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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 1994;8(5):251-3.

Thymectomy and malignancy.

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Second Department of Surgery, Nagoya City University Medical School, Japan.


Three hundred ninety patients who underwent thymectomy for myasthenia gravis (MG) were followed up to investigate the development of associated malignancies. There were 102 patients with thymoma and 288 without thymoma. Malignant neoplasms were detected in ten patients, four of whom already had the tumor at the time MG was diagnosed. Thus, malignancy developed after thymectomy in six patients. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) developed in three patients, as well as gastric cancer, gastric leiomyosarcoma, rectal cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and thymic carcinoid in one patient each. Nine of the ten malignancies developed in the thymoma group, and only one in the non-thymoma group. The predicted number of patients with malignancy was 2.63 in the thymoma group and 2.65 in the non-thymoma group. Our findings suggest that the presence of thymoma facilitates the occurrence of extrathymic malignancy, and that thymectomy never enhances the occurrence of malignancy but possibly inhibits it.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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