Thymoma radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy X-rays or radioactive particles to attempt to destroy cancerous cells that have developed within the thymus gland, a part of the body’s lymph system that aids in the production of white blood cells. Radiation therapy may be prescribed in any of three ways: as a primary treatment when surgery is not possible, as a follow-up treatment after surgery or as a concurrent treatment with chemotherapy (after or in place of surgery). Treatment options and recommendations for thymoma are individualized based on several factors, including the cancer stage, potential side effects and the patient’s symptoms and overall health. At Moffitt Cancer Center, a multispecialty team of thymoma experts collaboratively determines the best approach for each patient. Moffitt's Radiation Oncology Program offers several types of thymoma radiation therapy, including:
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) – A machine located outside a patient’s body directs X-ray beams toward the cancer site.
- Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy – This specialized technique facilitates a highly precise application of EBRT, which can reduce radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissue.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – A computerized machine moves around a patient’s body to deliver radiation beams of varying intensities from several different angles.
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) – Real-time images of a tumor’s exact shape and location are used to guide the focused delivery of radiation.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery – This nonsurgical procedure delivers targeted radiation in one or more high dosages.
- Brachytherapy – Radioactive implants or mesh placed at or near a tumor site provides a high dose of radiation while reducing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue
- 4-D motion management and respiratory gating – Using several individual CT scans taken at various stages of the respiratory cycle, this approach allows a radiation oncologist to observe the movement of a tumor as a patient breathes and target the delivery of radiation with enhanced precision.
While Moffitt has the most advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment available for the delivery of thymoma radiation therapy, the factor that truly differentiates us as a world-class cancer center is the technical expertise of our radiation oncologists. Each member of our team has the knowledge and experience to effectively utilize these technologies to ensure the successful delivery of radiation therapy on a case-by-case basis.
Patients can receive thymoma radiation therapy and other forms of cancer treatment at Moffitt without a referral. To learn more, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced radiation oncologists.