Management of cutaneous neurofibroma: Current therapy and future directions

Bahir H. Chamseddin, Lu Q. Le

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a life-long neurocutaneous disorder characterized by a predisposition to tumor development, including cutaneous neurofibroma (cNF), the hallmark of the disease. cNF is a histologically benign, multicellular tumor formed in virtually most individuals with NF1. It is considered the most burdensome feature of the disorder due to their physical discomfort, cosmetically disfiguring appearance, and psychosocial burden. Management of cNF remains a challenge in the medical field. Effective medicinal treatment for cNF does not exist at this time. Trials aimed at targeting individual components of the neoplasm such as mast cells with Ketotifen have not shown much success. Physical removal or destruction has been the mainstay of therapy. Surgical removal gives excellent cosmetic results, but risk in general anesthesia may require trained specialists. Destructive laser such as CO2 laser is effective in treating hundreds of tumors at one time but has high risk of scarring hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation that alter cosmetic outcomes. A robust, low-risk surgical technique has been developed, which may be performed in clinic using traditional biopsy tools that may be more accessible to NF1 patients worldwide than contemporary techniques including Er:YAG or Nd:YAG laser. In this review, specific recommendations for management of cNFs are made based on symptoms, clinical expertise, and available resources. Additionally, antiproliferative agents aimed at stimulating cellular quiescence are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)I107-I116
JournalNeuro-Oncology Advances
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • current therapy
  • cutaneous neurofibroma
  • management of cutaneous neurofibroma
  • neurofibromatosis type 1
  • NF1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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