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The demographic features, clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment outcome and disease-specific prognostic factors of solitary fibrous tumor: a population-based analysis

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:41875-41883. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6174

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Alimujiang Wushou, Yi-Zhou Jiang, Yi-Rong Liu and Zhi-Ming Shao _

Abstract

Alimujiang Wushou1,2, Yi-Zhou Jiang1,2, Yi-Rong Liu1,2 and Zhi-Ming Shao1,2

1 Department of Breast Surgery, Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer in Shanghai, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

2 Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence to:

Zhi-Ming Shao, email:

Keywords: Solitary fibrous tumor and SEER analysis

Received: August 09, 2015 Accepted: October 06, 2015 Published: October 19, 2015

Abstract

Background: Solitary fibrous tumor’s (SFT) demographic features, clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment outcome and disease-specific prognostic factors were unexplored comprehensively.

Methods: SEER program was used to identify patients diagnosed with SFT from 1973 to 2012. Overall collected data were analyzed by using the SPSS 18.0.

Results: In total, 804 cases were found including 613 cases with SFT-specific mortality and 801 patients were analyzed for overall survival (OS). The 3-year disease specific survival (DSS), 5-year DSS and 10-year DSS were 73.3%, 65.7% and 53.3%. The 3-year OS, 5-year OS and 10-year OS were 71.9%, 63.3% and 47.3%. In the multivariate survival analysis, the age > 51 years (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.851 for DSS, P = 0.024 and HR = 1.652 for OS, P = 0.033; Reference [Ref] ≤ 51 years for DSS and ≤ 53 years for OS), SEER stage metastasized tumor (HR = 4.269 for DSS, P = 0.000 and HR = 2.905 for OS, P = 0.028, Ref - localized + regional tumor), pathologic grade III + IV (HR = 2.734 for DSS, P = 0.001 and HR = 2.585 for OS, P = 0.000, Ref - grade I + II) were adversely associated with DSS and OS. In addition, surgery was favorably associated with DSS (HR = 0.217, P = 0.045, Ref - surgery + radiotherapy).

Conclusions: The surgery was an independent prognostic factor for DSS. The patient’s age, SEER stage and pathologic grade were SFT-specific independent prognostic indicators for DSS and OS.


INTRODUCTION

Soft tissue sarcomas represent a heterogeneous group of mesenchymal tumors with variable clinical behavior and prognosis [1]. As a result, the treatment modalities of soft tissue sarcoma are increasingly subtype-specific. There are big challenges for the oncologist in treating patients with rare subtypes of soft tissue sarcoma, since adequate instructive data from clinical trials or even coherent studies are not available to guide rigorous evidence-based treatment [2]. Hemangiopericytoma was firstly named by Stout and Murray in 1942. It derives from pericytes around capillaries and postcapillary venules, thus, this tumor can be found in any sites of human body that contain capillaries [3]. The term “hemangiopericytoma” has been retired; tumors diagnosed as hemangiopericytoma in the past are now called solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) [4]. SFT is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed soft tissue sarcomas in clinic because of its unspecific initial clinical presentation. Moreover, accurate pathologic diagnosis of SFT is also a challenge, because up to 15% of all soft tissue sarcomas can have SFT-like pathologic characteristics [5].

Our previous study investigated head and neck (HN) SFTs and found that a treatment protocol emphasizing the surgical removal of the tumor as the first-line treatment, tumor size > 5.0cm, poor pathologic differentiation, deep tumor location and non-surgical treatment were independent adverse prognostic factors for HN SFTs [6, 7]. Currently, only case reports and retrospective series have been reported with relatively small of study population from variety of tumor location. Given the rarity of this tumor, information is still sporadic regarding their unique demographic, clinicopathologic, prognostic and biologic characteristics. Oncologists around the globe have limited management experience, resulting in heterogeneity of treatment paradigms and prognosis.

We speculate that a large nationwide population-based patient cohort may provide an opportunity to evaluate trends in demographic features, clinical presentation, patient characteristics, diagnosis, treatment modalities and prognostic factors of SFT. To better characterize unique demographic features, clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment outcome and prognostic factors of SFT, we carried out a comprehensive analysis of all patients with SFT registered in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) public-access database collected from various geographic areas in the United States from 1973 to 2012.

