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Am J Surg. 1988 Jul;156(1):44-6.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the thyroid gland.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


We present the clinical manifestations and details of treatment and outcome for eight patients with squamous cell cancer arising in the thyroid gland, which is a rare entity. All patients had advanced disease, with primary tumors invading adjacent structures (the trachea, esophagus, and major vessels). In two patients, pulmonary metastases were also present. Six patients died 6 months or less after diagnosis, five from the effects of local disease. Transient palliation was obtained in four patients who underwent partial excision (three patients) and radical radiotherapy (one patient). Two patients remained free of disease at last follow-up more than 4 years after gross total tumor resection and radical radiotherapy and were presumably cured. One patient treated by partial resection and radical radiotherapy died from other causes 17 months later. His disease status was unknown. Complete excision with postoperative radiotherapy may be curative, and debulking followed by external irradiation may provide short-term palliation. Patients with unresectable tumors are best managed by supportive measures only unless a truly effective chemotherapeutic regimen is developed for squamous cell cancer of the head and neck.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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