Cisplatin, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide plus thoracic radiation therapy for limited-stage unresectable thymoma: An intergroup trial

Patrick J. Loehrer, Michael Chen, KyungMann Kim, Seena C. Aisner, Lawrence H. Einhorn, Robert Livingston, David Johnson

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202 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the response rate of cisplatin plus doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide (PAC) in patients with limited-stage unresectable thymoma. In addition, this study was undertaken to determine the toxicity, progression-free survival, and overall survival of combined-modality therapy with PAC plus radiation therapy. Patients and Methods: Patients with a histologic diagnosis of limited-stage unresectable thymoma or thymic carcinoma were eligible. Further requirements included a Karnofsky Performance Score of > 60, no prior radiation to the chest, and adequate bone marrow, hepatic, and renal function. No patient had undergone chemotherapy previously. Patients received two to four cycles (repeated every 3 weeks) of cisplatin (50 mg/m2), dexorubicin (50 mg/m2), and cyclophosphamide (500 mg/m2) followed by a total dosage of 54 Gy to the primary tumor and regional lymph nodes far patients with a stable, partial, or complete response to chemotherapy. Results: From November 1983 through January 1995, 26 patients were entered onto the trial. Three patients were ineligible on the basis of pathologic review (lung cancer, germ cell cancer, lymphoma). Toxicity, primarily hematologic, was mild, with only one early death due to a perforated abdominal viscus. Among the 23 assessable patients, there were five complete and 11 partial responses to chemotherapy (overall response rate, 69.6%). The median time to treatment failure was 93.2 months (range, 3 to 99.2+ months), and the median survival time was 93 months (range, 1 to 110 months). The 5-year survival rate is 52.5%. Conclusions: PAC combination chemotherapy produces response rates in the management of patients with limited thymoma. Combined-modality therapy is feasible and associated with prolonged progressive-free survival. The benefit of combined-modality therapy over radiation therapy alone is suggested for patients with unresectable thymoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3093-3099
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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