Solitary fibrous tumors of the pleura: an analysis of 110 patients treated in a single institution

Ann Thorac Surg. 2009 Nov;88(5):1632-7. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.07.026.


Background: Solitary (localized) fibrous tumors of the pleura (SFTP) are rare slow-growing neoplasms that generally have a favorable prognosis. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the predictors of outcome in a series of 110 patients with SFTP.

Methods: The records of 110 patients (63 men; mean age 56.4 years; range, 17 to 79) surgically treated for SFTP from July 1990 to February 2008, were evaluated for demographics, operative procedure, histopathology, morbidity, mortality, postoperative chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and long-term follow-up.

Results: Operative mortality was 0.9% (1 of 110) and the overall morbidity was 10.9% (12 of 110). The main surgical approach was video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (69 procedures with a conversion rate of 14.5%); 40 patients underwent thoracotomy and 1 had sternotomy. The visceral pleura was the site of origin in 95 tumors, the parietal pleura in 13, the mediastinal pleura in 2 cases. Sixty-three tumors were pedunculated, 35 were sessile, and 12 were inverted fibroma. Tumors were pathologically benign in 95 cases (86.4%), and malignant in 15 (13.6%). Symptomatic patients presented with malignant tumors more often than asymptomatic (19.1% versus 9.5%). Overall 10-year survival rate was 97.5%. The overall disease-free survival rate was 90.8% (95.7% in benign cases and 67.1% in malignant cases; p < 0.05). Eight patients presented with recurrence of disease, 4 cases of which were malignant and 4 were benign.

Conclusions: Solitary fibrous tumor of the pleura is a rare disease that includes both benign and malignant variants.The outcome is mostly benign, with an overall 10-year survival rate of 97.5%. Pathologically benign lesions show a better disease-free survival rate than malignant lesions (95.7% versus 67.1%; p < 0.05). Surgery is the gold standard of treatment as neither radiotherapy nor chemotherapy proved to be effective.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Solitary Fibrous Tumor, Pleural / pathology
  • Solitary Fibrous Tumor, Pleural / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome