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Recent advances in the diagnosis
and treatment for thyroid cancer
Professor Steven Boyages
The University of Sydney
Westme...
Change in incidence rates of
cancer 1991-2009
Top 10 cancers and Top 10 cancer
deaths
Trends in incidence (1982-2009)
and death rates (1968-2007)
Mortality and incidence ratio
Rising incidence of thyroid cancer
Over the past few decades an increase in the
incidence of thyroid cancer has been recor...
Objective
To describe the pathways to diagnosis of thyroid
cancer for a cohort of newly diagnosed
patients in NSW and comp...
Methods
Newly diagnosed cases of thyroid cancer
(n=452) were identified and recruited through
the population-based NSW Cen...
Pathways to cancer paper
recruitment
Results
60% of patients had their cancer discovered
serendipitously, while 40% initially presented to
their doctor with a ...
Pathways of detection for thyroid
cancer NSW
 
Pathway
Patient 
detected 
Doctor 
detected

Men n=108

Women n=344

Total ...
Factors associated with 
pathways to diagnosis
The pathways to diagnosis varied significantly by
age group (p=0.009), sex ...
Multi-regression model
After adjusting for all factors in the model the only factor
that differed significantly across the...
Conclusion
As the majority of participants had serendipitous
diagnoses, the reported incidence of thyroid
cancer is likely...
Dilemma
Nodular thyroid disease is common and the
incidence of thyroid cancer is rising
Increasing cost of over-investigat...
Original Article

Preoperative Diagnosis of Benign Thyroid Nodules
with Indeterminate Cytology
Erik K. Alexander, M.D., Gi...
Study Overview
• A significant fraction of fine-needle aspirates obtained from thyroid
nodules are read as indeterminate.
...
The Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis
Process
Results
Of the 265 indeterminate nodules, 85 were malignant. The
gene-expression classifier correctly identified 78 of the...
Algorithm for Evaluating Thyroid Nodules.

Jameson JL. N Engl J Med 2012;367:765-767.
Conclusions
• These data suggest consideration of a more conservative approach for
most patients with thyroid nodules that...
Types of thyroid surgery
Type of surgery
Should Prophylactic Central (Level 6)
Lymph Node Dissections be Performed?
There is agreement that therapeutic central and...
Minimally invasive thyroidectomy
• No visible neck scar
Axillae, Chest
• Smaller scar
Video assisted endoscopic approach
•...
Original Article

Strategies of Radioiodine Ablation in Patients with
Low-Risk Thyroid Cancer
Martin Schlumberger, M.D., B...
Study Overview
• This trial compared two thyrotropin-stimulation methods and two 131I
doses for postoperative ablation in ...
Randomization and Follow-up of the Study Patients.

Schlumberger M et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1663-1673
Initial Characteristics of the 752 Randomized Patients, According to Thyrotropin-Stimulation
Method and 131I Dose.

Schlum...
Follow-up Testing of Thyroid Ablation 6–10 Months after 131I Administration in the 684 Patients
Who Could Be Evaluated, Ac...
Adverse Events, According to Thyrotropin-Stimulation Method and 131I Dose.

Schlumberger M et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:16...
Conclusions
• The use of recombinant human thyrotropin and low-dose (1.1 GBq)
postoperative radioiodine ablation may be su...
Original Article

Ablation with Low-Dose Radioiodine and
Thyrotropin Alfa in Thyroid Cancer
Ujjal Mallick, F.R.C.R., Clive...
Study Overview
• In this trial, low-dose radioiodine was as effective as high-dose
radioiodine in patients with differenti...
Days of Hospital Isolation, According to Radioiodine Dose.

Mallick U et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1674-1685
Baseline Characteristics of the Patients.

Mallick U et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:16741685
Symptoms Reported by Patients during the 4 Weeks before Ablation.

Mallick U et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1674-1685
Conclusions
• Low-dose radioiodine plus thyrotropin alfa was as effective as highdose radioiodine, with a lower rate of ad...
RAI resistance
The cure rates for DTC are generally high when
patients are treated with surgery or RAI. However,
between 5...
Sorefenib
Sorafenib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, inhibits multiple kinases,
including the Raf kinase, VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, V...
Original Article

Selumetinib-Enhanced Radioiodine Uptake in
Advanced Thyroid Cancer
Alan L. Ho, M.D., Ph.D., Ravinder K. ...
Study Overview
• Inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase resulted in an increase in
expression of the sodium–iodide...
Protocol Design and Changes in Iodine Uptake.

Ho AL et al. N Engl J Med 2013;368:623-632
Iodine-124 PET-CT Scans Obtained before and after Selumetinib Treatment in Selected Patients
with Positive Responses.

Ho ...
Quantification of Iodine-124 PET Uptake in a Lesion in a Patient with an NRAS Mutation Who
Later Received Radioiodine.

Ho...
Conclusions
• Selumetinib produces clinically meaningful increases in iodine uptake
and retention in a subgroup of patient...
Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer
Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer
Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer
Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer
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Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer

  1. 1. Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment for thyroid cancer Professor Steven Boyages The University of Sydney Westmead Hospital
  2. 2. Change in incidence rates of cancer 1991-2009
  3. 3. Top 10 cancers and Top 10 cancer deaths
  4. 4. Trends in incidence (1982-2009) and death rates (1968-2007)
  5. 5. Mortality and incidence ratio
  6. 6. Rising incidence of thyroid cancer Over the past few decades an increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer has been recorded in many countries around the world, and has been particularly marked in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). The reasons for this increase remain unclear, but heightened medical surveillance and increased technological sensitivity could be contributing to greater detection of asymptomatic disease.
  7. 7. Objective To describe the pathways to diagnosis of thyroid cancer for a cohort of newly diagnosed patients in NSW and compare these pathways in groups of people defined by age, gender, place of residence, ethnic background and medical insurance status. Pathways to the diagnosis of thyroid cancer in New South Wales: a population-based cross-sectional study.Kahn C, Simonella L, Sywak M, Boyages S, Ung O, O'Connell D.Cancer Causes Control. 2012 Jan; 23(1):35-44. Epub 2011 Oct 15
  8. 8. Methods Newly diagnosed cases of thyroid cancer (n=452) were identified and recruited through the population-based NSW Central Cancer Registry. Participants completed a questionnaire and diary of doctor visits and investigations that led to their diagnosis. Tumour characteristics were obtained from pathology reports.
  9. 9. Pathways to cancer paper recruitment
  10. 10. Results 60% of patients had their cancer discovered serendipitously, while 40% initially presented to their doctor with a lump or symptom specific to thyroid cancer. The pathways to diagnosis varied significantly with tumour size (p=0.001) and also by age in men and place of residence in women (p=0.008 and p=0.05 respectively).  
  11. 11. Pathways of detection for thyroid cancer NSW   Pathway Patient  detected  Doctor  detected Men n=108 Women n=344 Total n=452 Weighted  n % n % n % %* 39 36.1 140 40.7 179 39.6 38.8 23 21.3 49 14.2 72 15.9 16.4 Imaging After benign  disease 22 20.4 28 8.1 50 11.1 10.9 14 13 104 30.2 118 26.1 26.2 Other 10 9.3 23 6.7 33 7.3 7.6 Table 3: Pathways to the diagnosis of thyroid cancer in men and women in NSW, Australia * Weighted to population distribution by place of residence
  12. 12. Factors associated with  pathways to diagnosis The pathways to diagnosis varied significantly by age group (p=0.009), sex (p<0.001), tumour size (p<0.001), spread of cancer at diagnosis (p=0.006), treatment for another disease at time of diagnosis (p=0.02), and current work status (p=0.001). Variables that were not statistically significantly associated with the pathways to diagnosis included health insurance status, education level, smoking, alcohol consumption, number of other illnesses, previous cancer, family history of thyroid cancer, time from last pregnancy for women, and cancer type.
  13. 13. Multi-regression model After adjusting for all factors in the model the only factor that differed significantly across the pathway groups was tumour size (p=0.001). The odds of a patient with a large tumour (>3cm) being initially detected by a doctor (vs patient detected) were 66% (OR=0.34, 95% CI 0.1, 0.9) lower than a patient with a small tumour (<1cm). Patients with large tumours also had 60% (OR=0.4, 95% CI 0.2, 0.9) lower odds of being detected after treatment for benign thyroid disease (vs patient detected) than patients with a tumour less than 1cm. Patients with tumours between 2 and 3 cm had 6.85 greater odds (95% CI 2.3, 20.7) of being diagnosed as an incidental finding of imaging (vs patient detected) than patients with a tumour less than 1cm.
  14. 14. Conclusion As the majority of participants had serendipitous diagnoses, the reported incidence of thyroid cancer is likely to be influenced by diagnostic technology and medical surveillance practices.
  15. 15. Dilemma Nodular thyroid disease is common and the incidence of thyroid cancer is rising Increasing cost of over-investigation leading to the potential for unnecessary surgery and unnecessary aggressive treatment for thyroid cancer Implications for Diagnosis; Surgery; and radioactive iodine therapy
  16. 16. Original Article Preoperative Diagnosis of Benign Thyroid Nodules with Indeterminate Cytology Erik K. Alexander, M.D., Giulia C. Kennedy, Ph.D., Zubair W. Baloch, M.D., Ph.D., Edmund S. Cibas, M.D., Darya Chudova, Ph.D., James Diggans, Ph.D., Lyssa Friedman, R.N., M.P.A., Richard T. Kloos, M.D., Virginia A. LiVolsi, M.D., Susan J. Mandel, M.D., M.P.H., Stephen S. Raab, M.D., Juan Rosai, M.D., David L. Steward, M.D., P. Sean Walsh, M.P.H., Jonathan I. Wilde, Ph.D., Martha A. Zeiger, M.D., Richard B. Lanman, M.D., and Bryan R. Haugen, M.D. N Engl J Med Volume 367(8):705-715 August 23, 2012
  17. 17. Study Overview • A significant fraction of fine-needle aspirates obtained from thyroid nodules are read as indeterminate. • A new molecular test accurately predicts whether a cytologically indeterminate nodule is benign 93% of the time, permitting a conservative approach to management.
  18. 18. The Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis Process
  19. 19. Results Of the 265 indeterminate nodules, 85 were malignant. The gene-expression classifier correctly identified 78 of the 85 nodules as suspicious (92% sensitivity; 95% confidence interval [CI], 84 to 97), with a specificity of 52% (95% CI, 44 to 59). The negative predictive values for “atypia (or follicular lesion) of undetermined clinical significance,” “follicular neoplasm or lesion suspicious for follicular neoplasm,” or “suspicious cytologic findings” were 95%, 94%, and 85%, respectively. Analysis of 7 aspirates with false negative results revealed that 6 had a paucity of thyroid follicular cells, suggesting insufficient sampling of the nodule.
  20. 20. Algorithm for Evaluating Thyroid Nodules. Jameson JL. N Engl J Med 2012;367:765-767.
  21. 21. Conclusions • These data suggest consideration of a more conservative approach for most patients with thyroid nodules that are cytologically indeterminate on fine-needle aspiration and benign according to gene-expression classifier results.
