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Cancer. 1991 Aug 15;68(4):706-13.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, surgery, and postoperative radiation therapy for invasive thymoma.

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Service of Thoracic Surgery, University of Pisa, Italy.


Between January 1988 and June 1990, seven previously untreated patients with histologically confirmed and clinically staged IIIa invasive thymoma (IT) were enrolled in a prospective, single treatment arm study of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NC) followed by surgery and postoperative radiation therapy (4600 to 6000 cGy). The NC included three cycles of cisplatin (75 mg/m2 on day 1), epirubicin (100 mg/m2 on day 1), and etoposide (120 mg/m2 on days 1, 3, and 5), every 3 weeks. All patients showed a partial response (greater than 50%) and underwent complete (n = 4) or incomplete (gross [n = 1] or microscopic [n = 2] residual tumor) surgical resection. Histologic examination was negative for two completely resected patients. Projected 2-year survival was 80%; all patients but one currently are alive and disease-free. This approach appeared to be feasible and may be a new therapeutic choice in the management of IT, but its use on a regular basis should be reserved until a larger number of patients and longer follow-up are available.

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