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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2005 Oct;63(4):418-27.

Prognostic factors and the effect of treatment with radioactive iodine and external beam radiation on patients with differentiated thyroid cancer seen at a single institution over 40 years.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. james.brierley@rmp.uhn.on.ca



To assess the prognostic factors and the role of radioactive iodine (RAI) and external beam radiotherapy (RT) in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer.


A retrospective review of 729 patients treated between 1958 and 1998. The median follow-up was 11.3 years (range 0.3-39.8 years). Primary outcomes included time to cause-specific survival and time to local-regional relapse. Baseline and treatment variables were assessed for statistical significance using the Cox proportional hazards model.


The 10-year cause-specific survival (CSS) was 87.3% and the 10-year local-regional relapse-free rate (LRFR) was 84.9%. In multivariate analysis there was no statistically significant improvement in CSS with more aggressive treatment (i.e. more extensive surgery, the administration of RAI and/or RT). By multivariate analysis the use of RAI resulted in a statistically significant improvement in LRFR (hazard ratio 0.5; 95% confidence interval 0.3-0.8; P = 0.007). In low-risk patients at AJCC stage I < or = 45 years, there was no apparent benefit from RAI. For patients over 60, with extrathyroid extension but no gross residual disease (n = 70), adjuvant external RT resulted in statistically significantly higher CSS (10-year CSS 81.0%vs. 64.6%, P = 0.04) and LRFR (10-year LRFR 86.4%vs. 65.7%, P = 0.01).


The use of RAI was associated with improved LRFR but not in low-risk patients. External beam RT improved LRFR and CSS in high-risk patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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