The role of radiotherapy in the management of thymic tumors

Thorac Surg Clin. 2011 Feb;21(1):99-105, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.thorsurg.2010.08.011.


Radiotherapy is a major therapeutic modality for thymic malignancies. The exact role of adjuvant radiotherapy after complete resection is still debated for stage II through III tumors. Histology or size, capsular invasion, and even molecular data may be included in the decision making. Radiotherapy may be recommended for stage III thymomas, thymic carcinoma, or after incomplete surgical resection. Combination with chemotherapy may be useful, and must be further evaluated using validated end points, including 5- and 10-year time-to-progression and overall survival. Several initiatives have been taken worldwide to launch collaborative studies in the field, including prospective trials specifically readdressing the role of radiotherapy for thymic malignancies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated
  • Thymoma / mortality
  • Thymoma / radiotherapy*
  • Thymus Neoplasms / mortality
  • Thymus Neoplasms / radiotherapy*