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The Biologic Spectrum of Thymic Epithelial Neoplasms: Current Status and Future Prospects

Richard T. Cheney

Thymoma is the most common anterior mediastinal tumor in adults and is frequently associated with autoimmune disorders such as myasthenia gravis. Thymomas are a diverse group of epithelial neoplasms with a behavioral spectrum that spans the complete clinical gamut from entirely benign to highly aggressive, lethal thymic carcinomas. The biologic behavior seems to depend primarily on the clinical stage at presentation and histologic subtype. This article discusses thymic organogenesis, Masaoka staging, WHO histologic classification of thymoma and thymic carcinoma, and selected molecular characteristics that highlight this diversity. This discussion will further underscore both the similarities and differences between categories of thymic epithelial neoplasms and offer support for the notion that tumor heterogeneity and/or tumor progression may explain the observed clinical variation in behavior. Recommendations are offered for future investigational approaches to further the understanding of the complexity of these tumors.

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Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Stanley J. Miller, Murad Alam, James Andersen, Daniel Berg, Christopher K. Bichakjian, Glen Bowen, Richard T. Cheney, L. Frank Glass, Roy C. Grekin, Dennis E. Hallahan, Anne Kessinger, Nancy Y. Lee, Nanette Liegeois, Daniel D. Lydiatt, Jeff Michalski, William H. Morrison, Kishwer S. Nehal, Kelly C. Nelson, Paul Nghiem, Thomas Olencki, Allan R. Oseroff, Clifford S. Perlis, E. William Rosenberg, Ashok R. Shaha, Marshall M. Urist, and Linda C. Wang

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Basal Cell Skin Cancer, Version 1.2016, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology

Christopher K. Bichakjian, Thomas Olencki, Sumaira Z. Aasi, Murad Alam, James S. Andersen, Daniel Berg, Glen M. Bowen, Richard T. Cheney, Gregory A. Daniels, L. Frank Glass, Roy C. Grekin, Kenneth Grossman, Susan A. Higgins, Alan L. Ho, Karl D. Lewis, Daniel D. Lydiatt, Kishwer S. Nehal, Paul Nghiem, Elise A. Olsen, Chrysalyne D. Schmults, Aleksandar Sekulic, Ashok R. Shaha, Wade L. Thorstad, Malika Tuli, Marshall M. Urist, Timothy S. Wang, Sandra L. Wong, John A. Zic, Karin G. Hoffmann, and Anita Engh

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin is the most common cancer, with a higher incidence than all other malignancies combined. Although it is rare to metastasize, patients with multiple or frequently recurring BCC can suffer substantial comorbidity and be difficult to manage. Assessment of risk is a key element of management needed to inform treatment selection. The overall management of BCC primarily consists of surgical approaches, with radiation therapy as an alternate or adjuvant option. Many superficial therapies for BCC have been explored and continue to be developed, including topicals, cryosurgery, and photodynamic therapy. Two hedgehog pathway inhibitors were recently approved by the FDA for systemic treatment of advanced and metastatic BCC, and others are in development. The NCCN Guidelines for Basal Cell Skin Cancer, published in full herein, include recommendations for selecting among the various surgical approaches based on patient-, lesion-, and disease-specific factors, as well as guidance on when to use radiation therapy, superficial therapies, and hedgehog pathway inhibitors.

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Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans

Stanley J. Miller, Murad Alam, James S. Andersen, Daniel Berg, Christopher K. Bichakjian, Glen M. Bowen, Richard T. Cheney, L. Frank Glass, Roy C. Grekin, Alan L. Ho, Anne Kessinger, Nanette Liegeois, Daniel D. Lydiatt, Jeff Michalski, William H. Morrison, Kishwer S. Nehal, Kelly C. Nelson, Paul Nghiem, Thomas Olencki, Clifford S. Perlis, Ashok R. Shaha, Malika Tuli, Marshall M. Urist, Linda C. Wang, and John A. Zic

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Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers

Stanley J. Miller, Murad Alam, James Andersen, Daniel Berg, Christopher K. Bichakjian, Glen Bowen, Richard T. Cheney, L. Frank Glass, Roy C. Grekin, Anne Kessinger, Nancy Y. Lee, Nanette Liegeois, Daniel D. Lydiatt, Jeff Michalski, William H. Morrison, Kishwer S. Nehal, Kelly C. Nelson, Paul Nghiem, Thomas Olencki, Clifford S. Perlis, E. William Rosenberg, Ashok R. Shaha, Marshall M. Urist, Linda C. Wang, and John A. Zic

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Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

David S. Ettinger, Wallace Akerley, Hossein Borghaei, Andrew Chang, Richard T. Cheney, Lucian R. Chirieac, Thomas A. D'Amico, Todd L. Demmy, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Ramaswamy Govindan, Frederic W. Grannis, Leora Horn, Thierry M. Jahan, Mohammad Jahanzeb, Anne Kessinger, Ritsuko Komaki, Feng-Ming (Spring) Kong, Mark G. Kris, Lee M. Krug, Inga T. Lennes, Billy W. Loo, Renato Martins, Janis O'Malley, Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, Gregory A. Otterson, Jyoti D. Patel, Mary Pinder Schenck, Katherine M. Pisters, Karen Reckamp, Gregory J. Riely, Eric Rohren, Scott J. Swanson, Douglas E. Wood, and Stephen C. Yang

