13 October 2023

Newsletter, Autumn 2023

Fig. 1. World distribution of ITMIG members – 147 active members from 21 countries

Volume 11


Welcome to this new edition of our ITMIG Newsletter summarizing the society’s activity over the last two years. 


ITMIG Committees are the core of our society, and beyond our Annual Meeting, are working all along the year on research projects, patients- and physicians-oriented initiatives, and developing the infrastructures for novel initiatives. Participation is open to all ITMIG members, and we need your input, engagement, and leadership in all these activities.

Steering Committee

by Pamela Bruce

Fig. 2. Dr. Anja Roden, ITMIG President

At the end of 2022, elections were held for the society’s Board of Directors. Nicolas Girard, Andreas Rimner, Malgorzata Szolkowska and Joshua Sonett completed their terms as President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

The new Board consists of:

President: Dr. Anja Roden (US)

Vice-President: Dr. Malgorzata Szolkowska (Poland)

Secretary: Dr. Paolo Mendogni (Italy)

Treasurer: Dr. Dirk van Raemdonck (Belgium)

The new Board of Directors took office during the annual meeting in New York (October 2023).

ITMIG Strategic Meeting, January 2023

by Edith Marom and Nicolas Girard

Fig. 3. Strategic meeting, Paris, January 2023.

ITMIG was created in 2010, in a setting where there was an unmet need for infrastructure in the field of thymic malignancies. ITMIG has had many accomplishments over the years: meetings, retrospective database and publications, pushed and participated in the creation of the TNM staging, pathological classification, TCGA, website, tumor board, and has an annual thymic awareness month. We faced international barriers for collaborative activities, especially clinical trials, the closure of the infrastructure of our prospective database.

Despite limited resources, ITMIG thrives through its diverse, multidisciplinary members. As continued growth, active global engagement and turnover is vital to the society, the Steering Committee appointed some actively engaged members for a Strategic Meeting, which took place in January 2023 at Institut Curie, Paris. The meeting aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of ITMIG’s activities, reevaluate its structure and bylaws, and establish clear mid-term and annual plans encompassing research, education, patient outreach, and more. To enhance membership engagement, diversity, and turnover, a bylaws change was proposed, subsequently approved by the steering committee and the majority of our voting members. The updated bylaw is available HERE.

            Over the next weeks, and during the ITMIG2023 Annual Meeting, some of the proposals of the strategic meeting will be discussed.

Prospective Database Committee

by Nicolas Girard

The ITMIG prospective database is being transferred to a REDCap format, which allows better self-updating, higher compatibility with other systems, and more opportunities for developing a central platform for projects. It is also compliant with recent regulation on data usage. Thanks to the TYME network, the infrastructure database is now ready. A comprehensive review of data elements to be collected was done, and new fields have been added, especially to prepare the next version of the TNM classification.

All the data previously entered are being transferred. We expect all the users to be registered in the system by the end of October 2023, to update data, and start enrolling new cases. A database manager will help all users in this matter.

By the end of 2023, a request for proposals will be launched, to start to explore the prospective database.

Education Committee

by Vincent Fang

One of the most important topics that the Education Committee (EC) is dealing with is updating the Standard Outcome Measures for Thymic Malignancies. The previous version of this document was published more than 10 years ago. Many changes have been made in diagnosis and management of thymic tumors. The EC decided to work out a new standard definition paper. The majority part of the manuscript has been drafted. The Committee will try to complete and submit it before the end of the year. The next step will be to develop ITMIG guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of thymic tumors.

Efforts have been made to promote joint studies related to the standard definitions. These include studies on recurrent pattern, treatment outcomes, and associated auto-immune disorders thorough data collection from ITMIG members. The data collection sheet has been finalized. Data collection will begin soon. We invite all ITMIG members to join us! Please, contact Dr. Filippo Lococo or Pam Bruce.

EC embarked on the idea of a ‘Journal Club’ in our website. We agreed to do it in two parts, including important literatures on diagnosis and management of thymic diseases (staging papers, ITMIG database studies, and other important documents such as the standard outcome measures) and newly published interesting papers that we come across.

