WHO classification of tumors of soft tissue

Last revised by Ryan Thibodeau on 3 Sep 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) classification of soft tissue tumors is the most widely used pathology-based classification system for such disorders. The current revision, part of the 5th edition of the WHO classification of soft tissue and bone tumors (volume 3), was published in 2020 and is reflected in the article below 1.


Adipocytic tumors
Fibroblastic/myofibroblastic tumors
So-called fibrohistiocytic tumors
Vascular tumors
Pericytic (perivascular) tumors
Smooth muscle tumors
Skeletal-muscle tumors
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors
Chondro-osseous tumors
Peripheral nerve sheath tumors
Tumors of uncertain differentiation

Changes from the prior version

New entities and variants

Newly introduced entities include the following 1-5:

Other changes
  • melanotic schwannoma: now renamed to malignant melanotic nerve sheath tumor

  • dedifferentiated liposarcoma: adverse prognostic impact of myogenic and rhabdomyoblastic differentiation as well of a high grade on the FNCLCC (French Federation of Cancer Centers Sarcoma Group) grading system

  • solitary fibrous tumor: 'extrapleural' has been removed

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.