Treatment options for thymoma and thymic carcinomas
Every patient is different, with different needs. At City of Hope, we treat you as a valued individual. Our entire thymic malignancies team works together to bring you advanced, minimally invasive 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 investigational treatments that are not offered elsewhere.
Removing tumors surgically is a mainstay of treatment for thymic malignancies at City of Hope, using minimally invasive robotic procedures if at all possible. Because our surgeons have amassed a level of experience that few centers can match, they can operate on some patients with advanced disease who have been turned away elsewhere.
For thymoma, if a tumor is 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 computed tomography-guided core needle biopsy, which is done in radiology.
Thymectomy, or surgical removal of the thymus, also may be used to treat myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease closely related to thymoma that causes muscle weakness. In fact, a 2016 New England Journal of Medicine study following patients for three years after surgery showed that thymectomy resulted in better clinical outcomes for myasthenia gravis. City of Hope’s expertise in this surgery can help myasthenia gravis patients or even achieve remission.
Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy
Chemotherapy also is a standard treatment, and some patients may receive radiation therapy after surgery. We offer stereotactic body radiation, a new technology that reduces side effects by delivering focused and precise radiation while taking into account breathing motion, often done alongside image-guided radiation therapy.
Beyond fighting disease, your care continues long after treatment is completed, and we are committed to helping you and your loved ones manage your recovery.