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August 25, 2006
Value of Thymectomy In MG To Be Tested
A multinational trial to determine the value of removing the thymus as a treatment for myasthenia gravis (MG) has opened at some 70 centers in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Removing the thymus, an organ of the immune system located in the chest, involves a surgical procedure known as a “thymectomy,” and it has long been used as a treatment for MG, a disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the parts of muscle fibers that receive signals from the nervous system.
But, until now, no systematic study has been conducted that measures what, if any, benefit there is for patients in adding thymectomy to standard MG medications, such as prednisone. This study is designed to determine whether thymectomy provides additional control of MG symptoms or reduces the amount of prednisone patients need.
The trial is seeking adults with MG who are between 18 and 60, willing to be randomly assigned to receive prednisone and a thymectomy or prednisone alone, willing to be studied for at least three years, and meet other criteria.
For details, see the study’s Web site at www.soph.uab.edu/mgtx/, or call Greg Minisman at the University of Alabama-Birmingham at (205) 934-4905.
Return to the Previous Page My thymectomy was performed in June of 1992. I never recieved any benefits from that we know of. I will be watching this research very carefully. I will never regret having the surgery done, because, while it was a dramatic surgery, it was done on the best research available at the time. To this day, if they told me that they thought they left a piece of the thymus, and if they went back in and took it out, I'd go into remission ... I'd let them do it. Largely, because at this point, I'd do anything for remission, but also, because, it just did not hurt THAT much, for THAT long in the grand scheme of life. At the time, Having your chest cut opened and seemed like a big deal, having 6 weeks of recovery time seemed overwhelming, but hindsight, it really doesn't IF it was going to offer me my future, or hope of my future. I do wonder, however, how much the thymectomy contributed to the severity of the costochondritis that I have. (that is blamed on the lupus).