Send to

Choose Destination
J Thorac Oncol. 2015 Oct;10(10):1383-95. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0000000000000654.

The 2015 World Health Organization Classification of Tumors of the Thymus: Continuity and Changes.

Author information

*Institute of Pathology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany; †Department of Pathology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong, China; ‡Department of Pathology, Institut Bergonié, Bordeaux, France; §Department of Thoracic Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; ‖Department of Respiratory Medicine, Louis Pradel Hospital, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France; ¶Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; #Hematopathology Section, Laboratory of Pathology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland; **Gemeinschaftspraxis für Pathologie, Zurich, Switzerland; ††Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel; ‡‡Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York; §§Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Saiseikai Central Hospital, Tokyo, Japan; ‖‖Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York; and ¶¶Department of Pathology, Institute of Pathology, University Medical Center Göttingen, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.


This overview of the 4th edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of thymic tumors has two aims. First, to comprehensively list the established and new tumor entities and variants that are described in the new WHO Classification of thymic epithelial tumors, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, dendritic cell and myeloid neoplasms, and soft-tissue tumors of the thymus and mediastinum; second, to highlight major differences in the new WHO Classification that result from the progress that has been made since the 3rd edition in 2004 at immunohistochemical, genetic and conceptual levels. Refined diagnostic criteria for type A, AB, B1-B3 thymomas and thymic squamous cell carcinoma are given, and it is hoped that these criteria will improve the reproducibility of the classification and its clinical relevance. The clinical perspective of the classification has been strengthened by involving experts from radiology, thoracic surgery, and oncology; by incorporating state-of-the-art positron emission tomography/computed tomography images; and by depicting prototypic cytological specimens. This makes the thymus section of the new WHO Classification of Tumours of the Lung, Pleura, Thymus and Heart a valuable tool for pathologists, cytologists, and clinicians alike. The impact of the new WHO Classification on therapeutic decisions is exemplified in this overview for thymic epithelial tumors and mediastinal lymphomas, and future perspectives and challenges are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center