Surgery and Radioactive Iodine Therapeutic Strategy for Patients Greater than 60 Years of Age with Differentiated Thyroid Cancer
Purpose The purpose of the current study was to determine whether older patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) who received surgical treatment had a better cause-specific survival (CSS) than patients who were recommended surgery, but declined, and whether patients who underwent post-operative RAI-131 therapy had an impact on CSS based on TNM staging and number of lymph node metastases for all total or near-total thyroidectomy patients. Patients and Methods All DTC patients information were obtained from the SEER*Stat 8.3.6 program, and only patients > 60 years or older were considered. The patients were divided into two groups (underwent surgery and surgery recommend, but not performed). Furthermore, patients were grouped as follows: T4; N1b; M1; T1-3N0-1a; specific number of lymph node metastases; and total or near-total thyroidectomy. Results The 120-month cause-specific survival (CSS) rate of females and males showed a gradual declining trend from 60-64 to ≥80 years of age in the group that underwent surgery. The CSS rate of females and males showed a marked downward and irregular trend with an increase in age in the recommended, but no surgery group. Univariate analysis indicated that the surgery group had a higher 120-month CSS in females in most stages and males, compared with the no surgery group. RAI-131 therapy was associated with an improved 80-month CSS in T4/N1b/M1 females (P<0.0183) and males (P<0.0011). There was no CSS difference in females or males between the T1-3N0 and T1-3N1a patients. There was no statistical difference between the two subgroups . Conclusions Surgical treatment should be recommended for elderly DTC patients because surgery can lead to a better CSS. High-risk patients achieve a higher benefit-to-risk ratio with RAI-131 therapy. To avoid the adverse effects associated with RAI-131 therapy, a multidisciplinary discussion should be arranged for intermediate- and low-risk patients.
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