AffiliationDepartment of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractOver the past 25 years, 23 children with carcinoma of the thyroid have been treated at the Christie Hospital, Manchester. Twenty-one cases were well-differentiated carcinoma, and two were medullary carcinoma. They were all treated by resection, 14 with total thyroidectomy and 9 with lobectomy or subtotal thyroidectomy. Sixteen children also had surgery for nodal disease. Two children presented with lung metastases. Sixteen children received post-operative radiotherapy (4 external beam, 12 131I). Median follow-up of 67 months (range 7-233), was the same for the 21 well-differentiated carcinomas and the whole group including the two medullary carcinomas. All 21 children with well-differentiated carcinomas are alive with no evidence of progressive disease. Two relapsed after total thyroidectomy, but both were salvaged, one with external beam radiotherapy, one with 131I. One child with medullary carcinoma died with progressive disease after 43 months, the other is alive, but with slowly progressive disease 145 months after diagnosis. Ten of 14 children experienced post-operative hypocalcaemia following total thyroidectomy, in 7 cases it persisted long-term. 131I and external beam radiotherapy were both well tolerated. The long-term results of treatment of well-differentiated carcinoma of the thyroid are excellent, but there remains disagreement over the extent of treatment required. Some authors believe the condition is multifocal and requires total thyroidectomy, others argue that lobectomy or subtotal thyroidectomy avoids the possible post-operative complications of total thyroidectomy and gives equal long-term cure rates. We agree with the latter view. Although a small series cannot be conclusive, we feel that our results are consistent with this. We also believe, that for children, radiotherapy can be reserved for relapse only, as long as regular follow-up is available.
CitationCarcinoma of the thyroid in children: a 25-year experience. 1997, 29 (2):103-7 Med. Pediatr. Oncol.
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
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