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April 1966

Thymic Tumors: Classification and Treatment

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Veterans Administration Research Hospital, and the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium, Chicago.

Arch Surg. 1966;92(4):617-622. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01320220173027

TUMORS of the thymus comprise approximately 10% of all mediastinal tumors and as a consequence are the fourth most frequently encountered lesions in this anatomical compartment. However, any one surgeon's experience with these tumors remains relatively small, and of necessity one must look for guidance from the experience of others. Unfortunately, little or no agreement exists in the literature as to the classification or treatment of thymic tumors.*

Despite intensive study by the pathologists, the histologic interpretation of thymic tumors remains confused. Of even more importance is that frequently the benign or malignant potential of such a tumor may not be apparent from histologic evaluation. In such instances a tumor's malignancy or benignancy must be deduced from its clinical behavior and its gross aspects at the time of operation. Thus, the surgeon often finds himself in the unique position of being able to determine best the true nature of a

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