BACKGROUND: Systemic therapy is the primary treatment for advanced thymic malignancies. However, there is an urgent need to improve clinical outcome. Personalized treatment based on predictive biomarkers is a potential approach to address this requirement. In this study, we aimed to show the correlation between drug sensitivity tests on CTCs-derived organoids and clinical response in patients with thymic malignancies. This approach carries the potential to create personalized cancer avatars and improve treatment outcome for patients.

METHODS: We previously reported potential treatment outcome prediction with patient-derived organoids (cancer avatars) in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. To further investigate the feasibility of this approach in advanced thymic malignancies, we conducted a study in which 12 patients were enrolled and 21 liquid biopsies were performed.

RESULTS: Cancer avatars were successfully derived in 16 out of 21 samples (success rate 76.2%). We found a sensitivity of 1.0 and specificity of 0.6 for drug sensitivity tests on the cancer avatars, and a two-tailed Fisher's exact test revealed a significant correlation between drug sensitivity tests and clinical responses (p = 0.0275).

CONCLUSION: This study supports the potential of circulating tumor cell-derived organoids to inform personalized treatment for advanced thymic malignancies. Further validation of this proof of concept finding is ongoing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2591-2600
Number of pages10
JournalThoracic Cancer
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating/pathology
  • Thymus Neoplasms/pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms/pathology
  • Organoids/pathology


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