What are malignant solitary fibrous tumors (SFTs) of the pleura?

Updated: Dec 25, 2019
  • Author: Joseph F Tomashefski, Jr, MD; more...
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SFTs of the pleura are localized mesenchymal neoplasms composed of fibroblastlike cells believed to arise from the subpleural connective tissue. [7] Most SFTs are benign or low grade. Low-grade tumors may recur and infiltrate adjacent structures. However, malignant SFTs, which comprise 10%-15% of SFTs, not only aggressively infiltrate adjacent structures but are also capable of metastatic spread. [3, 8, 9, 10]

The pathological features of SFT were first described in the English literature in 1931 by Klemperer and Rabin. [11] SFTs were initially incorrectly considered to be a localized form of fibrous mesothelioma. Moreover, the fibrous nature of the tumor has given rise to various other names, such as pleural fibroma, submesothelial fibroma, and localized fibrous tumor. The term fibroma is inappropriate because the neoplasm exhibits defined histologic features that differ from those of fibromas and may express malignant behavior. The currently accepted nomenclature is solitary fibrous tumor. [8]

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