Eng TY, Thomas CR. Radiation therapy in the management of thymic tumors

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA.
Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 02/2005; 17(1):32-40. DOI: 10.1053/j.semtcvs.2004.12.005
Source: PubMed


Thymic tumors including thymomas, thymic carcinomas, and thymic carcinoid tumors, are relatively infrequent. These tumors with a wide spectrum of histological and biological features may exhibit an indolent clinical course (thymomas) or manifest an aggressive behavior (thymic carcinoma) with a high risk of relapse and metastasis. Successful management of these tumors depends on accurate diagnosis, thorough staging, proper assessment of patient health status, and selection of treatment modality. Surgery remains the mainstay of therapy whereas radiation therapy plays an important role in subtotally resected or unresectable cases. The risk of side effects and late sequelae is generally low when proper radiation technique is employed. This review examines the current role of radiation therapy in the management of these tumors.

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