Adjuvant therapy for thymic carcinoma - A decade of experience in a Taiwan national teaching hospital

Yen Han Tseng, Yi Hsuan Lin, Yen Chiang Tseng, Yu Chin Lee, Yu Chung Wu, Wen Hu Hsu, Sang Hue Yen, Jacqueline Whang-Peng, Yuh Min Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Thymic carcinomas are rare tumors for which surgical resection is the first treatment of choice. The role of adjuvant treatment after surgery is unknown because of limited available data. The present study evaluated the efficacy of post-surgery adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy in patients with thymic carcinoma. Methods. To evaluate the role of adjuvant therapy in patients with thymic carcinoma, we retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with thymic carcinoma who were diagnosed and treated between 2004 and 2014. Results. Among 78 patients with thymic carcinoma, 30 patients received surgical resection. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were significantly longer among these patients than among patients who received other treatments (PFS: 88.4 months vs 9.1 months, p<0.001; OS: 134.9 months vs 60.9 months; p = 0.003). Patients with stage III thymic carcinoma who received surgery had a longer OS than patients who did not receive surgery (70.1 months vs 23.9 months; p = 0.017, n = 11). Among 47 patients with stage IV carcinoma, 12 patients who received an extended thymothymectomy had a longer PFS than 35 patients who did not receive surgery (18.9 months vs 8.7 months; p = 0.029). Among 30 patients (with stage I-IV carcinoma) who received primary lesion surgery, 19 patients received an R0 resection and 9 patients of the 19 patients received adjuvant radiotherapy. These patients had longer PFS (50.3 months) than 2 patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy (5.9 months) or 4 patients who received concurrent chemoradiotherapy (7.5 months) after surgery (p = 0.003). Conclusions. Surgical resection should be considered for patients with thymic carcinoma, even for patients with locally advanced or stage IV carcinoma. Adjuvant radiotherapy resulted in a better PFS after R0 resection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0146609
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 12 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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