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Frederik A Verburg, Uwe Mäder, Markus Luster, and Christoph Reiners

Objective

Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) show considerable differences in disease stage at initial presentation. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there are differences in tumour-specific survival if initial staging is accounted for.

Design

Retrospective chart review study.

Patients

The study sample comprised 875 PTC and 350 FTC patients (856 females, 369 males, mean age 47.8 years) treated in our hospital from 1978 to 2002. All patients received total thyroidectomy with subsequent I-131 ablation except for those patients with an isolated papillary microcarcinoma.

Methods

Kaplan–Meier analyses and Cox-regression analyses were performed to assess the influence of histology on thyroid cancer-specific survival.

Results

FTC patients were on average older, more likely to be male, presented with a larger tumour and more frequently had multifocal carcinoma and distant metastases than PTC patients, whereas they presented less frequently with extrathyroidal invasion or lymph node metastases. Twenty-year tumour-specific survival in PTC was 90.6% and in FTC 73.7% (P<0.001). In multivariate analysis the presence of distant metastases (P<0.001), age (P<0.001), tumour size (P=0.001) and the presence of extrathyroidal invasion (P=0.007), but not histology (P=0.26), were independent determinant variables for tumour-specific survival.

Conclusion

There is no difference in tumour-specific survival between PTC and FTC when accounting for the presence of metastases, age, tumour size and the presence of extrathyroidal invasion.

Free access

Hanneke M van Santen, Erik K Alexander, Scott A Rivkees, Eva Frey, Sarah C Clement, Miranda P Dierselhuis, Chantal A Lebbink, Thera P Links, Kerstin Lorenz, Robin P Peeters, Christoph Reiners, Menno R Vriens, Paul Nathan, Arthur B Schneider, and Frederik Verburg

The incidence of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) has increased rapidly over the past several years. Thus far, the only conclusively established risk factor for developing DTC is exposure to ionizing radiation, especially when the exposure occurs in childhood. Since the number of childhood cancer survivors (CCS) is increasing due to improvements in treatment and supportive care, the number of patients who will develop DTC after surviving childhood cancer (secondary thyroid cancer) is also expected to rise. Currently, there are no recommendations for management of thyroid cancer specifically for patients who develop DTC as a consequence of cancer therapy during childhood. Since complications or late effects from prior cancer treatment may elevate the risk of toxicity from DTC therapy, the medical history of CCS should be considered carefully in choosing DTC treatment. In this paper, we emphasize how the occurrence and treatment of the initial childhood malignancy affects the medical and psychosocial factors that will play a role in the diagnosis and treatment of a secondary DTC. We present considerations for clinicians to use in the management of patients with secondary DTC, based on the available evidence combined with experience-based opinions of the authors.