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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2001 Nov;27(7):636-40.

Thymic carcinoma: a report of 13 cases.

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  • 1Cardiac and Thoracic Department, Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of Pisa, Via Paradisa 2, Pisa 56124, Italy.



Thymic carcinoma is a rare thymic neoplasm. It is more invasive and has a poorer prognosis than thymoma. We report our experience in the treatment of 13 thymic carcinomas.


Thirteen patients with histologically confirmed thymic carcinoma were treated from June 1989. Six patients underwent surgery, followed by adjuvant therapy. Seven patients underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy, followed by surgery and post-operative radiotherapy.


The diagnosis of thymic carcinoma was achieved in six cases by a mediastinotomy, in three cases by a ultrasound-guided or a CT-guided fine needle aspiration and in three cases the pre-operative diagnosis was thymoma. In one case we did not have the histological diagnosis. All seven patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy responded. The surgical resection was complete in seven cases. Eight patients are still alive 8-142 months from the diagnosis, and six are disease-free.


Our experience supports the role of surgery and post-operative radiotherapy in thymic carcinomas. Pre-operative treatment of such neoplasms by multi-drug chemotherapy may improve the resectability and the survival rate.

Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Limited.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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