Thymus cancer

What is Thymus cancer?

The thymus is a specialized organ of the immune system. Within the thymus, T cells or T lymphocytes mature. T cells are critical to the adaptive immune system, where the body adapts specifically to foreign invaders. The thymus is composed of two identical lobes and is located anatomically in the anterior superior mediastinum, in front of the heart and behind the sternum. Histologically, each lobe of the thymus can be divided into a central medulla and a peripheral cortex which is surrounded by an outer capsule. The cortex and medulla play different roles in the development of T-cells. Cells in the thymus can be divided into thymic stromal cells and cells of hematopoietic origin (derived from bone marrow resident hematopoietic stem cells). Developing T-cells are referred to as thymocytes and are of hematopoietic origin. Stromal cells include epithelial cells of the thymic cortex and medulla, and dendritic cells.

The thymus provides an inductive environment for development of T cells from hematopoietic progenitor cells. In addition, thymic stromal cells allow for the selection of a functional and self-tolerant T cell repertoire. Therefore, one of the most important roles of the thymus is the induction of central tolerance.

The thymus is largest and most active during the neonatal and pre-adolescent periods. By the early teens, the thymus begins to atrophy and thymic stroma is mostly replaced by adipose (fat) tissue. Nevertheless, residual T lymphopoiesis continues throughout adult life.

Questions and answers on "Thymus cancer"

My friend has thymic carcinoma that has metastisized to his bones, kidneys, liver and lymph nodes. He's very thin, can barely walk but is stilll...

doctor1 MD

Hi, dear
I have gone through your question. I can understand your concern.
He has thymic carcinoma. He has metastasis in liver, kidney and brain....

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My mother has severe diarrhea and neck pain that has not been diagnosed. Over the past few weeks I have also heard her complain of double vision,...

doctor1 MD

Hello and thank you for sending your question.

Your question is a good one and I will work on providing you with some information and...

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Can the third nerve palsy have same symptoms of MG?? Two years ago had thymus cancer surgery after chemo and radiation after surgery. How they...

doctor1 MD

Dear patient
3 Rd cranial.nerve also known as opthalmic nerve supplies eye muscles. myasthenia gravis affects skeletal muscles of whole body and...

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