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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 May;97(5):1526-35. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-2512. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

Impact on overall survival of radioactive iodine in low-risk differentiated thyroid cancer patients.

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Thyroid Cancer Registry, Institut Jean Godinot, 51100 Reims, France.



American Thyroid Association and European Thyroid Association guidelines cannot recommend for or against radioactive iodine (RAI) ablation after surgery in low-risk differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients.


The objective of the study was to assess the survival benefit of RAI for these patients.


We identified 1298 DTC patients at low risk treated between 1975 and 2005. Logistic regressions were used to identify variables associated to RAI and to calculate the propensity score to receive RAI after surgery. We compared overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) according to RAI with the log-rank tests and univariate and multivariate Cox analyses. Analyses stratified on propensity score were also performed.


Median follow-up was 10.3 yr. Nine hundred eleven patients received RAI after surgery vs. 387 patients without RAI after surgery. Using univariate analysis, 10-yr OS was found to be 95.8% in patients without RAI after surgery vs. 94.6% in RAI after surgery (P = 0.006), and 10-yr DFS was found to be 93.1% vs. 88.7% (P = 0.001). All clinical factors except sex were significantly associated with RAI. Using multivariate Cox analyses, RAI was neither significantly nor independently associated with OS (P = 0.243) and DFS (P = 0.2659). After stratification on propensity score, Cox univariate analyses showed that OS did not differ according to RAI (P = 0.3524), with a hazard ratio for RAI of 0.75 (95% confidence interval 0.40-1.38). Similarly, DFS did not differ (P = 0.48) with a stratified univariate hazard ratio of 1.11 (95% confidence interval 0.73-1.70).


With a long-term follow-up of 10.3 yr, we failed to prove any survival benefit of RAI after surgery in a large cohort of low-risk DTC patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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