This study aimed to analyze the pattern of lymphogenous and hematogenous metastases in patients with stage IVb thymic carcinomas and identify prognostic factors for their survivals.
Between September 1978 and October 2014, 68 patients with pathologically confirmed stage IVb thymic carcinomas were treated at Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center. Forty-three patients had lymph node involvement without distant metastases, and the remaining 25 patients had hematogenous metastases. Clinical-pathological characteristics, including age, sex, histologic subtype, tumor size, metastasis, treatment modalities, such as surgical resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, and clinical outcomes, such as overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS), were analyzed.
The median follow-up time was 22 months (range, 1–126 months). The median OS of all patients with stage IVb thymic carcinomas was 30 months, and the 5-year overall survival rate was 25.1%. The median PFS was 11 months, and the 5-year PFS was 17.9%. Stage IVb patients with lymph node involvement had a better survival than those with distant metastasis (40 vs. 20 months, p = 0.002). Patients with myasthenia gravis had a worse prognosis (p = 0.033). Multivariate analysis identified metastatic status as an independent prognostic factor for OS in patients with stage IVb thymic carcinomas.
Patients with lymph node involvement had a better survival than those with distant metastases. Much work remains to investigate the prognosis of patients with stage IVb thymic carcinomas and to explore different treatment strategies for patients with lymph node involvement and distant metastases.
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- Stage IVb thymic carcinoma: patients with lymph node metastases have better prognoses than those with hematogenous metastases
- BioMed Central
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