Solitary Fibrous Tissue Tumor

1 What is Solitary Fibrous Tissue Tumor?

Solitary fibrous tumors are rare out-growths of soft tissue cells that can grow anywhere in the body.

The most common location being outer lining of lungs (pleural solitary fibrous tissue tumor).

Solitary fibrous tissue tumors are also found in:

  • head and neck,
  • breast,
  • kidney,
  • prostate,
  • spinal cord,
  • and other areas.

Mostly solitary tumors are benign(non-cancerous), but in rare cases, solitary fibrous tumor can transform into malignant.

They grow slowly and may not cause signs and symptoms until they become large.

2 Symptoms

A small bump on the area of tumor that can be felt with hand is the main symptom of solitary fibrous tissue tumor. The bump is not painful but in some people causes pain. 

Benign tumors grow slowly and no signs and symptoms will be noticed.

Although in severe cases this tumor can cause pain in the area due to compression of nerve endings. Different signs and symptoms will be presented depending on the location of tumor.

In the pleura it might lead to dyspnea and in prostate it will cause urinary retention due to obstruction of the genital tract.

In worst cases these tumors become benign and show signs of aggression like swollen lymph nodes and pain.

3 Causes

The exact cause of solitary fibrous tissue tumor is not identified. Recurrent fusions of two genes, NGFI-A-binding protein 2 (NAB2) and STAT6, located at chromosomal region 12q13, have been identified in solitary fibrous tissue tumors.

Genetics play an important role in developing the solitary fibrous tissue tumor.

4 Making a Diagnosis

To diagnose solitary fibrous tissue tumor doctor combines the latest diagnostic techniques with their skill.

Tests and methods may include:

Imaging tests

Doctor based on the symptoms will recommend X-ray examination or any of the following procedures:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
  • Computed tomography (CT),
  • ultrasound investigation
  • and Positron emission tomography (PET).


A sample material from the tumor is taken and examined by a pathologist under microscope for better diagnosis.

5 Treatment

Treatment of solitary fibrous tissue tumor may include:


Surgeons work to remove the tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue that surrounds it to prevent further reoccurrence of tumor. In most of the cases surgery is not only the procedure required.

The type of operation that is required to remove the cancerous process depends on the location and size of tumor.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is when removal of solitary fibrous tumor becomes impossible with surgery. Radiation therapy is mostly used to shrink the tumor for easy removal.

After surgical procedure a dose of radiation is given to the tissues surrounding tumor so that reoccurrence will become less prominent.


It is used to treat solitary fibrous tissue tumor that has spread to the other areas of body.

6 Prevention

There are no exact ways to prevent solitary fibrous tissue tumor but there are some things that can be done to avoid cancer in general:

  • avoid smoking,
  • avoid drinking alcohol,
  • eating good nutritious food,
  • avoid spicy food,
  • exercise daily
  • and lead a healthy lifestyle.

7 Risks and Complications

The biggest risk that attributes to solitary fibrous tissue tumor is that it can become malignant (spreading to other areas of the body).

Mostly solitary fibrous tumors are benign (localized to the place of origin of tumor and do not spread).

When the tumor becomes malignant it is very difficult to stop its growth and treat such case.

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