Divergent Metastatic Patterns Between Subtypes of Thyroid Carcinoma Results From the Nationwide Dutch Pathology Registry
SourceJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 105, 3, (2020), pp. E299-E306
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
SubjectRadboudumc 14: Tumours of the digestive tract RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 14: Tumours of the digestive tract RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
BACKGROUND: Metastatic disease is the main cause of cancer-related mortality in thyroid carcinoma (TC) patients. Clinical studies have suggested differences in metastatic patterns between the different subtypes of TC. This study systematically evaluates the metastatic patterns of different subtypes in TC patients. METHODS: A nationwide review of pathological records of all 650 patients diagnosed with a primary malignancy in the thyroid who underwent an autopsy between 1991 and 2010 was performed. Patients were selected from the Dutch pathology registry (PALGA). RESULTS: Metastatic disease was present in 228 (35.1%) patients and was found in 38.7%, 17.3%, 75.4%, and 47.8% of patients with follicular, papillary, anaplastic, and medullary types of TC, respectively (P < .0001). The majority of patients had more than 1 metastasis. The most common site of metastatic disease was the lung for papillary (79.7%), follicular (72.9%), and anaplastic (92.1%) carcinoma but not for medullary carcinoma (56.3%), P < .0001. Medullary carcinoma patients most frequently had metastases to the liver (81.3%). The combination of metastases also differed between subtypes. CONCLUSION: There are major differences in metastatic patterns between different subtypes of TC. The patterns and frequencies identified in this autopsy study may reflect the underlying biology of metastatic thyroid cancer and have potential to influence future monitoring and treatment strategies depending on clinical correlations.
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