Management of primary chest wall tumors: 14 years' clinical experience

Po Kuei Hsu, Han Shui Hsu, Hui Chen Lee, Chih Cheng Hsieh, Yu-Chung Wu, Liang Shun Wang, Biing Shiun Huang, Wen Hu Hsu, Min Hsiung Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Primary chest wall tumor is rare but it encompasses tumors of various origins. We analyzed our experience with primary chest wall tumors with emphasis on its demographic presentation and management. Methods: From 1991 to 2004, 62 patients with the diagnosis of primary chest wall tumors were enrolled. Lipoma, chest wall metastasis, direct invasion from nearby malignancy, infection, and inflammation of chest wall were excluded. The clinical features, management, and the outcome of these patients were retrospectively reviewed. Results: There were 37 males and 25 females. Malignant and benign tumors were equally distributed. Chondrosarcoma and lymphoma were the 2 most common types of malignant chest wall tumors. The most common clinical symptoms were palpable mass (54.8%) and pain (40.3%). Nine of 31 patients (29.0%) with benign chest wall tumors were free of symptoms whereas patients with malignant chest wall tumors were all symptomatic (p = 0.002). A definite diagnosis was obtained in 21 of 26 patients (80.7%) who received nonexcision biopsy. All patients with primary chest wall tumors, except 6 who had medical treatment only, underwent surgical resection. Patients with malignant chest wall tumors were older than those with benign tumors (p < 0.001). The mean largest diameter of tumors was also larger in malignant tumors than in benign tumors (p = 0.04). Conclusion: Patients with primary malignant chest wall neoplasm were older than those with benign tumors. The mean size of malignant tumors was larger than that of benign tumors. Adequate surgical resection remains the treatment of choice for patients with primary chest wall tumors. Nonexcision biopsy should be reserved for patients with a past history of malignancy, suspicion of hematologic disease, and with high operative risk. For patients with isolated chest wall lymphoma, surgical resection followed by chemotherapy can be considered to obtain a better outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-382
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Chinese Medical Association
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chest wall tumor
  • Metastatic chest wall tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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