RESULTS

The demographic and clinicopathologic characteristics of 613 SFT patients with disease-specific survival status

A total of 613 patients with diagnosis of SFT were found in the SEER database with SFT-specific mortality spanning from 1973 to 2012. The median follow-up time was 86.8 (range, 1-478) months. Gender distribution was almost equal between males and females (45.4% and 54.6%, respectively) and a peak incidence occurred during the fifth decade of life. Majority of SFT occurred in white people. About half of the tumors registration came from the Pacific coast. Approximately, one third of SFT cases originated from thoracic, abdominal and pelvic cavity (TAPC) and one-half of SFT cases were classified as SEER stage regional tumor. Surgery was the most common treatment modality and 49.4% of cases were treated with surgery alone. Most of the tumors were pathologically unclassified SFTs and they accounted for nearly 70% of cases. The baseline characteristics of 613 SFT patients are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: The baseline characteristics of SFT patients in the SEER database

Demographic and clinicopathologic parameters

DSS

OS

Alive

Dead

Total

P-value

Alive

Dead

Total

P -value

Gender

Female 183 152 335 0.584 196 244 440 0.205
Male 158 120 278 177 184 361

Age

≤ 51 years 204 107 311

0.000

- - - -
> 51 years 137 165 302 - - - -
≤ 53 years - - - - 226 177 403

0.000

> 53 years - - - - 147 251 398

Race

White 267 229 496 0.178 293 361 654

0.033

Black 31 19 50 34 37 71
Others 43 24 67 46 30 76

Marital status

Single 100 48 148

0.000

104 73 177

0.000

Married 189 154 343 211 235 446
Divorced 15 29 44 15 48 63
Others 37 41 78 43 72 115

CHSDA Region

East 122 54 176

0.000

130 90 220

0.000

Northern plain 29 63 92 31 97 128
Pacific coast 179 128 307 199 201 400
Southwest 11 27 38 14 39 53

Tumor Locations

Central nerve system 97 60 157

0.000

105 91 196

0.001

Head and neck 83 34 117 91 69 160

TAPC

100 109 209 109 174 283
Extremity 50 57 107 55 75 130
Other location 11 12 23 13 19 32

AJCC Stage

I + II 26 0 26

0.007

33 0 33

0.001

III + IV 12 4 16 16 6 22

SEER stage

Localized 194 109 303

0.000

210 177 387

0.000

Regional 72 58 130 77 74 151
Distant metastasized 31 47 78 36 75 111
Unstaged 37 48 85 43 88 131
Unclassified 7 10 17 7 14 21

Treatment

Radiotherapy + surgery 10 10 20

0.000

10 15 25

0.002

Surgery + radiotherapy 126 86 212 139 130 259
Surgery alone 181 122 303 194 217 411
Radiotherapy alone 7 14 21 7 22 29
OCM 2 3 5 3 4 7
Unknown 15 37 52 20 50 70

Pathologic grade

Grade I 18 5 23

0.014

20 11 31 0.138
Grade II 44 18 62 45 40 85
Grade III 19 18 37 21 24 45
Grade IV 37 30 67 41 42 83
Unclassified 223 201 424 246 311 557

Abbreviations: SEER, surveillance, epidemiology, and end results; SFT, solitary fibrous tumor; DSS, disease specific survival; OS, overall survival; CHSDA, contract health service delivery areas; TAPC, thoracic, abdominal and pelvic cavity; OCM, Others combined modalities; AJCC, american joint committee on cancer.

