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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

World Journal of Surgical Oncology 1/2017

Evaluation of the new TNM-staging system for thymic malignancies: impact on indication and survival

World Journal of Surgical Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2017
Michael Ried, Maria-Magdalena Eicher, Reiner Neu, Zsolt Sziklavari, Hans-Stefan Hofmann



The objective of this study is the evaluation of the Masaoka-Koga and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)/International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group (ITMIG) proposal for the new TNM-staging system on clinical implementation and prognosis of thymic malignancies.


A retrospective study of 76 patients who underwent surgery between January 2005 and December 2015 for thymoma. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis was used to determine overall and recurrence-free survival rates.


Indication for surgery was primary mediastinal tumor (n = 55), pleural manifestation (n = 17), or mediastinal recurrence (n = 4) after surgery for thymoma. Early Masaoka-Koga stages I (n = 9) and II (n = 14) shifted to the new stage I (n = 23). Advanced stages III (Masaoka-Koga: n = 20; ITMIG/IASLC: n = 17) and IV (Masaoka-Koga: n = 33; ITMIG/IASLC: n = 35) remained nearly similar and were associated with higher levels of WHO stages. Within each staging system, the survival curves differed significantly with the best 5-year survival in early stages I and II (91%). Survival for stage IV (70 to 77%) was significantly better compared to stage III (49 to 54%). Early stages had a significant longer recurrence-free survival (86 to 90%) than advanced stages III and IV (55 to 56%).


The proportion of patients with IASLC/ITMIG stage I increased remarkably, whereas the distribution in advanced stages III and IV was nearly similar. The new TNM-staging system presents a clinically useful and applicable system, which can be used for indication, stage-adapted therapy, and prediction of prognosis for overall and recurrence-free survival.
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