What is the role of chemotherapy in the treatment of thymoma?

Updated: Dec 03, 2018
  • Author: Kendrix J Evans, MD, MS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

A few reports in the literature suggest that thymomas are chemosensitive tumors. [7] Potential candidates for chemotherapy include approximately one third of the patients with an invasive thymoma that later metastasizes and all patients with stage IV disease.

Fornasiero et al reported successful cases and some long-term survivors following the administration of a regimen of cisplatin/vincristine/doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide for incompletely resected invasive thymomas or cases with unresectable disease. [8] In 32 patients, a 47% complete and 90% overall response rate was noted with a median survival time of 15 months.

A trial conducted by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer reported that among 16 patients with recurrent or metastatic thymomas, five complete remissions and four partial remissions were observed. Median survival time in this study was 4.3 years.


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