Disease specific survival (DSS) and Cox proportional hazards regression analysis

Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed for time-to-event analysis for DSS. The 3-year DSS, 5-year DSS, 10-year DSS, 15-year DSS were 73.3%, 65.7%, 53.3% and 45.9%, respectively. Significant DSS differences were found depending on age (P = 0.000), marital status (P = 0.000), SEER stage (P = 0.006), tumor location (P = 0.000), treatment modality (P = 0.000) and pathologic grade (P = 0.001) (Figure 1). A Cox proportional hazard model was performed to identify prognostic variables for DSS. In the univariate Cox regression analysis, the age >51 years (P = 0.000; HR=2.341; ≤51 years - as reference [Ref]), SEER stage distant metastasized tumor (P = 0.012; HR=1.532; localized + regional tumor - as Ref) and pathologic grade III + IV (P = 0.002; HR=2.210; grade I + II - as Ref) were associated with worse DSS. SFT from TAPC (P = 0.009; HR=0.412; central nerve system [CNS] - as Ref) and surgery alone (P = 0.000; HR=0.353; surgery with radiotherapy - as Ref) were associated with favorable DSS. In the multivariate Cox regression analysis, the age (P = 0.024; HR=1.851; ≤51 years - as Ref), SEER stage (P = 0.000; HR=4.269 for distant metastasized tumor; localized + regional tumor - as Ref), treatment modalities (P=0.045; HR=0.217 for surgery alone; surgery + RT - as Ref) and pathologic grade (P = 0.001; HR=2.734 for grade III + IV; grade I + II - as Ref) were independent prognostic variables for DSS. Details of the Cox proportional hazards regression analysis are shown in Tables 2 and 3.

Table 2: Univariate Cox regression analysis of characteristics associated with DSS and OS status

Parameters

DSS

OS

HR (95% CI)

P-value

HR (95% CI)

P-value

Gender

Female

1.00 Reference

0.786

1.00 Reference

0.834

Male

1.034 (0.813-1.315)

0.980 (0.809-1.186)

Age

≤ 51 years

1.00 Reference

0.000

1.00 Reference

0.000

> 51 years

2.341 (1.829-2.996)

2.253 (1.850-2.742)

Race

White

1.00 Reference

1.00 Reference

Black

1.353 (0.888-2.061)

0.159

1.430 (0.985-2.075)

0.060

Others

1.317 (0.721-2.406)

0.370

1.662 (1.026-2.691)

0.039

Marital status

Married

1.00 Reference

1.00 Reference

Other status

1.006 (0.970-1.280)

0.964

1.049 (0.867-1.269)

0.626

CHSDA Region

East

1.00 Reference

1.00 Reference

Northern plain

0.411 (0.258-0.654)

0.000

0.628 (0.431-0.914)

0.015

Pacific coast

0.925 (0.589-1.453)

0.736

0.996 (0.687-1.445)

0.985

Southwest

0.570 (0.376-0.864)

0.008

0.761 (0.540-1.073)

0.119

Locations

Central nerve system

1.00 Reference

1.00 Reference

Head and neck

0.537 (0.288-1.001)

0.050

0.579 (0.353-0.950)

0.031

TAPC

0.412 (0.213-0.798)

0.009

0.493 (0.296-0.822)

0.007

Extremity

0.789 (0.434-1.435)

0.438

0.755 (0.470-1.215)

0.248

Other location

0.800 (0.429-1.493)

0.484

0.696 (0.420-1.154)

0.160

AJCC Stage

Stage I + II

1.00 Reference

0.271

1.00 Reference

0.182

0.160

Stage III + IV

11.035 (0.024-549.7)

0.010 (0.000-8.658)

SEER stage

Localized + regional

1.00 Reference

0.012

1.00 Reference

0.028

Distant metastasized

1.532 (1.100-2.134)

1.343 (1.032-1.749)

Treatment

Radiotherapy + surgery

1.00 Reference

1.00 Reference

Surgery + radiotherapy

0.489 (0.242-0.992)

0.047

0.450 (0.252-0.803)

0.007

Surgery alone

0.353 (0.237-0.526)

0.000

0.365 (0.261-0.508)

0.000

Radiotherapy alone

0.294 (0.200-0.431)

0.000

0.333 (0.244-0.454)

0.000

OCM

0.742 (0.398-1.384)

0.348

0.751 (0.454-1.242)

0.264

Unknown

0.436 (0.134-1.422)

0.169

0.361 (0.130-1.000)

