Comparison of patterns of relapse in thymic carcinoma and thymoma

Department of Surgery, Thoracic Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.
The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery (Impact Factor: 4.17). 08/2009; 138(1):26-31. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2009.03.033
Source: PubMed


Thymic carcinomas are considered to be more aggressive than thymomas and carry a worse prognosis. We reviewed our recent experience with the surgical management of thymic tumors and compared the outcomes and patterns of relapse between patients with thymic carcinoma and those with thymoma.
We performed a single-institution retrospective cohort study. Data included patient demographics, stage, treatment, pathologic findings, and postoperative outcomes.
During the period 1995-2006, 120 patients with thymic tumors underwent surgical intervention, including 23 patients with thymic carcinoma and 97 patients with thymoma, as classified according to the World Health Organization 2004 histologic classification. The overall 5-year survival was significantly different between patients with thymic carcinoma and those with thymoma (thymic carcinoma, 53%; thymoma, 89%; P = .01). Data on relapse were available for 112 patients. The progression-free 5-year survival was also significantly different between patients with thymic carcinoma and those with thymoma (thymic carcinoma, 36%; thymoma, 75%; P < .01). Using multivariate analysis, thymic carcinoma and incomplete resection were found to be independent predictors of progression-free survival. Relapses in patients with thymic carcinoma tended to occur earlier, and occurred significantly more frequently at distant sites than in patients with thymoma (60% vs 13%, P = .01).
Patterns of relapse differ significantly between patients with thymic carcinoma and those with thymoma, with lower progression-free survival, earlier onset, and more distant relapses in patients with thymic carcinoma. Given the greater propensity for distant failures, the inclusion of systemic therapy in the treatment of thymic carcinoma might take on greater importance. Despite significantly higher rates of distant relapse, good overall survival in patients with thymic carcinoma can be achieved.

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    • "Recent biomarker investigations have explored c-KIT as a characteristic of thymic carcinoma [19]. Clinically, thymomas and thymic carcinomas have different patterns of recurrence: thymomas mainly result in pleural dissemination as opposed to the distant metastases characteristic of thymic carcinoma [20]. The WHO classification still has some limitations, in that distinguishing even thymoma and thymic carcinoma subtypes remains difficult. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Thymic epithelial tumors (TETs), which comprise thymoma and thymic carcinoma, are rare cancers with specific morphological and clinical features. Their clinical characteristics and outcomes have gradually been clarified by assessing large-scale, retrospective data obtained with international cooperation. Methods The study is a retrospective review of 187 Japanese patients with TETs who attended our institution from 1976 to 2012. Relevant clinical features of patients with TETs and their tumors, including histology, staging, treatment strategies, and overall survival, were investigated. Differences in survival were assessed by the Kaplan–Meier method and uni- and multi-variate Cox proportional hazards regression analyses. Results The 187 patients included 52 patients with stage I, 37 with stage II, 22 with stage III, and 76 with stage IVa/IVb tumors according to the Masaoka–Koga Staging System. As to histological type, five patients had type A, 33 type AB, 19 type B1, 39 type B2, and 15 type B3 thymomas, whereas 68 patients had thymic carcinoma, including 11 with neuroendocrine carcinomas according to the 2004 WHO classification. Either insufficient data were available to classify the tumors of the remaining eight patients or they had rare types. Immunological abnormalities were present in 26 patients, most of whom had thymomas (21.8% of the thymoma group). Most of the patients who presented with symptoms had myasthenia gravis or extensive thymic carcinoma. Secondary cancers were present in 25 patients (13.3%). The overall 5- and 10-year survival rates for thymoma were 85.4 and 71.5%, respectively, and those for thymic carcinoma were 33.8 and 2.3%, respectively. OS differed significantly between stage IVa thymomas and thymic carcinomas. The stage and whether the tumors were thymomas or thymic carcinomas were significant determinants of survival according to multivariate analysis. Conclusion The efficacy of treatments for thymoma and thymic carcinoma should be investigated separately because these tumors differ in their clinical features and prognosis.
    BMC Cancer 05/2014; 14:349. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-14-349 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "The status of resection is one of the widely accepted prognostic factors for survival [4-9]. Blumberg at al. [5] demonstrated that when surgical resection was incomplete, main pattern of failure was local recurrence. "
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated treatment outcomes of thymic carcinomas to determine prognostic factors for survival. Between May 1988 and May 2009, 41 patients had pathologic diagnosis of thymic carcinoma in Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. Of these, 40 patients were followed up to 188 months after treatment. The mean age of all patients was 58.3 years and male to female ratio was 23 to 17. Among 30 patients who underwent surgical resection, 26 achieved R0 resection and postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) was performed in 22 patients (73%). Various chemotherapeutic regimens were given with local treatment modalities, surgery and/or radiotherapy, in 12 patients. The 5-year locoregional control (LRC), distant metastasis-free survival, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival were 79.4%, 53.0%, 42.6%, and 63.6%, respectively. Patients with Masaoka stage I or II showed excellent prognosis of 5-year PFS around 90%. In advanced stages, invasion of the great vessels or atrium by thymic carcinomas was negative prognostic factor for PFS in univariate analysis. Lymph node involvement was statistically significant factor for LRC and PFS. Local or regional recurrence was infrequent after surgical resection followed by PORT, while distant metastasis was the major component of treatment failure. Complete resection followed by PORT provided remarkable local control without severe acute toxicities in patients with stage II and favorable stage III thymic carcinoma. Invasion of the great vessels or atrium was statistically significant prognostic factor for PFS.
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