To summarize evidence about the recurrence of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) following Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS).
MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Pascal, Biosis, CisMef, BDSP, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge databases were searched for the period January 1, 1995, to August 31, 2011. Search terms were Mohs micrographic surgery, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, and their synonyms. No language restriction was used.
Two of us selected randomized controlled trials or nonrandomized trials comparing the recurrence of DFSP among patients undergoing MMS vs wide local excision. The search retrieved 384 references, of which 31 were reviewed in detail.
Twenty-three nonrandomized trials (4 comparative and 19 noncomparative) were included, from which data were extracted by 2 of us independently. The methodological quality was assessed using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.
Moderate-quality evidence (level B) was found for recurrence of DFSP after MMS (1.11%; 95% CI, 0.02%-6.03%) vs after wide local excision (6.32%, 95% CI, 3.19%-11.02%). A mean raw recurrence rate of 1.03% (95% CI, 0.37%-2.22%) was found after MMS among 19 nonrandomized noncomparative trials (low-quality evidence [level C]). The mean follow-up periods ranged from 26 to 127 months. The mean time to recurrence was 68 months.
A weak recommendation is given in favor of MMS or similar surgical techniques with meticulous histologic evaluation of all margins as the first-line therapy for DFSP, particularly in recurrence-prone regions. Attention should be given to longer than a 5-year follow-up period. High-quality trials with sufficient follow-up periods should be encouraged.