0.050

Treatment

Surgery with radiotherapy

1.00 Reference

0.021

1.00 Reference

0.053

Surgery alone

0.738(0.570-0.955)

1.226 (0.997-1.506)

Pathologic grade

Grade I + II

1.00 Reference

0.002

1.00 Reference

0.005

Grade III + IV

2.210 (1.338-3.649)

1.694 (1.169-2.455)

Abbreviations: SEER, surveillance, epidemiology, and end results; SFT, solitary fibrous tumor; DSS, disease specific survival; OS, overall survival; HR, hazard ratio; CI, confidence interval; CHSDA, contract health service delivery areas; TAPC, thoracic, abdominal and pelvic cavity; OCM, Others combined modalities; AJCC, American joint committee on cancer.

Table 3: Multivariate Cox regression analysis of characteristics associated with DSS and OS status

Parameters

DSS

OS

HR (95% CI)

P-value

HR (95% CI)

P-value

Age

≤ 51 years

1.00 Reference

0.024

1.00 Reference

0.033

> 51 years

1.851 (1.083-3.165)

1.652 (1.042-2.618)

SEER stage

Localized + regional

1.00 Reference

0.000

1.00 Reference

0.028

Metastasized

4.269 (2.144-8.499)

2.905 (1.673-5.043)

Treatment modalities

Radiotherapy + surgery

1.00 Reference

1.00 Reference

Surgery + radiotherapy

0.493 (0.129-0.719)

0.412

0.880 (0.170-4.572)

0.879

Surgery alone

0.217 (0.156-0.747)

0.045

0.811 (0.158-2.364)

0.476

Radiotherapy alone

0.229 (0.375-2.994)

0.055

0.586 (0.154-2.225)

0.432

Pathologic grade

Grade I + II

1.00 Reference

0.001

1.00 Reference

0.000

Grade III + IV

2.734 (1.517-4.925)

2.585 (1.556-4.284)

Abbreviations: DSS, disease specific survival; OS, overall survival; HR, hazard ratio; CI, confidence interval; SEER, surveillance, epidemiology, and end results.

Disease specific survival curves of patients with solitary fibrous tumor compared according to (A) age, (B) AJCC stage, (C) and (D) SEER stage, (E) and (F) pathologic grade, (G) and (H) treatment modalities.

Figure 1: Disease specific survival curves of patients with solitary fibrous tumor compared according to (A) age, (B) AJCC stage, (C) and (D) SEER stage, (E) and (F) pathologic grade, (G) and (H) treatment modalities. Log-rank test was used to compare curves, and significance (P value) is shown on each panel.

The demographic and clinicopathologic characteristics of 801 SFT patients with overall survival (OS) status

From 1973 to 2012, there were 804 consecutive registered patients with SFT in the SEER database. Three patients were excluded for survival analysis, due to lack of treatment and follow-up data. The 801 patients included 361 male patients and 440 female patients, with a male-to-female ratio of 0.82 : 1. Their ages ranged from 1 month to 85+ years, with a median of 53 years (Supplementary Figure 1). More than 80% of SFT cases occurred in white people and only 8.8% in black people. Half of the cases came from the Pacific coast, 220 cases from east, 128 cases from the northern plains and 53 cases from southwest. In total, 35.3% of tumors originated from TAPC, 24.5% from CNS, 19.9% from HN region and 16.2% from extremity. According to SEER stage classification, 48.3%, 18.9% and 13.9% patients were classified as localized, regional and distant metastasized SFTs. 87.6% patients treated with surgery included treatment modalities. Only 244 SFT patients had defined pathologic grade data. The median follow-up period was 85.6 (range, 1-478) months. The baseline characteristics of 801 SFT patients with OS status are presented in Table 1.

