Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma

Also known as: UPS, malignant fibrous histiocytoma

What are undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas?

An undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma is a form of cancer that develops in the soft tissue of the body. It most often grows in the arms and legs but can also form in the part of the abdomen known as the retroperitoneum. It can also form in bones at times. This type of cancer was formerly known as malignant fibrous histiocytoma.

What causes undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas?

Like most forms of cancer, undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas develop due to changes in a cell’s DNA. Why these changes occur, however, isn’t clear. Previous radiation therapy can put you at an increased risk of developing the disease.

What are the symptoms of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas?

Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas typically do not cause any symptoms early on. Over time, they can lead to a visible lump or a feeling of pressure when they grow in the arms or legs. Abdominal tumors can lead to fever, loss of appetite, weight loss and malaise. Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas in the bones can cause swelling, pain or a fracture.

How can undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas affect children?

This form of cancer is extremely rare in adults and even more rare in children.

What are undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma treatments?

The standard of treatment for undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas is surgery followed by radiation therapy. At times, chemotherapy might be recommended if the cancer has spread. Surgery can frequently be performed in a manner that spares the limb, and amputations are rare for this condition.

Reviewed by: Maggie Fader, MD

This page was last updated on: November 02, 2023 03:41 PM