Adjuvant radiation after resection of Masaoka stage II thymoma is widely advocated, but the evidence supporting it is controversial. Studies addressing this issue generally report few patients and lump all patients beyond stage I together in the analysis.We retrospectively compared outcomes of stage I and II thymomas treated by resection alone with thymomas treated by resection plus radiation. Histology was re-reviewed to confirm pathologic staging and resection margin status.Between February 1992 and 2002, we performed 167 resections for thymoma. Of these, 70 patients were believed to have tumors in stage IIb or less intraoperatively, and all of these patients underwent complete resection. We reviewed the histopathology of 62 of 70 patients. Thirty thymomas demonstrated less than complete transcapsular microscopic invasion (stage I) and 40 thymomas demonstrated microscopic transcapsular invasion or macroscopic invasion into surrounding fatty tissue (stage II). Forty-seven patients underwent surgery without postoperative mediastinal radiotherapy. Dosages in the 23 radiated patients (3 stage I and 20 stage II) consisted of 45 to 55 Gy. Median follow-up was 70.3 months. Stage II patients who were radiated (n = 20) and those who were not radiated (n = 20) consisted of identical proportions in stages IIa and IIb. Two patients recurred (1 unradiated stage I patient and 1 radiated stage IIb patient). Overall 5-year survival rate was 91%. All who died were free of recurrence at time of death. Log-rank test showed no difference in Kaplan Meier survival curves (p = 0.32) between the radiated and unradiated groups.These data support the contention that margin-negative surgical resection alone is sufficient treatment for both stages I and II thymoma.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S0003-4975(03)00819-1
View details for Web of Science ID 000186358600056
View details for PubMedID 14602300