OS and Cox proportional hazards regression analysis

The 3-year OS, 5-year OS, 10-year OS and 15-year OS rates were 71.9%, 63.3%, 47.3% and 38%, respectively. Significant OS differences were identified depending on age (P = 0.000), marital status (P = 0.000), CHSDA region (P = 0.006), tumor location (P = 0.006), AJCC stage (P = 0.003), SEER stage (P = 0.027), treatment modality (P = 0.000) and pathologic grade (P = 0.005) (Figure 2 and Supplementary Figure 2). Univariate and multivariate survival analysis utilizing the Cox regression model were performed on the 801 SFT patients. In the univariate Cox regression analysis, the age >53 years (P = 0.000; HR=2.253, ≤53 years - as Ref), distant metastasized tumor (P = 0.028; HR=1.343; localized + regional tumor - as Ref) and pathologic grade III + IV (P = 0.005; HR=1.694; Grade I + II - as Ref) were adversely associated with OS. SFT from TAPC (P = 0.007, HR=0.493; CNS- as Ref), surgery (P = 0.000, HR=0.365; RT + surgery - as Ref) were favorably associated with OS. The age (P = 0.033, HR=1.652 for >53 years; ≤53 years - as Ref), SEER stage (P = 0.028; HR=2.905 for distant metastasized tumor; localized + regional tumor - as Ref) and pathologic grade (P = 0.000; HR=2.585 for grade III + IV; grade I + II - as Ref) were independent prognostic variables for OS (Tables 2 and 3).

Overall survival curves of patients with solitary fibrous tumor compared according to (A) age, (B) AJCC stage, (C) and (D) SEER stage, (E) pathologic grade, (F) tumor location (G) and (H) treatment modalities.

Figure 2: Overall survival curves of patients with solitary fibrous tumor compared according to (A) age, (B) AJCC stage, (C) and (D) SEER stage, (E) pathologic grade, (F) tumor location (G) and (H) treatment modalities. Log-rank test was used to compare curves, and significance (P value) is shown on each panel.

DISCUSSION

According to the current investigation, incidence rate in gender is almost equal for DSS and slightly higher in female for OS. There is no statistically significant predominance in any gender. In survival analysis, remarkable difference was neither identified in DSS, nor in OS (P = 0.786 and P = 0.833, respectively, Supplementary Figure 2). In most of the previously published case series, the typical age at presentation ranged from the third to the fifth decades [8-10]. In this series, SFT most frequently occurs during the fifth decades of life (Supplementary Figure 2). The majority of investigation about SFT are based on single-center experience and mostly include no more than 30~50 cases. Given their small sample size, those investigations are often not sufficiently powerful to detect small differences in survival analysis according to common demographic factors such as age, gender and race. In our current investigation, patient’s age, gender and race were analyzed as categorical variables in both univariate and multivariate survival analyses. The results demonstrate that apart from the age, no survival difference in DSS or OS was found to be associated with race or gender (Table 2 and Supplementary Figure 2).

Up to date, more than two thousand studies are available about SFT in the PubMed. SFT is reported from a variety of tumor locations. In accordance with previous reports, SFT occurred at any age-period and any site of the body in present series (Supplementary Figure 1). To better characterize, we categorized the tumor location into five groups (CNS, HN, TAPC, extremity and other location), although there are many other possibilities to categorize the tumor location. In this categorization, significant survival differences were found, where HN and TAPC SFTs were favorably associated with DSS (Ref - CNS) in univariate survival analysis. However, tumor location was not an independent prognostic indicator in multivariate survival analysis for neither DSS nor OS. Well consisting with our current results, previously, investigators found survival difference between CNS and extra-CNS site SFTs, and no association was found between the primary tumor site and survival [11].

The TNM/AJCC staging system plays important roles and it helps the oncologist in making a treatment protocol and evaluating a prognosis of cancer [12]. In this series, one of the most incomplete data was TNM/AJCC staging information and only 55 patients’ data were available. However, important findings emerged. There was a significant survival difference in AJCC stage I + II versus AJCC stage III + IV. The small number of patients with AJCC stage in the Cox model did not permit a multivariate survival analysis for independent prognostic factor. In our previous report, we also failed to perform the AJCC stage in multivariate survival analysis of HN SFT due to the incomplete staging data. As far as we know, there aren’t any report regarding TNM/AJCC stage identified as an independent prognostic variable for SFT. Nevertheless, detailed SEER stage data was available in this study and it was an independent prognostic indicator not only for DSS but also for OS.

