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Am J Clin Pathol. 2012 Jul;138(1):115-21. doi: 10.1309/AJCPLF3XAT0OHADV.

Thymic carcinoma, part 2: a clinicopathologic correlation of 33 cases with a proposed staging system.

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Dept of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Thymic carcinomas are rare neoplasms. Accordingly, no robust staging system exists for these tumors. Herein 33 cases of thymic carcinoma are presented with emphasis on staging, follow-up, and usefulness of prior staging systems. All of the cases shared similar clinical, surgical, and pathologic features, which makes them suitable for appropriate staging. Based on our experience, a novel 3-tier staging schema is presented. According to our proposed schema, 7 patients had stage I tumors, 11 had stage II tumors, and 15 had stage III tumors at the time of resection. Follow-up revealed that 19 patients were alive (mean follow-up, 57 months) and 14 patients had died (mean survival, 44 months). The survival curves obtained using our proposed staging system showed significant differences between the individual stages contrary to those obtained using prior staging systems. Our proposed schema seems to correlate well with survival and seems to be more practical than prior systems.

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