The EC assisted the Communications Committee in preparing abstracts submitted to the ITMIG2021 and ITMIG2022 virtual conferences for publication in the journal Mediastinum. Thanks to continuing support from the Mediastinum all abstracts were published free of charge.

Tumor Board

In 2022 and 2023, we organized nine clinical-radiological-pathological meetings, i.e. multidisciplinary Tumor Boards, at which patient cases are presented. In order to improve the organization of the meetings, we appointed a Tumor Board chair in 2023, with Annemarie Shepherd assuming this position. Two cases presented at the Tumor Board were subsequently published in Mediastinum.

If you have a difficult thymic tumor case and would like to discuss it with other specialists, don’t delay! Go to: Virtual Tumor Board

Membership Committee (MC)

by Paolo Mendogni

The committee decided to introduce a discounted membership registration fee for residents and physicians in-training interested in joining ITMIG (100 USD; regular fee 150 USD). To take advantage of the discounted fee, a letter confirming residency/training signed by the Head of Department must be sent to the MC chair. More information you can find HERE.

To recruit new ITMIG members, MC created the invitation letters to the Italian Society of Thoracic Surgery (SICT), to residents/physicians in training and physicians – certified specialists. All invitations are sent out by ITMIG members to friendly scientific societies or institutions. If you want to help and can send our invitation to your hospital colleagues, please let us know (mail to Pam Bruce)! We will be very grateful to you for promoting ITMIG!

Fig. 5. Specialties of ITMIG members

Another initiative of the Committee is the appointment of ‘Regional Champions‘ – national leaders who would be actively involved in their respective countries in promoting the activities of ITMIG, in spreading knowledge about thymic tumors among physicians and/or patients, and in establishing cooperation with local scientific societies with similar interests.

Communication Committee (CC)

by Malgorzata Szolkowska

The main goal of CC is the promotion of ITMIG activities among members and public. This goal is realized in many different ways. CC is responsible for maintenance and updates of an ITMIG webpage and videos on (channel: ITMIG Non-profit organization), posting of news in social media, and coordination of ITMIG webinars, annual conferences and Thymic Malignancy Awareness Month.

If you would like to join our team, we welcome you! Please, contact Pam Bruce.

11th ITMIG Annual Meeting (2021)
Autumn 2021 was marked by the annual ITMIG conference. The pandemic made the meeting in Warsaw impossible but did not prevent the preparation of an interesting and valuable virtual conference program. The program included six educational sessions consisting of lectures and oral abstract presentations, a plenary and a poster session, and a Tumor Board.

One hundred six participants registered for the conference. They represented eight specialties and 21 countries. The Abstract Committee accepted 21 abstracts. Nine of them were presented as oral presentations. All accepted abstracts and summaries of invited speakers talks have been published in a Special Series issues of Mediastinum.


12th ITMIG Annual Meeting (2022)
Due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic the ITMIG 2022 Annual Meeting planned as in person meeting was organized again as a virtual event. The conference was attended by 147 participants from 30 countries. The program included six multidisciplinary sessions and one-day Pathology Workshop on thymic diseases, which included lectures and presentations of scanned microscopic slides.
The ITMIG Abstract Committee accepted 14 abstracts, which were presented as oral presentations or in a poster session. The abstract presented by Dr. James Dolezal entitled:‚Automated Histologic Subtyping of Thymic Epithelial Tumors with Deep Learning’ was selected as the best abstract of the conference. All accepted abstracts has been published in
Thymic Malignancy Awareness Month (2022, 2023)

            In 2022, ITMIG declared May as Thymic Malignancy Awareness Month (TMAM). To mark the occasion, several webinars for physicians and patients were held in May. Some were prepared in cooperation with other scientific societies (the European Society of Pathology, the Society of Thoracic Radiology, the American Radium Society) or patient support groups (ThymicUK, TUTOR). Majority of webinars were recorded and are now available on ITMIG YouTube channel.

            In addition, a patient information brochure available in 11 languages, numerous informational posts on Facebook and interviews with prominent ITMIG members were prepared and published on the Mediastinum website.

