Background Among the various controversies in the treatment strategies for patients with thymoma, the optimal mode of resection needs to be defined. To explore whether or not the mode of resection affects the prognosis/recurrence in patients with thymoma, we evaluated the treatment outcome of patients with resected thymoma. Methods One hundred seventy-three nonmyasthenic patients with stage I or II resected thymoma were studied. Patients were divided into two groups: a thymomectomy (resection of thymoma without total thymectomy) group (n = 100) and a thymothymomectomy (resection of thymoma with total thymectomy) group (n = 73). The differences in the clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis between the two groups were examined. Results Myasthenia gravis developed postoperatively in three patients (3%) in the thymomectomy group and in 6 (8%) in the thymothymomectomy group. The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates in the thymomectomy group were 96.7% and 92.2%, and those in the thymothymomectomy group were 94.0% and 86.2%, respectively (P = 0.755). Two patients (2%) in the thymomectomy group and 4 (5%) in the thymothymomectomy group experienced recurrence. Conclusions There was no difference in prognosis/recurrence between the two groups. Thymothymomectomy might not always be necessary for nonmyasthenic patients with stage I or II thymoma. J. Surg. Oncol. 2014 109:179-183.
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