The change of therapeutic trends in the thymic epithelial tumor

Chang Hyun Kang


Thymic epithelial tumor (TET) is a unique and rare malignant tumor with low incidence. The tumor shows different prognosis ranging from indolent to highly aggressive feature. A biopsy is usually not recommended if surgical treatment is expected because of the high prevalence of tumor dissemination through the biopsy tract. Therefore upfront surgery without pathologic diagnosis is common practice, especially in early-stage TET. Therefore, there is a relatively high need for minimally invasive thymectomy (MIT) because the operation should be performed in the setting of uncertain diagnosis. In advanced TET, the tumor occasionally invades vital structures including great vessels or heart, which increases the risk of incomplete resection. Pleural metastasis is also common in advanced TET. Therefore systemic treatment is an important issue in TET.