Prognostic predictors and long-term outcome of postoperative irradiation in thymoma: a study of 241 patients

Cancer Invest. 2009 Dec;27(10):1008-15. doi: 10.3109/07357900802563002.


The purpose of this study was to identify the prognostic predictors treated with postoperative irradiation in patients with thymoma. Two hundred forty-one patients with histologically confirmed thymoma were collected and retrospectively reviewed in this study. Fifty-four patients had stage I disease; 57, stage II; 120, stage III; 10, stage IV. One hundred sixty patients underwent total thymectomy; 63, partial resection; 18, debulking or biopsy. Patients were irradiated after surgery with median dose of 50 Gy by conventional fractionation. The overall survival rates at 5 and 10 years were 83.1% and 72.6%, respectively. The 10-year overall survival was 87% for stage I, 78.7% for stage II, 57.4% for stage III, and 24.3% for stage IV. The conclusions were drawn from this analysis. For stage I, the role of postoperative irradiation needed further investigation. For stage II-III, surgery and postoperative irradiation should be part of standard care. The favorable prognostic predictors were female, early stage, and surgical extirpation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Child
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Selection
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Thymectomy*
  • Thymoma / radiotherapy*
  • Thymoma / secondary
  • Thymoma / surgery*
  • Thymus Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Thymus Neoplasms / secondary
  • Thymus Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult