiation can provide symptomatic relief. To achieve more rapid symptomatic relief and tumor regression for unresectable desmoid tumors causing significant morbidity such as brachial plexus impingement with loss of extremity function, we have selectively utilized a combination of imatinib and radiation therapy. Here, we retrospectively review four patients treated with concurrent imatinib and radiation therapy. The treatment was typically tolerated with minimal toxicity though one patient developed avascular necrosis of the irradiated humeral head possibly related to the combined treatment. All the patients treated have had a partial response or stable disease on imaging. Improvement of symptoms was observed in all the treated patients with a median time to relief of 2.5 months after starting radiation therapy. Concurrent radiation and imatinib may represent a viable treatment option for unresectable and symptomatic desmoid tumors where rapid relief is needed to prevent permanent loss of function.
View details for PubMedID 28761389