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INTRODUCTION: The treatment of recurrent thymomas remains still controversial.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 1972 to 2006, 265 (114 males and 118 females ) patients with thymoma underwent
surgery at Catholic University of Sacred Heart. Twenty of these 265 patients developed a recurrence of the initial thymoma,
and they represent the population of the present study.
RESULTS: One patient died of sudden death related to respiratory failure. The overall morbidity rate was 33% and the
morbidity rate among myasthenic patients was 60%. 10 patients died during the follow-up; 2 of unrelated diseases, 2
of myasthenia gravis, and 6 of tumor growth. The overall actuarial survival rates were 43% and 37% at 5 and 10
years, respectively. Recurrences never appeared in patients with I stage of Masaoka and in type A and AB.
CONCLUSIONS: Considering the particular spread of thymoma and the encouraging results of the aggressive surgical
approach, re-resection should be recommended in respectable recurrent thymomas.