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Curr Opin Oncol. 2010 Jan;22(1):6-10. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0b013e3283339d5d.

Recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone as an alternative for thyroid hormone withdrawal in thyroid cancer management.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.



The purpose of the review is to summarize the current findings of using recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH, also known as Thyrogen) as adjuvant stimulation for diagnostic monitoring, thyroid remnant ablation, and treatment of metastatic thyroid cancer.


A negative Thyrogen-stimulated thyroglobulin level has a negative predictive value of up to 98.5%. Therefore, it is unnecessary to repeat a Thyrogen-stimulated thyroglobulin level in the surveillance of patients with a negative result. There are no significant differences found in the rate of recurrence or persistent disease between Thyrogen-assisted and thyroid hormone withdrawal-ablated patient groups. Studies have shown that rapid clearance of excess radioiodine from the body in the euthyroid state with Thyrogen stimulation has significantly reduced whole body radiation exposure as compared with the hypothyroid state in withdrawal patients.


Thyrogen-assisted diagnosis and radioiodine ablation of thyroid remnant provide a reliable tool in the management of thyroid cancer without sacrificing patient quality of life. We believe that the use of Thyrogen for radioiodine treatment of metastatic thyroid cancer may also provide a better option due to its rapid preparation time and safety. Further prospective studies are required for the assessment of long-term outcomes.

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