Treatments for stage 4 thymus cancer
Chemotherapy is usually offered for stage 4 thymic carcinoma. A chemotherapy combination with cisplatin (Platinol AQ) is used most often. It may be given:
- before surgery, either alone or at the same time as radiation therapy (called chemoradiation)
- after surgery to control the growth of any remaining cancer
- alone or at the same time as radiation therapy when surgery can’t be done
Radiation therapy @(Model.HeadingTag)>
You may be offered radiation therapy for stage 4 thymus cancer. External radiation therapy may be given:
- at the same time as chemotherapy (called chemoradiation) and before surgery to shrink the tumour
- alone or at the same time as chemotherapy when surgery can’t be done
- after surgery or chemotherapy to control the growth of any remaining cancer
Brachytherapy (a type of internal radiation therapy) may be used as palliative therapy for thymoma that has spread to the
You may be offered surgery for stage 4 thymomas. But because stage 4 thymus cancer has already spread to other parts of the body, surgery may not be possible.
Surgery is usually done after chemotherapy or chemoradiation. It is not usually the first treatment. A total thymectomy is done to remove the thymus and as much cancer as possible that has grown into tissue around the thymus.
Debulking surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible may be used for some cases of stage 4 thymus cancer. It mainly helps reduce symptoms caused by growth of the cancer.
If thymus cancer has spread to one part of the
If you can’t have or don’t want cancer treatment @(Model.HeadingTag)>
You may want to consider a type of care to make you feel better without treating the cancer itself. This may be because the cancer treatments don’t work anymore, they’re not likely to improve your condition or they may cause side effects that are hard to cope with. There may also be other reasons why you can’t have or don’t want cancer treatment.
Talk to your healthcare team. They can help you choose care and treatment for advanced cancer.
Clinical trials @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Alberta Health Services. Thymic Neoplasms Clinical Practice Guideline LU-008 (Version 2). 2012: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/hp/cancer/if-hp-cancer-guide-lu008-thymic.pdf.
Cameron RB, Loehrer PJ, Lee PP . Neoplasms of the mediastinum. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 43:560-569.
Cancer Care Ontario. Evidence-Based Series 7-11: The Management of Thymoma - Guideline Recommendations (Summary). Version 2 ed. 2014: https://www.cancercare.on.ca/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=14168.
National Cancer Institute. Thymoma and Thymic Carcinoma Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2015: https://www.cancer.gov/types/thymoma/hp/thymoma-treatment-pdq.
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Clinical Practice Guidelines: Lung Site - Thymoma. 2015: http://www.uhn.ca/PrincessMargaret/Health_Professionals/Programs_Departments/Documents/CPG_Lung_Thymoma%20.pdf.