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Ann Thorac Surg. 1997 Dec;64(6):1593-8.

Results of re-resection for recurrent thymomas.

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Department of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Marie Lannelongue Hospital, Le Plessis Robinson, France.



The treatment of recurrent thymomas remains controversial.


The place for re-resection was retrospectively studied in 28 consecutive patients operated on during the last 40 years. The initial Masaoka staging of the thymoma was stage I, 4; stage II, 8; stage III, 11; and stage IVa, 3. Postoperatively, 14 have had radiation therapy, 1 chemotherapy, and 13 no adjuvant treatment. Seven patients had development of recurrences, 15 had pleuropulmonary metastases, 5 had both, and 1 had thoracotomy scar recurrence. Nineteen patients had a complete resection and 9 an incomplete one.


Most local recurrences appeared after resection of stage I or II thymomas. On the other hand, in patients with stage III or IV thymomas pleural or pulmonary metastases mainly developed. No local recurrence occurred in patients who initially received postoperative radiation therapy. Five-year and 10-year survival rates were 51% and 43%, respectively, for the overall population. Among the 19 patients with complete resection, only 3 patients had a subsequent recurrence; 1 of them could be reoperated on and is still alive and free of disease.


Thymoma recurrences often appear as a locoregional rather than a hematogenous spread. Reresection can be recommended in selected patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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