Background: Thymic carcinomas (TC) are rare tumors with challenging diagnosis and management. We aimed to describe the clinical and microscopic characteristics of TC through a literature review.
Results: 82 articles and abstracts were retained about 2913 TC. Our study contained 1760 men and 1153 women with a mean age of 55.32 years. The delay of diagnosis was specified in 10 cases and varied between 8 months and 2 years. Symptoms consisted mainly in chest pain and dyspnea. The Computed Tomography-scan (CT-scan) findings were specified in 63 cases. Microscopic findings were noticed in 1766 cases. They consisted mainly in squamous cell carcinoma in 1297 cases and undifferentiated carcinoma in 239 cases. The patients presented stage 1 tumors in 165 cases, stage II in 362 cases, stage III in 1011 cases and stage IV in 1166 cases. The treatment modalities were noticed in 2803 cases. There was no consensus of the regimen of chemotherapy or the place of the radiation therapy but all studies highlighted the key role of the complete surgical resection when possible.
Conclusion: Our results highlight the lack of consensual management of TC. The chemotherapy regimen, the second-line chemotherapy and the indications of radiation therapy seem non-consensual and need further studies. Many interrogations remain concerning the management of these tumors according to their histologic grade. The real place of targeted therapy remains to assess and the rare opinions published are based on rare and non-representative cases.
Published on: Jul 13, 2017 Pages: 58-66