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Analysis of 25 surgical cases of thymic neuroendocrine tumors and thymic carcinoma.

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinicopathological characteristics of patients who underwent surgical resection for thymic neuroendocrine tumors (TNET) or thymic carcinoma.

METHODS: In this study, we retrospectively evaluated the clinicopathological characteristics of our surgical patients at Fukuoka University Hospital from January 1995 to December 2018.

RESULTS: There were nine cases of TNET and 16 cases of thymic carcinoma. Regarding the pathological type, the TNET group included three atypical carcinoid cases, two large cell neuroendocrine tumor cases, two small cell carcinoma cases, and two other cases. The thymic carcinoma group included 15 squamous carcinoma cases and one case of adenosquamous carcinoma. Based on the Masaoka-Koga staging system, six TNET cases and 11 thymic carcinoma cases were stage III or IV. The complete resection rate was 77% in the TNET group and 81% in the thymic carcinoma group. Additional chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy was performed in five cases of TNET and 11 cases of thymic carcinoma. The five-year survival rate and five-year disease-free survival rate were 87.5% and 75.0% in the TNET group and 58.9% and 57.1% in the thymic carcinoma group, respectively, with no significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.248 and P = 0.894, respectively). In the univariate analysis, complete resection was a statistically significant prognostic factor (P = 0.017).

CONCLUSION: In this study, no difference in prognosis was observed between TNET and thymic carcinomas. To understand the characteristics of these tumors, further case accumulation and multicenter clinical studies are needed. (243words).

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