Solitary fibrous tumors are rare growths of soft tissue cells that can form nearly anywhere in the body.

Solitary fibrous tumors most often occur in the lining around the outside of the lungs (pleural solitary fibrous tumors). Solitary fibrous tumors have also been found in the head and neck, breast, kidney, prostate, spinal cord, and other sites.

Most solitary fibrous tumors are noncancerous (benign), but in rare cases, solitary fibrous tumors can be cancerous (malignant).

Solitary fibrous tumors tend to grow slowly and may not cause signs and symptoms until they become very large.

  • Teamwork. At Mayo Clinic, experts from different fields work together as a team to care for people with solitary fibrous tumors. Your multidisciplinary team of experts may include radiologists, pathologists specializing in soft tissue tumors, surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, and, depending on the location of the tumor, other specialists.
  • Experience. Because solitary fibrous tumors are rare, not all doctors are experienced in treating them. At Mayo Clinic, doctors care for about 180 people each year with benign and malignant forms of pleural tumors.
  • A full range of treatment options to consider. Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to people with solitary fibrous tumors includes surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
  • Latest technology. Mayo Clinic doctors have access to the newest technology in imaging, pathological diagnosis, and surgical and radiation treatments — including intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) — to improve chances for positive outcomes.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked high performing for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

At Mayo Clinic in Arizona, people with solitary fibrous tumors are treated by specialists in general surgery, orthopedic surgery, oncology, radiation oncology and other areas as needed, depending on the type and location of the tumor.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

In Florida, people with solitary fibrous tumors are treated by specialists in general surgery, orthopedic surgery, oncology, radiation oncology and other areas as needed, depending on the type and location of the tumor.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

In Minnesota, people with solitary fibrous tumors are treated by specialists in general surgery, orthopedic oncology, oncology, radiation oncology and other areas as needed, depending on the type and location of the tumor.

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See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

To help determine the best treatment options, doctors at Mayo Clinic combine the latest diagnostic techniques with experience in diagnosing solitary fibrous tumors.

Tests and procedures may include:

  • Imaging tests. Your doctor may order X-rays and other imaging techniques such as ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET).
  • Biopsy. To confirm a suspected solitary fibrous tumor, a doctor may remove a small piece of tissue for examination under a microscope (biopsy). An experienced pathologist can confirm the diagnosis and determine whether the tumor is cancerous.

Treatment for solitary fibrous tumors may include:

  • Surgery. Surgeons work to remove the tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue that surrounds it. In most cases, surgery is the only treatment necessary.

    The type of operation used to remove a solitary fibrous tumor depends on where the tumor occurs.

  • Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy can be used to treat a solitary fibrous tumor that can't be removed with surgery. Sometimes radiation therapy is used to shrink a tumor so that it's more likely to be removed completely during surgery.

    Radiation therapy can also be used during surgery. Once a tumor is removed with surgery, intraoperative radiation therapy is directed to the area around the tumor. This may reduce the risk that the tumor will recur.

  • Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is sometimes used to treat a solitary fibrous tumor that has spread to other areas of the body.

Mayo Clinic doctors and scientists are studying new ways to diagnose and treat solitary fibrous tumor.

Cancer research is conducted in coordination with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — recognition for an institution's scientific excellence and multidisciplinary resources focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Publications

See a list of publications Mayo Clinic authors on solitary fibrous tumor on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Feb. 07, 2014