Objectives: Pleural metastases of thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) are relatively common, and this unique growth pattern makes the use of RECIST (response evaluation criteria in solid tumors) response criteria difficult. To standardize tumor measurement in TETs, the International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group (ITMIG) has proposed newly developed criteria. We compared evaluation of objective response between ITMIG modified criteria and RECIST 1.1 in patients with TET treated with systemic chemotherapy. Patients and methods: We retrospectively evaluated the tumor response of 40 patients with unresectable TET who were enrolled in a phase II clinical trial using ITMIG modified criteria, and compared the findings with prospectively evaluated tumor response assessed by RECIST 1.1. Agreement analyses for the response at each time point, including overall response and declaring progression, were performed and the time to progression (TTP) was also assessed using the two different measurements. Results: The overall response rate assessed by the two methods did not differ significantly, with kappa value of 0.897. Agreement analysis for declaring progression of disease (PD) at the date of RECIST 1.1-designated PD showed 95% concordance rate with ITMIG modified criteria (p = 1.000, kappa index = 0.875). The median TTP according to RECIST 1.1 and ITMIG modified criteria was 8.4 and 7.9 months (p = 0.983), respectively. Validation with another cohort of 27 TET patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy also showed a 96% concordance rate in overall response between the two different criteria. Conclusions: ITMIG modified criteria showed a high concordance rate with RECIST 1.1 criteria in response assessment of TETs. Given the rarity of TETs, further evaluation of ITMIG modified criteria in a larger number of patients will be required before their implementation in clinical trials.
- Response criteria
- Thymic epithelial tumor