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Managing patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma: insights gained from the Mayo Clinic's experience of treating 2,512 consecutive patients during 1940 through 2000.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


2,512 consecutive patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) were managed during 1940 through 2000 at the Mayo Clinic. During that period, there were two significant therapeutic trends. The first was a change in surgical practice during 1940-69 from an initial unilateral lobectomy (UL) to a bilateral lobar resection (BLR). The second was the increasing use since 1970 of I-131 for radioactive-iodine remnant ablation (RRA). The advent of BLR resulted in significantly improved tumor recurrence (TR) rates in both low-risk (MACIS scores < 6) and high-risk (MACIS scores 6+) patients, and also reduced cause-specific mortality (CSM) in high-risk patients. By contrast, RRA did not significantly improve the outcome (either CSM or TR) in low-risk (MACIS < 6) patients previously treated with initial near-total or total thyroidectomy. These data encourage a more selective use of I-131 in PTC management and do not lend support to the current widespread use of RRA in low-risk PTC.

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