American Radium Society Appropriate Use Criteria for Radiation Therapy in the Multidisciplinary Management of Thymic Carcinoma

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JAMA Oncol


IMPORTANCE: Thymic carcinoma is rare, and its oncologic management is controversial due to a paucity of prospective data. For this reason, multidisciplinary consensus guidelines are crucial to guide oncologic management.

OBJECTIVE: To develop expert multidisciplinary consensus guidelines on the management of common presentations of thymic carcinoma.

EVIDENCE REVIEW: Case variants spanning the spectrum of stage I to IV thymic carcinoma were developed by the 15-member multidisciplinary American Radium Society (ARS) Thoracic Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) expert panel to address management controversies. A comprehensive review of the English-language medical literature from 1980 to 2021 was performed to inform consensus guidelines. Variants and procedures were evaluated by the panel using modified Delphi methodology. Agreement/consensus was defined as less than or equal to 3 rating points from median. Consensus recommendations were then approved by the ARS Executive Committee and subject to public comment per established ARS procedures.

FINDINGS: The ARS Thoracic AUC panel identified 89 relevant references and obtained consensus for all procedures evaluated for thymic carcinoma. Minimally invasive thymectomy was rated as usually inappropriate (regardless of stage) due to the infiltrative nature of thymic carcinomas. There was consensus that conventionally fractionated radiation (1.8-2 Gy daily) to a dose of 45 to 60 Gy adjuvantly and 60 to 66 Gy in the definitive setting is appropriate and that elective nodal irradiation is inappropriate. For radiation technique, the panel recommended use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy or proton therapy (rather than 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy) to reduce radiation exposure to the heart and lungs.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The ARS Thoracic AUC panel has developed multidisciplinary consensus guidelines for various presentations of thymic carcinoma, perhaps the most well referenced on the topic.

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ePub ahead of print