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Solitary Fibrous Head and Neck Tumors Are Rare, Treatable

Most can be removed by surgery without recurrence, according to small study

FRIDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Solitary fibrous tumors of the head and neck are extremely rare and can be treated effectively with complete surgical removal, according to a clinicopathologic and radiologic review of 12 cases published in the May issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

In the study, Jatin P. Shah, M.D., and colleagues from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City retrospectively examined the cases of 12 patients with solitary fibrous tumors of the head and neck presenting to MSKCC between 1990 and 2004.

The researchers found that the tumors presented as a painless, slow-growing mass developing over a period of two months to five years, and ranging in size from 1x1 cm to 6x5 cm. All patients were treated by surgical resection. Three patients were found to have a malignant tumor. One of three patients with positive tumor resection margins had a local recurrence.

The authors conclude that solitary fibrous tumors of the head and neck are rare, with a definitive diagnosis only possible after tumor resection. "Patients with these tumors can be safely treated with local excision, but tumors with positive margins require close follow-up over several years owing to the potential for late local recurrence," they add.

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