The Journal of Medical Investigation
Online ISSN : 1349-6867
Print ISSN : 1343-1420
ISSN-L : 1343-1420
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Optimal therapy for thymoma
Kazuya Kondo
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2008 Volume 55 Issue 1,2 Pages 17-28

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Abstract

Thymoma is the most common tumor of the anterior mediastinum. This tumor is associated with unique paraneoplastic syndromes (myasthenia gravis, pure red cell aplasia, hypogammaglobulinemia, and other autoimmune diseases). The rarity of this tumor has somewhat obscured the optimal treatment. Although the histologic classification of thymoma has remained a subject of controversy for many years, the WHO classification system, published in 1999, appeared to be an advance in our understanding of thymoma. The optimal treatment for thymoma depends on its clinical stage. Surgery remains the mainstay of treatment for thymic epithelial tumors. Thymomas also have a high response rate to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Only surgical resection is performed for patients with stage I (non-invasive) thymoma. The value of postoperative radiotherapy in completely resected stage II or III tumors is questionable. Multimodality therapy involving surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy appears to increase the rate of complete resection and survival in advanced (stage III and IV) thymomas. J. Med. Invest. 55: 17-28, February, 2008

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© 2008 by The University of Tokushima Faculty of Medicine
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