What is ITMIG?

The International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group

ITMIG is an academic organization that provides structure and organization for the advancement of clinical and basic science pertaining to thymic malignancies and related conditions. It is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. Formed in 2010, ITMIG has grown rapidly to become the dominant organization in this field, with multiple accomplishments and ongoing activities:


  • Established a global retrospective database with over 9000 cases to enable data driven retrospective research.

  • With joint ITMIG/IASLC partnership developed the first official stage classification system for thymic malignancies
  • Led the process to refine the WHO histologic classification


  • Selected by ASCO as “a Role Model for Rare Diseases”
  • Built the infrastructure to support a prospective database, currently with 600 cases
  • ITMIG has supported the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), which is a National Cancer Institute sponsored initiative aimed at genomic analysis of tumors. ITMIG was instrumental in getting TCGA to include a rare disease such as thymic tumors, and contributed all of the specimens to the project. This initiative would not have been possible without ITMIG. This will now enable us to perform more research based on the TCGA results.


  • Assembled an online, virtual tumor bank. It is hoped that these tissues will be used one day for laboratory studies that stem from the TCGA results.


  • ITMIG conducts an annual scientific meeting every fall, where cutting edge research is presented and collaborations are fostered.
  • ITMIG offers a monthly worldwide tumor board, to help doctors around the world who encounter a difficult case in these rare tumors, thus providing, free of charge, ITMIG’s expert opinion.

It is an organization for the patients: current and future

Current and recent activities:

  • Database:
    • Set up for database transfer


  • Research:
    • Analysis Postoperative Radiation Therapy for Thymic Carcinoma – Analysis of the ITMIG/ESTS
    • Multi-institutional international study of the distribution of mediastinal lesions at presentation
    • Validation and refinements to the ITMIG/IASLC Thymic Epithelial Tumors Staging Project for the upcoming 9th Edition of the TNM Classification of Malignant Tumors
    • Analysis of thymic epithelial tumor outliers- unexpected outcome, can it be predicted?


  • Education:
    • Monthly tumor board live cases
    • Publication of monthly tumor board cases for educational case reports of challenging cases
    • Thymic epithelial malignancy WebEx hour for thymoma patients- overview, questions and answers
    • Online video teaching modules for surgical technique


    • The first ITMIG educational pathology workshop- October 10th, 2019
    • Set up for the two-day long ITMIG educational pathology workshop – October 14-15, 2021 – postponed to 2022
    • Set up for the first ITMIG imaging mediastinal tumors workshop – October 14, 2021 – postponed to 2022

There is so much to do:

  • Database development
    • Transfer database to its new hub
    • Fund a data manager
    • Fund maintenance of the database
    • Form the infrastructure to store image data in addition to words


  • Research
    • Perform pilot studies which will leverage into obtaining an NIH grant
    • Perform a clinical trial
    • Form the infrastructure to house a multi-institutional clinical trial (regulatory and accounting issues)


  • Fund ad hoc projects
    • Workshops to address specific international issues related to this disease
    • Creation of publications and their dissemination to educate caregivers and patients
    • Build an educational resource for adult learning with learning modules – to help clinicians with judgement in the treatment of the occasional patient they encounter with this rare disease
    • Create a short video for dissemination of ITMIG activities and information for patients

Tremendous momentum, unprecedented infrastructure – ITMIG is making a difference