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ISRN Endocrinol. 2012;2012:816386. doi: 10.5402/2012/816386. Epub 2012 Mar 7.

Radioactive iodine therapy decreases recurrence in thyroid papillary microcarcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, 4921 Parkview Place, Mailstop no. 90-38-635, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Background. The most appropriate therapy for papillary microcarcinoma (PMC) is controversial. Methods. We reviewed the therapy and outcome of 407 patients with PMC. Results. Three hundred-eighty patients underwent total thyroidectomy, and 349 patients received I-131 therapy. The median followup was 5.3 years. Forty patients developed recurrent disease. On univariate analysis, development of disease recurrence was correlated with histological tumor size > 0.8 cm (P = 0.0104), age < 45 years (P = 0.043), and no I-131 therapy (P < 0.0001). On multivariate analysis, histological tumor size > 0.8 cm, positive lymph nodes, and no I-131 therapy were significant. The 5-year RFS for patients treated with I-131 was 95.0% versus 78.6% (P < 0.0001) for patients not treated with I-131. Patients with lymph node metastasis who did not receive I-131 had a 5-year RFS of 42.9% versus 93.2% (P < 0.0001) for patients who received I-131. Conclusions. Recommend I-131 remnant ablation for patients with PMC, particularly patients with lymph node metastasis.

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