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Case Rep Dermatol. 2013 Dec 24;5(3):373-8. doi: 10.1159/000357610. eCollection 2013.

A case of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor with rhabdomyoblastic differentiation: malignant triton tumor.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Tokyo Medical University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) constitute a rare variety of soft tissue sarcomas thought to originate from Schwann cells or pluripotent cells of the neural crest. Malignant triton tumor (MTT), a very rare, highly aggressive soft tissue tumor, is a subgroup of MPNST and is comprised of malignant Schwann cells coexisting with malignant rhabdomyoblasts. We herein report the case of a 24-year-old man who presented a subcutaneous mass in his right thigh. The mass was removed surgically in its entirety and radiation therapy was applied locally to prevent tumor regrowth. Nonetheless, the patient died 10 months after surgery from metastases to the lung and brain. He presented neither cafe-au-lait spots nor cutaneous neurofibromas. The histopathology showed a transition from a neurofibroma to an MTT, making this the second report of an MTT arising from a neurofibroma without neurofibromatosis type 1, an autosomal dominant disorder with which 50-70% of tumors reported in previous studies were associated. A histopathological examination using immunostaining with desmin confirmed this diagnosis. MTT has a poorer prognosis than MPNST and should therefore be regarded as a distinct clinical entity.


Desmin; Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor; Malignant triton tumor; Neurofibroma; Rhabdomyoblastic differentiation

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