Whether the SFT patients can benefit from RT is most widely investigated hot topic, especially in the CNS SFTs [13-17]. One of the main interests of this study is to hopefully confirm the role of RT in SFT treatment. The RT for SFT has been widely used alone or combined with surgery as part of the management algorithm for several decades. Until now, the role of RT in SFT treatment is still controversial. Lately, investigators analyzed 227 CNS SFT cases in the SEER database during the years of 2000-2009 and confirmed a survival benefit for patients treated with surgery in combination with adjuvant RT, while the effect was not appreciated with surgery alone. In another series, investigators found that treatment protocol of combined adjuvant RT with surgery seemed to hinder tumor progression, but had no effect on OS [18]. The addition of adjuvant RT to surgery improved the local recurrence, but did not increase overall survival of patients with HN SFTs [7, 19]. Owing to lack of data about recurrence, we were unable to confirm whether the RT could decrease the local recurrence in current series. We categorized treatment modalities including surgery and RT as surgery with RT group and compared its treatment outcome with surgery alone. The results demonstrate that surgery alone group had higher DSS and OS, and statistical significance was only found in DSS (Figure 1H and Figure 2H). It is noteworthy that mostly advanced stage SFT patients received RT pre- or postoperatively, and RT was added to early stage SFT once coming across common adverse prognostic factors after surgery such as high pathologic grade and unconfirmed surgical margins [6, 7, 10]. As retrospective study, it is almost impossible to make a standard survival comparison between patients treated with surgery alone and surgery with RT. Because those patients did not even have similar TNM/AJCC stage. Therefore, it is difficult to draw a firm conclusion that SFT patients cannot benefit from RT. Multi-center prospective controlled clinical studies are necessary to further confirm the role of RT in SFT treatment.

We acknowledge the limitations that come with our investigation. In the SEER database, data on important factors such as TNM/AJCC stage and pathologic grade are incomplete. Establishment of the role of chemotherapy is another important issue. A notable limitation of the SEER database is that there is no chemotherapy information available for analysis. In addition, not all patients have complete information.

CONCLUSIONs

In summary, to the best of our knowledge, the present comprehensive analysis of the overall 804 cases from SEER database is the first of its kind to clearly define the demographic features, clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment outcome and prognostic factors of patients with SFT, and is also the largest SFT series to date. Despite the above limitations, for the first time we found that the age >51 years (Ref- ≤51 years, ≤53 years for OS), SEER stage distant metastasized tumor (Ref- localized + regional tumor) and high pathologic grade III + IV (Ref- Grade I + II) were independent averse prognostic indicators for DSS and OS. Regarding the treatment, the surgery was an independent favorable prognosis factor for DSS (Ref- RT + surgery).

MATERIAL AND METHODS

Date extraction

SEER*Stat software from the National Cancer Institute (Surveillance Research Program, National Cancer Institute SEER*Stat software, http://www.seer.cancer.gov/seerstat, Version 8.2.1) was applied for data extraction. International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O-3) codes for hemangiopericytoma (9150) was used for identification of cases with a diagnosis of SFT registered in the SEER database.

Variable selection and statistical analysis

The study variables included gender, age, race, marital status, contract health service delivery areas (CHSDA) region, primary tumor location, SEER stage, American joint committee on cancer (AJCC) stage, pathologic grade, treatment modalities, follow-up time and outcome status. Not all of the cases that we identified contained all these data. Collected data were analyzed using the software of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 18.0, for Windows (SPSS, Chicago, IL). Differences in the numerical variables were assessed using the Student’s test or non-parametric Wilcoxon test. The chi square test or Fisher exact test for categorical variables was used for two group comparisons of parameters. The survival curves were generated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and the log-rank test was performed to evaluate the survival difference. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) along with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards regression model. When the P value was < 0.05, the difference was regarded as statistically significant. All statistical tests were two tailed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTs

The authors thank Kamila Abulimiti (MD) from Strayer University (USA) for her editorial help.

FUNDING

This study was supported by Project Funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2015M571492).

CONFLICTs OF INTEREST

The authors made no disclosures.

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