            The time and effort spent preparing the May events resulted in a significant increase in ITMIG’s visibility – within a few weeks, our subscribers increased by 1/3 and the number of subscribers to our YouTube channel doubled.

Finance Committee

by Joshua Sonett

The financial strength of ITMIG has become significantly more stable over past four years.

The organization has traditionally run on yearly budget that offered no reserve, we are currently working on building a reserve, with the goal of having two years of working capital. This will ensure organizational stability. The organization is still dependent on philanthropy as well as commercial business support of our yearly meeting, this structure has, in part, enabled our nominal dues structure.

Goals for enhanced stability in the future include building our membership as well as work toward directed governmental grants for rare disease networks. Continued philanthropic fundraising will be essential as well as partnering in educational activities that are supported by grants outside of our annual meeting.

Working Groups


Thymic Carcinoma Working Group

by Anja Roden
We have a fabulous and very engaged interdisciplinary group. 

We recently initiated a project on the pathologic and radiologic tumor response to neoadjuvant therapy in thymic carcinomas, thymomas, and thymic neuroendocrine neoplasms. Aims of the study are to assess radiologic and pathologic response to neoadjuvant therapy and to correlate response with outcome. As we are still in the early stages of the project, anyone is welcome to join the project. A workshop of participating pathologists is planned in the morning of October 7th 2024, the day after the Annual ITMIG meeting, at NYU organized by Dr. Andre Moreira. If you are interested in joining the project please email Dr. Anja Roden.

The working group is assembling a multidisciplinary survey on questions relevant to various subspecialties, specifically focusing on questions towards cooperation between subspecialties and on current state of management of patients with thymoma and thymic carcinoma, aspects that were not included in the survey published by ITMIG and led by Dr. Annemarie Shepard in 2017, PMID: 27876674.

A manuscript pertaining to postoperative radiation therapy utilizing the ITMIG and ESTS retrospective databases has been submitted for publication and is currently under review.

We would like to invite you to join our working group. We are looking for ITMIG members of any specialty interested in thymic carcinomas. Please contact Dr. Anja Roden.

Mediastinal Working Group

by Anja Roden

This very active and engaged working group is studying tumors that occur in the prevascular mediastinum but are not thymoma, thymic carcinoma, or thymic neuroendocrine neoplasms. 

We have studied the radiologic and pathologic characteristics of lipofibroadenomas and thymolipomas. This project uncovered potential pitfalls in their diagnosis. The manuscript is in preparation.

We are currently working on a primary mediastinal germ cell tumor (PMGCT) project. Because of the paucity of PMGCT studies are in general small and information is relatively sparse. Furthermore, there is currently no agreed upon staging for PMGCT. We study the morphologic and imaging features of PMGCT and will correlate those with outcome. In addition, we will correlate demographic features and surgical treatment with outcome of patients and collect molecular data. Ultimately, we would like to establish a staging system for PMGCT. Currently, we review the morphologic and immunophenotypic features of PMGCT by web meetings.

If you are interested in this working group please contact Dr. Anja Roden.

13th ITMIG Annual Meeting (ITMIG 2023)

On October 4-6, 2023, the Annual Meeting of ITMIG (13th) was held in New York. After three years of virtual meetings, we finally met in person! The conference was well attended, with 167 participants from 16 countries. The conference program included educational and scientific sessions, Radiation Oncology Workshop, patient sessions and also Oral Abstract and Poster Sessions. A total of 45 abstracts were presented. The winner for the best abstract was Dr. Sana Raoof, who presented the results of the study titled ‘Outcomes and Toxicities of Definitive Radiation Therapy for Unresected Thymic Malignancies‘. Congratulations!

All abstracts presented during the conference will be published in Mediastinum.


CLICK HERE to see photo gallery of our meeting.

Do you have any photos from the conference that you wanted to share with us?

We would be very grateful to you!  CONTACT US


Recordings of the lectures (for conference attendees only) will soon be available!

The next, 14th ITMIG Annual Meeting is planned

from October 30 to 31, 2024 in beautiful Yokohama (Japan)!