Postoperative Radiation Therapy Is Associated with Longer Overall Survival in Completely Resected Stage II and III Thymoma—An Analysis of the International Thymic Malignancies Interest Group Retrospective Database

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Abstract

Objectives:

The aim of this study was to determine whether postoperative radiation therapy (PORT) is associated with an overall survival (OS) benefit in patients with completely resected Masaoka or Masaoka-Koga stage II and III thymoma.

Methods:

All patients with completely resected (R0) stage II or III thymoma were identified in a large database of the International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group. Clinical, pathologic, treatment, and follow-up information were extracted. OS was the primary end point. A univariate analysis using the log-rank test was performed, and a multivariate Cox model was created to identify factors associated with OS.

Results:

Of 1263 patients meeting the selection criteria, 870 (69%) had stage II thymoma. The WHO histologic subtype was A/AB in 360 patients (30%) and B1/B2/B3 in 827 (70%). PORT was given to 55% of patients (n = 689), 15% (n = 180) received chemotherapy, and 10% (n = 122) received both. The 5- and 10-year OS rates for patients having undergone an operation plus PORT were 95% and 86%, respectively, compared with 90% and 79% for patients receiving an operation alone (p = 0.002). This OS benefit remained significant when patients with stage II (p = 0.02) and stage III thymoma (p = 0.0005) were analyzed separately. On multivariate analysis, earlier stage, younger age, absence of paraneoplastic syndrome, and PORT were significantly associated with improved OS.

Conclusions:

We observed an OS benefit with the use of PORT in completely resected stage II and III thymoma. In the absence of a randomized trial, this represents the most comprehensive analysis of individual patient data and strong evidence in favor of PORT in this patient population.

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