Send to

Choose Destination
Radiat Oncol J. 2018 Jun;36(2):103-113. doi: 10.3857/roj.2018.00045. Epub 2018 Jun 29.

Treatment outcomes of radiotherapy for anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Inha University Hospital, Incheon, Korea.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a rare tumor with a lethal clinical course despite aggressive multimodal therapy. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) may achieve a good therapeutic outcome in ATC patients, and the role of IMRT should be assessed. We retrospectively reviewed outcomes for ATC treated with three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) or IMRT to determine the optimal treatment option and explore the role of radiotherapy (RT). Materials and.


Between December 2000 and December 2015, 41 patients with pathologically proven ATC received RT with a sufficient dose of ≥40 Gy. Among them, 21 patients (51%) underwent surgery before RT. Twenty-eight patients received IMRT, and 13 received 3D-CRT. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS), patterns of failure, and toxicity were examined.


The median follow-up time for survivors was 38.0 months. The median and 1-year OS and PFS rates were 7.2 months and 29%, 4.5 months and 15%, respectively. Surgery significantly improved the prognosis (median OS: 10.7 vs. 3.9 months, p = 0.001; median PFS: 5.9 vs. 2.5 months, p = 0.007). IMRT showed significantly better PFS and OS than 3D-CRT, even in multivariate analysis (OS: hazard ratio [HR] = 0.30, p = 0.005; PFS: HR = 0.33, p = 0.005). Significantly higher radiation dose could be delivered with IMRT than 3D-CRT (EQD210 66 vs. 60 Gy, p = 0.005). Only 2 patients had grade III dermatitis after IMRT. No other severe toxicity ≥grade III occurred.


Patients with ATC showed better prognosis through multimodal treatment. Furthermore, IMRT could achieve favorable survival rates by safely delivering higher dose than 3D-CRT.


Intensity-modulated radiotherapy; Progression-free survival; Radiotherapy; Surgery; Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Publishing M2Community Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center