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Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2014 Sep;10(9):563-74. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2014.100. Epub 2014 Jul 1.

Differentiated thyroid cancer-personalized therapies to prevent overtreatment.

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University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Baldingerstrasse, 35033 Marburg, Germany.
University Hospital Ulm, Department of Surgery, Albert-Einstein-Allee 23, 89081 Ulm, Germany.
University Hospital Aachen, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Paulelsstrasse 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany.


The concept of individualized therapy is rapidly gaining recognition in the management of patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). This Review provides an overview of the most important elements of this paradigm shift in DTC management and discusses the implications for clinical practice. In the majority of patients with DTC who have an inherently good prognosis, the extent of surgery, the dosage of (131)I therapy and the use of levothyroxine therapy are all aspects suitable for individualization, on the basis of both the stage of disease and the response to treatment. In individuals with advanced disease, newer imaging techniques, advances in (131)I therapy and the use of targeted molecular therapies (such as multitargeted kinase inhibitors) have provided new options for the personalized care of patients, for whom until recently no effective therapies were available. Individualized therapies could reduce adverse effects, including the sometimes debilitating hypothyroidism that used to be required before initiation of (131)I treatment, and major salivary gland damage, a common and unpleasant side effect of (131)I therapy. Highly individualized interdisciplinary treatment of patients with DTC might lead to improved outcomes with reduced severity and frequency of complications and adverse effects. However, in spite of ongoing research, personalized therapies remain in their infancy.

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