Thymoma: benign appearance, malignant potential.
Thymoma is a rare tumor with a largely indolent growth pattern. It does, however, have malignant potential as a result of its ability to invade locally and metastasize regionally. Often associated with a number of immune- and nonimmune-mediated paraneoplastic syndromes, patient outcomes are directly related to stage of disease and the ability to achieve a complete surgical resection. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment, with adjuvant radiation recommended for invasive thymoma. Sensitive to both chemotherapy and radiation, durable responses are achievable in incompletely resected and inoperable patients. We present two cases of thymoma followed by a general discussion with an emphasis on treatment for both early and advanced-stage disease.
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