We queried the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) prospective thymic database for descriptive analysis and for comparison with the ESTS retrospective thymic database (1990-2010).
Data were retrieved (January 2007-November 2017) for 1122 patients from 75 ESTS institutions.
There were 484 (65%) thymomas, 207 (28%) thymic carcinomas and 49 (7%) neuroendocrine thymic tumours. Staging (Masaoka) included 483 (67%) stage I and II, 100 (14%) stage III and 70 (10%) stage IV tumours. The new International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/International Thymic Malignancies Interest Group tumour, node and metastasis (TNM) classification was available for 224 patients and including 177 (85%) stage I-II, 37 (16%) stage IIIA and 10 (4%) stage IIIB tumours. Chemotherapy as induction and adjuvant treatment was used in 14% and 15% of the patients. Radiotherapy was almost exclusively used postoperatively (24%). A minimally invasive surgical approach (video-assisted thoracic surgery/robotic-assisted thoracic surgery) was used in 276 (33%) patients. The overall recurrence rate was 10.8% (N = 38). Compared to the ESTS retrospective database, the increased prevalence of thymic carcinomas (from 9% to 28%) and neuroendocrine thymic tumours (from 2% to 7%), an increase in the use of minimally invasive techniques (from 6% to 34%) and a wider use of chemotherapy as induction (from 9% to 15%) and adjuvant (from 2% to 16%) treatment were observed in the prospective database. The introduction of a set of variables considered essential for the data use ('minimum dataset') resulted in an increased average completeness rate.
The reported data from the ESTS prospective thymic database confirm the recent trends in the management of thymic tumours. The ESTS prospective thymic database represents a powerful resource open to all ESTS members for the global effort to manage these rare tumours.