Patterns of recurrence and long-term survival after curative resection of localized fibrous tumors of the pleura

Clinical Lung Cancer. 2005 Nov; 7(3):197-201. [Link]

Santos RS, Haddad R, Lima CE, Liu YL, Misztal M, Ferreira T, Boasquevisque CH, Luketich JD, Landreneau RJ.

Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA.


Background: Localized fibrous tumors of the pleura (LFTPs) are uncommon thoracic neoplasms with variable malignant potential that were previously classified as benign presentation of mesothelioma. We investigate the clinical presentation, recurrence patterns, and long-term survival of patients undergoing curative resection of LFTPs.

Patients and Methods: Thirty-four patients underwent resection of LFTPs in the present study. There were 20 women and 14 men with a median age of 59 years (range, 35-81 years). The malignant potential of the tumor was estimated through histologic assessment of the degree of cellularity, mitotic activity, and nuclear pleomorphism. Patients’ clinical outcomes were correlated to pathologic findings.

Results: Seventeen patients (50%) were symptomatic, and 7 tumors (21%) were considered malignant by histologic characteristics. Ipsilateral pleural recurrence remote to the original tumor site occurred in 6 of these patients with malignant microscopic characteristics at a mean of 9 months after resection. Repeated resection was accomplished in 3 of these patients (range, 3-8 repeat operations). There have been no recurrences among the other 27 patients with benign histologic features, and 31 patients remain alive at a median follow-up of 34.5 months.

Conclusion: Histologic characteristics are helpful in estimating the risk of recurrence among patients with LFTPs. Close surveillance is recommended for patients with malignant histologic characteristics. Local recurrence is common without evidence of systemic spread among such patients. Surgical resection is definitive therapy; however, patients with tumors with histologic atypia require close postoperative observation because of the frequency of locoregional recurrence.