Background: Localized (solitary) fibrous tumors (LFTPs) of the pleura are rare, slow-growing neoplasms thought to originate from submesothelial connective tissue. The aim of this article is to present 55 new cases of LFTP, and to discuss the treatment of choice and the clinical behavior of such neoplasms.
Methods: From July 1990 to November 1999, 55 patients (32 male, 23 female) with an LFTP were surgically treated at our Institution. Neoplasms were considered to be malignant if one or more of the following histologic features were present: high cellularity with crowding and overlapping of nuclei; high mitotic activity; or mild, moderate, or marked pleomorphism.
Results: No operative mortality was reported. Forty-eight of the cases arose from the visceral pleura and seven arose from the parietal pleura. A local removal of the neoplasm with free surgical margins was accomplished by video-assisted thoracic surgery in 39 patients and by standard thoracotomy in 10 patients. Four patients underwent formal lung resections, 1 had thymectomy, and 1 had en bloc chest wall resection. Four malignant variants were identified. One patient developed local recurrence and underwent redo surgery with chest wall resection. One patient died of unrelated disease. The remaining patients are alive and disease free at a median follow-up of 53.2 months.
Conclusions: LFTPs show a benign outcome in most of the cases. Video-assisted thoracic surgery, with intraoperative assessment of the surgical margins, represents the treatment of choice.