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Endocr Pract. 2012 Mar-Apr;18(2):170-8. doi: 10.4158/EP11144.OR.

Successful management of differentiated thyroid cancer in a community-based endocrine practice.

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Mountain Diabetes and Endocrine Center, Asheville, North Carolina 28803, USA.



To describe the range of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) cases, disease complexity, and treatment outcomes seen in our 3-physician community-based general endocrine practice during an 8-year period in order to make comparisons with published cohorts from university settings.


Medical records of patients with DTC treated between 2002 and 2009 at Mountain Diabetes and Endocrine Center (Asheville, North Carolina) were reviewed. Pathologic features, staging, and disease status at last contact were determined. Multivariate analyses of adverse prognostic risk factors at diagnosis, recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone use, and radioiodine use were compared with the ultimate outcome of patients.


We treated a total of 167 patients with DTC during the study period (mean age at diagnosis, 44.4 years; mean duration of follow-up, 6.2 years). In our study cohort, 88.6% had papillary thyroid cancer, 74% had stage I disease, and 32.4% of those with papillary thyroid cancer had microscopic tumors (≤1 cm). Remission occurred in 67.1%, 17.1% had persistent disease, and 11.8% were indeterminate for remission; non-thyroid cancer death occurred in 2.6% and disease-specific death in 1.3%. The mean number of adverse prognostic risk factors per patient was 2.0 in those with remission and 4.7 in those with persistent disease.


Community-based endocrinologists evaluate the full spectrum of thyroid cancer disease complexity and can achieve excellent outcomes. In our current study group, disease persistence and disease-specific death occurred in 17.1% and 1.3%, respectively. Individualization of care based on prognostic variables guided our diagnostic and therapeutic decisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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