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Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

David S. Ettinger, Wallace Akerley, Hossein Borghaei, Andrew C. Chang, Richard T. Cheney, Lucian R. Chirieac, Thomas A. D’Amico, Todd L. Demmy, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Ramaswamy Govindan, Frederic W. Grannis Jr, Leora Horn, Thierry M. Jahan, Mohammad Jahanzeb, Anne Kessinger, Ritsuko Komaki, Feng-Ming (Spring) Kong, Mark G. Kris, Lee M. Krug, Inga T. Lennes, Billy W. Loo Jr, Renato Martins, Janis O’Malley, Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, Gregory A. Otterson, Jyoti D. Patel, Mary C. Pinder-Schenck, Katherine M. Pisters, Karen Reckamp, Gregory J. Riely, Eric Rohren, Scott J. Swanson, Douglas E. Wood, Stephen C. Yang, Miranda Hughes, and Kristina M. Gregory

Most patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are diagnosed with advanced cancer. These guidelines only include information about stage IV NSCLC. Patients with widespread metastatic disease (stage IV) are candidates for systemic therapy, clinical trials, and/or palliative treatment. The goal is to identify patients with metastatic disease before initiating aggressive treatment, thus sparing these patients from unnecessary futile treatment. If metastatic disease is discovered during surgery, then extensive surgery is often aborted. Decisions about treatment should be based on multidisciplinary discussion.

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Thymomas and Thymic Carcinomas

David S. Ettinger, Gregory J. Riely, Wallace Akerley, Hossein Borghaei, Andrew C. Chang, Richard T. Cheney, Lucian R. Chirieac, Thomas A. D’Amico, Todd L. Demmy, Ramaswamy Govindan, Frederic W. Grannis Jr, Stefan C. Grant, Leora Horn, Thierry M. Jahan, Ritsuko Komaki, Feng-Ming (Spring) Kong, Mark G. Kris, Lee M. Krug, Rudy P. Lackner, Inga T. Lennes, Billy W. Loo Jr, Renato Martins, Gregory A. Otterson, Jyoti D. Patel, Mary C. Pinder-Schenck, Katherine M. Pisters, Karen Reckamp, Eric Rohren, Theresa A. Shapiro, Scott J. Swanson, Kurt Tauer, Douglas E. Wood, Stephen C. Yang, Kristina Gregory, and Miranda Hughes

Masses in the anterior mediastinum can be neoplasms (eg, thymomas, thymic carcinomas, or lung metastases) or non-neoplastic conditions (eg, intrathoracic goiter). Thymomas are the most common primary tumor in the anterior mediastinum, although they are rare. Thymic carcinomas are very rare. Thymomas and thymic carcinomas originate in the thymus. Although thymomas can spread locally, they are much less invasive than thymic carcinomas. Patients with thymomas have 5-year survival rates of approximately 78%. However, 5-year survival rates for thymic carcinomas are only approximately 40%. These guidelines outline the evaluation, treatment, and management of these mediastinal tumors.

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Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

David S. Ettinger, Wallace Akerley, Gerold Bepler, Matthew G. Blum, Andrew Chang, Richard T. Cheney, Lucian R. Chirieac, Thomas A. D'Amico, Todd L. Demmy, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Ramaswamy Govindan, Frederic W. Grannis Jr., Thierry Jahan, Mohammad Jahanzeb, David H. Johnson, Anne Kessinger, Ritsuko Komaki, Feng-Ming Kong, Mark G. Kris, Lee M. Krug, Quynh-Thu Le, Inga T. Lennes, Renato Martins, Janis O'Malley, Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, Gregory A. Otterson, Jyoti D. Patel, Katherine M. Pisters, Karen Reckamp, Gregory J. Riely, Eric Rohren, George R. Simon, Scott J. Swanson, Douglas E. Wood, and Stephen C. Yang

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Thymic Malignancies*

David S. Ettinger, Wallace Akerley, Gerold Bepler, Matthew G. Blum, Andrew Chang, Richard T. Cheney, Lucian R. Chirieac, Thomas A. D'Amico, Todd L. Demmy, Ramaswamy Govindan, Frederic W. Grannis Jr., Thierry Jahan, David H. Johnson, Anne Kessinger, Ritsuko Komaki, Feng-Ming Kong, Mark G. Kris, Lee M. Krug, Quynh-Thu Le, Inga T. Lennes, Renato Martins, Janis O'Malley, Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, Gregory A. Otterson, Jyoti D. Patel, Katherine M. Pisters, Karen Reckamp, Gregory J. Riely, Eric Rohren, Scott J. Swanson, Douglas E. Wood, and Stephen C. Yang