Thymic carcinoma: Ten years' experience in twenty patients

C. P. Hsu, C. Y. Chen, C. L. Chen, C. T. Lin, N. Y. Hsu, J. H. Wang, P. Y. Wang

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142 Citations (Scopus)


Thymic carcinoma is a rare neoplasm with extremely poor prognosis. To evaluate the outcome of treatment in thymic carcinoma, we reviewed a 10-year (1982 to 1992) experience with 20 consecutive patients in Taichung Veterans General Hospital. There were 9 men and 11 women: ages ranged from 34 to 70 years old (mean 51.4 years). None of these patients had concomitant myasthenia gravis. All of the patients received surgical intervention, and the diagnosis was made by pathologic study. Postoperative staging was made according to the modified Masaoka staging system. None of our patients were in stage I. One patient (5%) had stage II disease, 12 (60%) stage III, and 7 (35%) stage IV. The pathologic subtypes of thymic carcinoma included eight squamous cell carcinomas, seven undifferentiated carcinomas, one lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma, one clear-cell carcinoma, 1 mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and two carcinoid tumors. Curative resection could be done in seven patients (35%). The overall cumulative survival was 45.9% at 3 years and 34.4% at 5 years. The median survival times for patients with complete and incomplete resection were 39.0 months and 14.3 months, respectively (p = 0.1752). The median survival times of patients with postoperative radiotherapy and without postoperative radiotherapy were 39.3 months and 15.0 months, respectively (p = 0.0738). The median survival times of patients with squamous cell carcinoma and undifferentiated carcinoma were 25.4 months and 11.3 months, respectively (p = 0.1464). Our data show that complete resection, postoperative radiotherapy, and squamous cell carcinoma do not indicate a significantly favorable result, even though they result in longer median survival times. Yet a positive trend of favorable outcome in patients who received postoperative radiotherapy is ambiguously shown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-620
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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