Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Cesar A. Moran
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5802-2


An epithelial neoplasm derived from the thymic epithelium.


Thymomas are among the most common epithelial tumors of the thymic gland. The tumor may occur at any age, but it is very unusual for this neoplasm to occur in the pediatric age group. The tumor is most likely to occur in adult individuals of over 40 years of age. The most common anatomic site is in the anterior mediastinum. However, in rare instances, thymomas may also arise in the lung, pleura, and neck. Clinically, patients with thymomas may be completely asymptomatic, and their tumors may become apparent during a routine physical examination. Radiological studies will disclose the presence of an anterior mediastinal mass. On the other hand, thymomas may be associated with other medical conditions such as myasthenia gravis. In some series, myasthenia gravis has been associated with thymomas as high as 30–60 % of the cases. Although myasthenia gravis is often associated with thymomas, a long and wide...


Cytologic Atypia Anterior Mediastinum Routine Physical Examination Anterior Mediastinal Mass Nodular Type 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyM D Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA