Radioactive iodine in the treatment of medullary thyroid carcinoma: a controlled multicenter study

J.A.A. Meijer, L.E.H. Bakker, G.D. Valk, W.W. de Herder, J.H.W. de Wilt, R.T. Netea-Maier, N. Schaper, E. Fliers, P.T.A.M. Lips, JT Plukker, T.P. Links, J.A. Smit

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Radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is applied in some centers, based on the assumption that cross-irradiation from thyroid follicular cells may be beneficial. However, no systematic studies on the effect of RAI treatment in MTC have been performed. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of RAI treatment on survival in MTC patients. Retrospective multicenter study in eight University Medical Centers in The Netherlands. Two hundred and ninety three MTC patients without distant metastases who had undergone a total thyroidectomy were included between 1980 and 2007. Patients were stratified by clinical appearance, hereditary stage, screening status, and localization. All patients underwent regular surgical treatment with additional RAI treatment in 61 patients. Main outcome measures were disease-free survival (DFS) and disease-specific survival (DSS). Cure was defined as biochemical and radiological absence of disease. In multivariate analysis, stratification according to clinical appearance (P=0.72), hereditary stage (P=0.96), localization (P=0.69), and screening status (P=0.31) revealed no significant effects of RAI treatment on DFS. Multivariate analysis showed no significant difference in DSS for the two groups stratified according to clinical appearance (P=0.14). Owing to limited number of events, multivariate analysis was not possible for DSS in the other groups of stratification. Based on the results of the present analysis, we conclude that RAI has no place in the treatment of MTC
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-786
JournalEuropean journal of endocrinology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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