Medline: 1463122

American Journal of Surgery 164(6): 671-676, 1992.

Prognostic factors and management considerations in patients with cervical metastases of thyroid cancer.

Coburn MC, Wanebo HJ


Included among the controversies involving thyroid cancer are the risk factors and treatment decisions in patients with nodal metastases. We have reviewed selected clinical, pathologic, and therapeutic parameters in patients who present with cervical node metastases and related these parameters to disease outcome. There were 108 patients (68 women, 40 men), who had a mean age of 54 years. Univariate analysis showed a significantly increased risk of recurrence to be associated with the presence of primary tumor invasion (vascular, lymphatic, nerve, or muscle), the age and sex of the patient, the presence of mediastinal nodes, and adjuvant treatment with iodine 131. The presence of tumor invasion, the age and sex of the patient, and the presence of mediastinal nodes were significantly associated with higher rates of recurrence when tested by multivariate analysis. The 5- and 10-year disease-free survival rates were 76% and 72%, respectively, with a mean follow-up of 86 months. A comparison of recurrence and survival rates in thyroid cancer patients who were either node positive or node negative during the same 10-year period (152 patients) showed no statistically significant differences. However, node-positive patients with the risk factors of tumor invasion, age over 45 years, and positive mediastinal nodes had more aggressive disease. Although thyroid cancer patients with nodal metastases generally have a good prognosis, high-risk subgroups have been identified who may benefit from a more aggressive therapeutic and follow-up approach.

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Dr. G. Quade