Clinical Oncology

[Chemotherapy of the thyroid cancer]

UHLYARIK Andrea, PETRÁNYI Ágota, RÁCZ Károly, BODOKY György

MAY 10, 2015

Clinical Oncology - 2015;2(02)

[The incidence of thyroid cancers increased signifi cantly over the past few decades, but the mortality rate decreased. The clinical course and therapy for the three types of thyroid cancer (differentiated, medullary and anaplastic) are different. The medical therapy consists of levothyroxin therapy, conventional chemotherapeutic agents and tyrosin kinase inhibitors. The aim of this review is to summarize the therapeutic options of each histological subtype.]

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[Thyroid cancers derived from follicular epithelial cells are histologically classified as papillary, follicular and anaplastic. Cancers that originate from parafollicular, or C-cells, are termed medullary carcinomas. Their annual incidence is fairly low; 3 to 7 cases per 100 000 people. After the Chernobyl disaster, however, thyroid cancers have received much attention. They often occur at young age, and frequently and early give metastases. They typically grow slowly and have a good prognosis even in the metastatic stage. The main prognostic factors include age, tumour size and extent, the completeness of surgical removal, distant metastases and tumour grade. Based on these parameters, they are classified into high-risk and low-risk groups. There are no prospective randomized studies available on the optimal treatment of thyroid cancers. Their biological aggressiveness differs according to geographic location, which explaines why the management of thyroid carcinomas has not been standardized internationally. Contrary to America and Australia, in Europe there are several endemic goitre regions, and background radiation is higher. It is generally accepted that here the standard therapy of choice is total thyreoidectomy with adequate lymph node dissection followed by postoperative radioiodine ablation. It is a reasonable demand to minimize the higher morbidity associated with radical surgery (e.g., recurrent nerve palsy, postoperative hypoparathyroidism) below 1%. It is recommended that such operations are performed by experienced thyroid surgeons in centres with multidisciplinary endocrine teams.]

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