  22. 22. Types of thyroid surgery
  23. 23. Type of surgery
  24. 24. Should Prophylactic Central (Level 6) Lymph Node Dissections be Performed? There is agreement that therapeutic central and lateral lymph node dissections should be performed at the time of total thyroidectomy when lymph nodes are suspicious or proved to harbor cancer by sonographic appearance or by FNA analyses preoperatively or when suspicious lymph nodes are found at operation. Prophylactic lateral lymph node dissections were common in the past, but have been abandoned for several decades or longer. Recently, Delbridge and his group and others have proposed that unilateral or bilateral prophylactic central lymph node dissections (level 6 dissections) with parathyroid autotransplantation be performed in all cases of papillary thyroid cancer at the time of total thyroidectomy. This, they state, might decrease mortality from thyroid cancer, would greatly decrease recurrence of cancer, and would further clarify who needs radioiodine therapy postoperatively. Some studies by very experienced surgeons demonstrate no increase in hypoparathyroidism or recurrent laryngeal nerve injuries after this procedure, while other equally competent surgeons have found an increase in permanent hypoparathyroidism. We and others do not routinely perform this procedure because of the increased risk of hypoparathyroidism, but reserve it for cases in which ipsilateral central lymph nodes are clearly involved with tumor. 27d
  25. 25. Minimally invasive thyroidectomy • No visible neck scar Axillae, Chest • Smaller scar Video assisted endoscopic approach • Robotic transaxillary thyroidectomy
  26. 26. Original Article Strategies of Radioiodine Ablation in Patients with Low-Risk Thyroid Cancer Martin Schlumberger, M.D., Bogdan Catargi, M.D., Ph.D., Isabelle Borget, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Désirée Deandreis, M.D., Slimane Zerdoud, M.D., Boumédiène Bridji, M.D., Ph.D., Stéphane Bardet, M.D., Laurence Leenhardt, M.D., Ph.D., Delphine Bastie, M.D., Claire Schvartz, M.D., Pierre Vera, M.D., Ph.D., Olivier Morel, M.D., Danielle Benisvy, M.D., Claire Bournaud, M.D., Françoise Bonichon, M.D., Catherine Dejax, M.D., Marie-Elisabeth Toubert, M.D., Sophie Leboulleux, M.D., Marcel Ricard, Ph.D., Ellen Benhamou, M.D., for the Tumeurs de la Thyroïde Refractaires Network for the Essai Stimulation Ablation Equivalence Trial N Engl J Med Volume 366(18):1663-1673 May 3, 2012
  27. 27. Study Overview • This trial compared two thyrotropin-stimulation methods and two 131I doses for postoperative ablation in patients with low-risk thyroid cancer. • Rates of ablation were similar in all treatment groups. • Doses lower than those currently recommended may be adequate for this condition.
  28. 28. Randomization and Follow-up of the Study Patients. Schlumberger M et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1663-1673
  29. 29. Initial Characteristics of the 752 Randomized Patients, According to Thyrotropin-Stimulation Method and 131I Dose. Schlumberger M et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1663-1673
  30. 30. Follow-up Testing of Thyroid Ablation 6–10 Months after 131I Administration in the 684 Patients Who Could Be Evaluated, According to Thyrotropin-Stimulation Method and 131I Dose. Schlumberger M et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1663-1673
  31. 31. Adverse Events, According to Thyrotropin-Stimulation Method and 131I Dose. Schlumberger M et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1663-1673
  32. 32. Conclusions • The use of recombinant human thyrotropin and low-dose (1.1 GBq) postoperative radioiodine ablation may be sufficient for the management of low-risk thyroid cancer.
