(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – In what is believed to be the first reported case of dermatomyositis-associated panniculitis in the setting of ovarian adenocarcinoma and a recurrent malignancy, a 63-year-old woman sustained clinical improvement following treatment with prednisone and oral methotrexate, investigators reported in Archives of Dermatology online March 19.

Panniculitis, a rare cutaneous manifestation of dermatomyositis, was first reported in the literature in 1924; since then, only about 20 additional cases have been reported. This paucity of data has limited understanding of the true significance, prognostic implications, and management of this disease, which commonly presents as tender, erythematous subcutaneous nodules on the thighs, arms, and buttocks that can progress to form calcifications and lipoatrophy.

Presentation of panniculitis can be prior to, concurrent with, or subsequent to symptoms of dermatomyositis. The literature suggests onset ranges from 14 months preceding a diagnosis of dermatomyositis to five years afterwards.

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“Given its rarity, it is difficult to ascertain the clinical significance of panniculitis associated with malignancy and dermatomyositis, and we are unable to make generalizations based on this single case,” the investigators noted. “However, further study and accumulation of case data may help to decipher the potential prognostic significance as well as the most beneficial therapeutic regimens.”