Thymoma

Overview

If you’ve been diagnosed with thymus cancer or thymoma, talk to us about treatment options. At City of Hope, our dedicated team of experts take a patient-centered approach to diagnosing and treating this disease.

Request an Appointment

If you have been diagnosed with thymoma or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment,  request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.

Our multidisciplinary staff pursues an integrated approach to treating thymus cancer by combining the latest research findings with outstanding patient care. This includes using advanced technologies and specialized techniques such as:

  • Comprehensive diagnostic tools
  • Innovative, minimally invasive surgical approaches that reduce side effects and recovery time
  • Highly precise radiation delivery, including Helical Tomotherapy
  • Individually customized chemotherapy and hormone therapy regimens
  • Clinical trials that offer promising new approaches to detect and treat thymus cancer

Additionally, City of Hope patients have access to our extensive team of supportive care experts, who will help you and your caregivers achieve and maintain a better quality of life during and after your thymus cancer treatment.

Thymoma is a tumor of the thymus gland which is located in the chest behind the breast bone. In children, the thymus gland produces immune cells, but in adulthood the thymus gland no longer serves an important function. Thymomas can be slow growing or can be more aggressive and spread in the blood stream. Thymic carcinomas are the most aggressive tumors of the thymus gland.

Thymomas may cause symptoms or be found by chance on chest X-rays or CT scans done for other reasons. Thymomas are associated with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease causing muscle weakness. Very large thymomas may also cause symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. If the thymoma appears small, your surgeon may recommend surgical removal without a biopsy. But if the tumor is large or if the diagnosis of thymoma is not certain, your surgeon may recommend that you undergo a CT-guided core needle biopsy, which is done in radiology.

Every patient is different, with different needs. At City of Hope, we treat you as a valued individual. Our entire thymoma team works together to bring you advanced surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and supportive care options that will deliver the best clinical and functional outcomes for you. You can also enroll in clinical trials for promising treatments that are not offered elsewhere.

For resectable thymomas, surgical removal of tumor is the mainstay of treatment. Patients with advanced thymoma typically receive chemotherapy prior to surgery, and may receive radiation therapy after surgery.

Your care continues long after treatment is completed, and we are committed to helping you and your loved ones manage your recovery.

 

City of Hope’s renowned physicians and researchers utilize the latest in technology and innovation to treat cancer, coupled with our enduring belief in providing unparalleled compassionate care.

Diagnostic Radiology

Arnold J. Rotter, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Diagnostic Radiology

Medical Oncology

Mihaela C. Cristea, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Medical Oncology
Marianna Koczywas, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Medical Oncology
Karen Reckamp, M.D., M.S.

Clinical Specialties

  • Medical Oncology

Radiation Oncology

Sagus Sampath, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Radiation Oncology

Thoracic Surgery

Jae Y. Kim, M.D.

Clinical Specialties

  • Thoracic Surgery
Dan J. Raz, M.D., M.A.S.

Clinical Specialties

  • Thoracic Surgery

City of Hope is a recognized leader in thymus cancer research. We offer access to numerous clinical trials and new therapies that are not readily available elsewhere. Our latest research includes developing more precise surgical and radiation techniques for better tumor removal, identifying drugs that can better fight the cancer throughout the body and boosting quality of life for our patients and survivors.

When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your family take each step during and after your endometrial cancer treatment. We can help with all of these concerns, and more:

  • Managing side effects
  • Pain management
  • Navigating the health care system
  • Your emotional, social and spiritual health
  • Fertility and sexuality concerns
  • Handling and coping with stress
  • Staying healthy and active
  • Healthy cooking and eating
  • Healing arts
  • Caregiver skills
  • Restoring normalcy in your family, job or school routine

Learn more about these resources at our Living with Cancer or Supportive Care Medicine sites.