Surgery is often used to treat thymomas, and giving chemotherapy before surgery can help treat the disease in advanced cases and raise the chance of surgery being successful. The purpose of this study is to assess the safety and effectiveness of giving combination chemotherapy plus cetuximab before surgery in patients with thymoma to see if this treatment increases the chance of a cure.
Cisplatin, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide are commonly used to treat thymoma. Cetuximab will be added to this regimen before surgery. Cetuximab is approved for the treatment of advanced colorectal and head and neck cancers, but its use for thymoma is considered investigational.
It is thought that thymomas might respond to cetuximab because they contain a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor. Cetuximab works by blocking this receptor and preventing cancer cells from receiving the message to grow and multiply.
Researchers will also look at changes in genes in the tumor that may be related to the effectiveness of cetuximab.