Limited resection for early-stage thymoma: Minimally invasive resection does not mean limited resection

Kazuo Nakagawa, Hisao Asamura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Standard resection for patients with thymoma is resection of thymoma with total thymectomy (TTx) via median sternotomy. Hence, limited resection for thymoma means a lesser extent of resection of normal thymus compared with a standard procedure, i.e. resection of thymoma with partial thymectomy (PTx). In contrast, minimally invasive resection has been defined as resection of thymoma with TTx via a less-invasive approach. However, to date, few studies have precisely evaluated the differences in surgical and oncological outcomes among these three procedures. This report summarizes the differences among these three procedures with a review of studies (January 2000 to December 2020) focusing on the difference in surgical and oncological outcomes and presents current issues in the surgical management of thymoma. In this report, 16 studies were identified; 5 compared standard resection to limited resection, 9 compared standard resection to minimally invasive resection and 2 compared limited resection to minimally invasive resection. Most studies reported that the surgical and oncological outcomes of limited resection or minimally invasive resection were similar to those of standard resection in patients with early-stage thymoma. However, they did not include a sufficient follow-up period. Both limited resection and minimally invasive resection for early-stage thymoma might be reasonable treatment options. However, they are still promising modes of resection. Further studies with a long follow-up period are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1197-1203
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese journal of clinical oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 1


  • limited resection
  • minimally invasive resection
  • standard resection
  • surgery
  • thymoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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