Outcomes and Safety Analysis in Superior Vena Cava Resection for Extended Thymic Epithelial Tumors

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Background: In stage III to IVa thymic epithelial tumors (TETs), infiltration of the superior vena cava (SVC) is not rare. The extent of SVC resection depends on the width of the area of neoplastic invasion. Our article aims to evaluate the safety and long-term outcomes of extended thymectomy for TETs with SVC resection compared with advanced-stage TETs patients without SVC resection. Methods: Retrospective review of the experience on patients who underwent extended thymectomy for TETs in the last 20 years, according to STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) methodology. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. A backward stepwise Cox regression multivariate analysis was performed to determine factors associated with long-term outcomes. Results: A total of 78 patients underwent surgery for advanced-stage TETs (Masaoka-Koga stages III-IVa) from January 1998 to April 2019. Fourteen (17.9%) underwent thymectomy with resection of SVC. Presence of a thymic carcinoma (hazard ratio, 2.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.82-6.18; P = .038) and the SVC resection (hazard ratio, 1.89; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-3.96; P = .041) were adverse prognostic factors at multivariate analysis. The median OS and the PFS of all SVC resected patients were 50 (range, 5-207) months and 31 (range, 5-151) months, respectively. There was no significant difference in OS (P = .28) and PFS (P = .32) between SVC-resected and non–SVC-resected patients. Conclusions: SVC resection is a safe and effective procedure to restore the venous system continuity and does not seem to affect survival and disease recurrence. This surgical approach allows radical resection of locally advanced TETs, even after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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