  33. 33. Original Article Ablation with Low-Dose Radioiodine and Thyrotropin Alfa in Thyroid Cancer Ujjal Mallick, F.R.C.R., Clive Harmer, F.R.C.P., Beng Yap, F.R.C.P., Jonathan Wadsley, F.R.C.R., Susan Clarke, F.R.C.P., Laura Moss, F.R.C.P., Alice Nicol, Ph.D., Penelope M. Clark, F.R.C.Path., Kate Farnell, R.C.N., Ralph McCready, D.Sc., James Smellie, M.D., Jayne A. Franklyn, F.Med.Sci., Rhys John, F.R.C.Path., Christopher M. Nutting, M.D., Kate Newbold, F.R.C.R., Catherine Lemon, F.R.C.R., Georgina Gerrard, F.R.C.R., Abdel Abdel-Hamid, F.R.C.R., John Hardman, F.R.C.R., Elena Macias, M.D., Tom Roques, F.R.C.R., Stephen Whitaker, M.D., Rengarajan Vijayan, F.R.C.R., Pablo Alvarez, M.Sc., Sandy Beare, Ph.D., Sharon Forsyth, B.Sc., Latha Kadalayil, Ph.D., and Allan Hackshaw, M.Sc. N Engl J Med Volume 366(18):1674-1685 May 3, 2012
  34. 34. Study Overview • In this trial, low-dose radioiodine was as effective as high-dose radioiodine in patients with differentiated thyroid tumors, and recombinant human thyrotropin (thyrotropin alfa) was as effective as thyroid hormone withdrawal.
  35. 35. Days of Hospital Isolation, According to Radioiodine Dose. Mallick U et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1674-1685
  36. 36. Baseline Characteristics of the Patients. Mallick U et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:16741685
  37. 37. Symptoms Reported by Patients during the 4 Weeks before Ablation. Mallick U et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:1674-1685
  38. 38. Conclusions • Low-dose radioiodine plus thyrotropin alfa was as effective as highdose radioiodine, with a lower rate of adverse events.
  39. 39. RAI resistance The cure rates for DTC are generally high when patients are treated with surgery or RAI. However, between 5% and 15% of patients develop RAI resistance, and these patients typically have an expected survival of 2.5 to 3.5 years. No standard therapy exists for patients who experience disease progression. New agents that either induce sodium iodide symporter activity or that inhibit tyrosine kinase inhibitor o Sorafenib o Selumetinib
  40. 40. Sorefenib Sorafenib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, inhibits multiple kinases, including the Raf kinase, VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3, PDGFR-B, KIT, FLT-3 and RET, which are associated with tumor cell proliferation and angiogenesis. The drug is currently approved by the FDA to treat unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma and advanced renal cell carcinoma.
  41. 41. Original Article Selumetinib-Enhanced Radioiodine Uptake in Advanced Thyroid Cancer Alan L. Ho, M.D., Ph.D., Ravinder K. Grewal, M.D., Rebecca Leboeuf, M.D., Eric J. Sherman, M.D., David G. Pfister, M.D., Desiree Deandreis, M.D., Keith S. Pentlow, M.Sc., Pat B. Zanzonico, Ph.D., Sofia Haque, M.D., Somali Gavane, M.D., Ronald A. Ghossein, M.D., Julio C. Ricarte-Filho, Ph.D., José M. Domínguez, M.D., Ronglai Shen, Ph.D., R. Michael Tuttle, M.D., Steve M. Larson, M.D., and James A. Fagin, M.D. N Engl J Med Volume 368(7):623-632 February 14, 2013
  42. 42. Study Overview • Inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase resulted in an increase in expression of the sodium–iodide symporter in 12 of 20 patients, 8 of whom had sufficient uptake to warrant treatment with radioiodine. • Five patients had a response, and 3 had stable disease.
  43. 43. Protocol Design and Changes in Iodine Uptake. Ho AL et al. N Engl J Med 2013;368:623-632
  44. 44. Iodine-124 PET-CT Scans Obtained before and after Selumetinib Treatment in Selected Patients with Positive Responses. Ho AL et al. N Engl J Med 2013;368:623-632
  45. 45. Quantification of Iodine-124 PET Uptake in a Lesion in a Patient with an NRAS Mutation Who Later Received Radioiodine. Ho AL et al. N Engl J Med 2013;368:623-632
  46. 46. Conclusions • Selumetinib produces clinically meaningful increases in iodine uptake and retention in a subgroup of patients with thyroid cancer that is refractory to radioiodine; the effectiveness may be greater in patients with RAS-mutant disease.
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