This study showed that 12% (12/101) of the patients with invasive follicular variant papillary thyroid carcinoma had a recurrence of their cancer. However, none of the 109 patients with noninvasive encapsulated follicular variant papillary thyroid carcinoma died or had cancer recurrence. This led to the proposal to rename this latter cancer as noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP). NIFTP diagnostic criteria included all of the following: 1) the tumor being encapsulated or clear demarcated, 2) follicular growth pattern with specific features, 3) a nuclear score of 2 to 3, 4) no invasion of blood vessels in the thyroid, 5) no break-down (necrosis) of the tumor, and 6) no high mitotic (proliferative) activity.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS STUDY?
The authors concluded that noninvasive encapsulated follicular variant papillary thyroid carcinoma should be re-named as the non-cancer NIFTP in the future. It is important to know that at present, a NIFTP diagnosis cannot be made before thyroid surgery, as the tumor needs to be completely removed for thorough examination. If this is confirmed, then such patients will require much less monitoring and testing after surgery than current cancer patients. More research is needed to confirm the results of this study, to evaluate the performance of the new classification system and to determine the implications on patient’s long-term outcomes.
— Anna Sawka, MD
ATA THYROID BROCHURE LINKS
Thyroid Nodules: http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-nodules/
Thyroid Cancer: http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-cancer/
Thyroid Surgery: http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-cancer/