Thymic malignancies are relatively rare tumors. A general lack of knowledge, misconceptions about benignancy, confusion about the definition of terms, and variability in reporting of outcomes have further hampered progress in these diseases. The International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group has emerged to counter these challenges and has brought together a worldwide multidisciplinary community determined to improve outcomes for these patients. Although the organization is young (initiated in 2010), major early accomplishments have created a foundation and infrastructure for scientific research. These include consensus definitions of terms, an unprecedented global database, development of practical clinical resources and, together with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, development of proposals for the first formal stage classification of these malignant tumors. Many articles have been published or are under way, and a second phase of projects building on the early success is proceeding. The greatest accomplishment of the International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group lies in the establishment of an open culture of collaboration and the engagement of a broad group of individuals united by a common mission. It is a testament to what can be achieved, despite ongoing and inherent challenges, by determination and a collective effort.
Keywords: mediastinal tumors; thymic carcinoma; thymic malignancy; thymoma.
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