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Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012 Mar;60(2):145-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1271010. Epub 2011 Jun 20.

Surgical resection of thymoma still represents the first choice of treatment.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Medical Center Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.



The aim of this study was to analyze the clinicopathological factors, treatment strategies and survival rates after surgical resection of thymoma.


Between 12/1997 and 5/2010, 42 patients underwent surgical resection of the thymus. The presence of a thymoma was determined by histological examination in 23 patients, while patients with hyperplasia of the thymus (n = 19) were excluded from further analysis.


Myasthenia gravis coexisted in 9/23 (39.1%) patients. Thymomas were classified according to the Masaoka staging system (I: n = 6 [26.1%], IIa: n = 7 [30.4%], IIb: n = 2 [8.7%], III: n = 1 [4.4%], IVa: n = 7 [30.4%]) and the WHO histological classification (A: n = 4 [17.4%], AB: n = 5 [21.7%], B1: n = 1 [4.4%], B2: n = 8 [34.8%], B3: n = 3 [13%], C: n = 2 [8.7%]). Recurrence of thymoma was documented in three (13%) patients. After a mean follow-up of 58.4 months, 21 (91.3%) patients are alive. The overall survival rate was 95% and 87.8%, at 2 and 5 years, respectively. The disease-free interval at 5 years was 85% for the 17 (73.9%) patients with complete resection.


Surgical resection of thymoma is the preferred treatment, because it is safe and effective with a low rate of recurrence and a good long-term survival. Advanced and invasive thymomas require a multimodal approach for better local tumor control and further improvement of prognosis.

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