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Rare Tumors. 2019 Oct 14;11:2036361319880978. doi: 10.1177/2036361319880978. eCollection 2019.

The initiation, design, and establishment of the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation Patient Registry and Natural History Study.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
School of Computing, Insight Center for Data Analytics, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.


Desmoid tumors are locally invasive sarcoma, affecting 5-6 individuals out of 1,000,000 per year. The desmoid tumors have high rates of recurrence after resection and can lead to significant deterioration of the quality of life of patients. There is a need for a better understanding of the desmoid tumors' patient experience from first symptoms through diagnosis, disease monitoring, and clinical treatment options. With the National Organization of Rare Disorders, the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation Natural History Study was designed to be collected through the registry. This article describes the protocol for the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation Natural History Study and some initial findings. The Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation Natural History Study Advisory Committee developed a series of questionnaires and longitudinal surveys, in addition to those from the National Organization of Rare Disorders for all of the rare diseases. These 13 surveys are designed to uncover initial symptoms, diagnosis process, disease monitoring, quality of life, treatments, as well as socioeconomic information. Since launching the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation Registry and Natural History Study (, more than 300 desmoid tumor patients have consented to the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation Natural History Study and completed the Participant Profile. The majority of the respondents are between the ages of 21 and 50 years (76%), female (81.2%), White (91.5%), and live in the United States (47.1%). The majority of tumors are in the lower or upper extremity, (22.9%) followed closely by abdominal desmoid tumors (21.5%). Most are willing to donate specimens (89.9%) and participate in trials (97.2%). Ongoing efforts are addressing the demographic differences between the respondents and non-respondents and any selection bias based on access to the registry and study. The Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation Natural History Study is built on the largest desmoid tumors registry and has recruited more desmoid tumors participants since launching in September 2017. It will serve to fill desmoid tumors knowledge gaps and assist other researchers in their recruitment efforts for additional studies.


Desmoid tumor; aggressive fibromatosis; familial adenomatous polyposis; natural history study; patient registries; patient-reported outcomes; rare diseases; sarcoma; β-catenin

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: K.A.M. is an employee of Duke University and has received grants from the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation.

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