Medullary thyroid cancer comes in 2 forms: 1) inherited and occurring in several members of a family and 2) sporadic and occurring in patients with no family history of thyroid cancer. The primary initial management of medullary thyroid cancer is surgery. Occasionally, the first surgery is a lobectomy (removal of just 1 lobe). In patients with the inherited form or with mutations such as RET in the cancer, a second surgery is done to completely remove the entire thyroid because of the risk of the cancer being in both lobes. In patients with the sporadic form, it is less clear that there is any risk of the cancer being in both lobes. The primary aim of this study was to determine how often medullary thyroid cancer is found in both lobes of the thyroid in individuals with sporadic medullary thyroid cancer who have had a total thyroidectomy. The reason for this study was to inform future guidelines on surgical management of sporadic medullary thyroid cancer, specifically relating to the extent of thyroid surgery.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
Essig GF Jr, et al. Multifocality in sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma: an international multicenter study. Thyroid. October 11, 2016 [Epub ahead of print].
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
This is a multi-center study that looked at patients charts that previously had surgery. The authors invited participation from 53 clinical centers, and ultimately 11 clinical centers, from 7 countries, provided data for the study. Data from 306 individuals with sporadic medullary thyroid cancer who had surgery to remove both sides of the thyroid were included in the final analysis.