Chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel after failure of primary chemotherapy for advanced thymic carcinoma. A report of three cases and review of the literature

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For patients with inoperable thymic carcinoma, multidrug chemotherapy containing cisplatin and an anthracycline is often used as first-line chemotherapy. A commonly applied regimen is cisplatin + doxorubicin + vincristine + cyclophosphamide (ADOC). There are relatively few reports on the use of carboplatin and paclitaxel as first-line chemotherapy for thymic carcinoma. In addition, little is known about its efficacy as second-line chemotherapy in patients with advanced thymic carcinoma. We here report on three patients with thymic carcinoma who were treated with carboplatin and paclitaxel as second-line chemotherapy after failure of ADOC. According to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1, one patient achieved a partial response and two patients achieved stable disease. The median progression-free survival was 6.7 months and the median overall survival exceeded 3 years. Toxicities were well tolerated. Chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel appears to be effective as second-line chemotherapy for some persons with thymic carcinoma who fail ADOC.

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