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J Clin Oncol. 1999 Jul;17(7):2280-9.

Thymoma: state of the art.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


Thymoma is the most common tumor of the anterior mediastinum. This tumor is associated with unique paraneoplastic syndromes, such as myasthenia gravis, hypogammaglobulinemia, and pure red cell aplasia. The rarity of this tumor, however, has somewhat obscured the optimal treatment for this disease. For the majority of patients who present with localized tumor, surgical extirpation remains the standard of choice. Adjuvant radiotherapy seems to improve local control and survival. In more advanced disease, systemic therapy has been demonstrated to produce a 50% to 80% objective response rate. These observations have led to the development of multimodality therapy for the treatment of patients with advanced thymoma. In this article, we will review the current perspectives on the management of early stage and advanced thymoma.

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