Rare Hematology News

Disease Profile

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

1-5 / 10 000

US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset

All ages





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

DFSP; Giant cell fibroblastoma; Familial dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (subtype);


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Rare Cancers; Skin Diseases


Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is an uncommon cancer in which tumors arise in the deeper layers of skin. The tumor usually starts as a small, firm patch of skin; it may be purplish, reddish, or flesh-colored. It is commonly found on the torso, usually in the shoulder and chest area. The tumor typically grows slowly but has a tendency to recur after being removed. It rarely spreads to other parts of the body. The cause of DFSP is unknown, but injury to the affected skin may be a predisposing factor. Treatment usually involves surgically removing the tumor. If the tumor is unable to be removed completely, additional therapy may be needed. Regular follow-up is important to monitor for recurrence.[1][2][3]


This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
80%-99% of people have these symptoms
Neoplasm of the skin
Skin tumors
Tumor of the skin

[ more ]

Subcutaneous nodule
Firm lump under the skin
Growth of abnormal tissue under the skin

[ more ]

Thickened skin
Thick skin
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Skin ulcer
Open skin sore


The cause of DFSP is unknown but an injury to the affected skin may be a predisposing factor.[1] Trauma at the affected site has been reported in approximately 10-20% of patients. [3] Recent advances have shown that in approximately 90% of cases, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is associated with a rearrangement (translocation) of genetic material between chromosomes 17 and 22 which results in the fusion of two genes. The fused gene produces a protein which some believe may stimulate cells to multiply, leading to the tumor formation seen in dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. This type of gene change is generally found only in tumor cells and is not inherited.[2]


FDA-Approved Treatments

The medication(s) listed below have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as orphan products for treatment of this condition. Learn more orphan products.


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Organizations Providing General Support

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      Where to Start

      • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
      • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.

        In-Depth Information

        • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
        • MeSH® (Medical Subject Headings) is a terminology tool used by the National Library of Medicine. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
        • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
        • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
        • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


          1. Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. DermNet New Zealand Trust. September, 2015; https://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/dfsp.html. Accessed 2/9/2016.
          2. Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans. Genetics Home Reference. September, 2011; https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/dermatofibrosarcoma-protuberans. Accessed 2/9/2016.
          3. Chen, Chih-Shan Jason. Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. Medscape Reference. November, 2015; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1100203-overview. Accessed 2/9/2016.

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