What Is a Fibrous Nodule? Solitary Fibrous Tumors

Medically Reviewed on 12/16/2022
What Is a Fibrous Nodule
Most fibrous nodules are noncancerous (benign), but they can occasionally develop into cancerous (malignant) nodules

Fibrous nodules are soft tissue cell growths that can develop almost anywhere in the body. 

Solitary fibrous nodules are a rare disease with cancerous potential. These tumors must be resected if discovered incidentally during other surgical procedures or diagnosed preoperatively. The laparoscopic approach is considered advantageous for detecting and removing these tumors.

Is a fibrous tumor cancerous?

Most fibrous nodules are noncancerous (benign), but they can occasionally develop into cancerous (malignant) nodules. Fibrous nodules tend to grow slowly, and symptoms may not appear until the nodules get very large.

Fibrous nodules most frequently develop in the pleura, which lines the outside of the lungs. These nodules are called pleural solitary fibrous tumors. Additionally, fibrous nodules have been detected in the head and neck, breast, kidney, prostate, spinal cord, and other sites.

What are the signs and symptoms of fibrous nodules?

Signs and symptoms of fibrous nodules may include:

How are fibrous nodules diagnosed?

Imaging tests to assess fibrous nodules may include:

Your doctor may take a small tissue sample for microscopic inspection to confirm a suspected single fibrous tumor (biopsy). A diagnosis can be verified by an expert pathologist who can also determine whether the tumor is cancerous.

Should fibrous nodules be removed?

In most cases, surgery is the only treatment option for fibrous nodules. Surgeons remove the tumor along with a small margin of healthy tissue surrounding it. The operation performed to remove a solitary fibrous tumor is determined by where the tumor is located.

Your doctor may advise radiation therapy if the entire tumor cannot be removed. Before surgery, radiation therapy may be performed to reduce the tumor. Chemotherapy is an additional option for treatment, especially if the tumor has migrated to other parts of the body.

A number of medications specifically target tyrosine kinase signaling pathways and vascular endothelial growth factors. Recently, these pathways have started being used for the treatment of advanced solitary fibrous tumors as they halt the growth of tumors by interfering with their blood supply. These medications include:

  • Votrient (pazopanib)
  • Sorafenib
  • Sunitinib
  • Nexavar (bevacizumab)


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Medically Reviewed on 12/16/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Imaging Features of Solitary Fibrous Tumors https://www.ajronline.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2214/AJR.10.4948

Soft tissue sarcoma (Solitary fibrous tumor) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/solitary-fibrous-tumors/cdc-20395823

Solitary fibrous tumor https://radiopaedia.org/articles/solitary-fibrous-tumour

Solitary Fibrous Tumor https://eyewiki.aao.org/Solitary_Fibrous_Tumor