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Volume 17, Number 6, 2012

Entire hemithorax irradiation for Masaoka stage IVa thymomas

André Soares, Luís Vasco Louro, Marta Almeida, Olga Sousa


Thymomas are rare neoplasms that have an indolent growth with a preferentially intra-thoracic dissemination pattern. Surgery is currently the standard treatment of thymomas; however radiotherapy is often used in an adjuvant setting due to a high sensitivity of these tumors to such treatment. Postoperative entire hemithoracic irradiation has been used in selected Masaoka stage IVa cases after complete surgical excision of metastatic lesions.

In the present article, the authors report three cases of Masaoka stage IVa thymoma that underwent entire hemithorax irradiation after surgical excision of metastatic lesions. The first two patients presented as stage IVa thymomas. The third case consisted of a pleural recurrence of a thymoma.

Hemithoracic irradiation with low doses has been used by different authors; the available data shows that it is a well-tolerated treatment that could potentially lead to better loco-regional control and increased overall survival.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2012; 17(6) : 384-388

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