open access

Vol 10, No 1 (2014)
Other materials agreed with the Editors
Published online: 2014-03-06
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Indications for the use of external beam radiation in thyroid cancer

Meredith Giuliani, James Brierley
Onkol. Prak. Klin 2014;10(1):46-51.

open access

Vol 10, No 1 (2014)
Onkologia na świecie
Published online: 2014-03-06

Abstract

Purpose of review. The role of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) in the management of thyroid cancer is not clearly defined. In the absence of randomized studies, the review aims to identify any recent literature that helps define the role.

Recent findings. In differentiated thyroid cancer, single institutional studies report durable locoregional disease control in patients considered to be at high risk of local relapse after EBRT and recent guidelines are consistent in their recommendations. In medullary thyroid cancer, the evidence is more limited but again there is benefit in selected cases. In anaplastic thyroid cancer, multimodality therapy is superior to surgery alone in achieving local control and possibly survival but the benefit must be weighed against the toxicity. Newer radiation techniques may help reduce toxicity.

Summary. Although surgery is the main treatment for thyroid carcinoma, EBRT has a role in the adjuvant setting following surgery in high-risk patients and in unresectable cancer. Advances in the delivery of external beam radiotherapy, including intensity-modulated radiotherapy reduces toxicity.

Abstract

Purpose of review. The role of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) in the management of thyroid cancer is not clearly defined. In the absence of randomized studies, the review aims to identify any recent literature that helps define the role.

Recent findings. In differentiated thyroid cancer, single institutional studies report durable locoregional disease control in patients considered to be at high risk of local relapse after EBRT and recent guidelines are consistent in their recommendations. In medullary thyroid cancer, the evidence is more limited but again there is benefit in selected cases. In anaplastic thyroid cancer, multimodality therapy is superior to surgery alone in achieving local control and possibly survival but the benefit must be weighed against the toxicity. Newer radiation techniques may help reduce toxicity.

Summary. Although surgery is the main treatment for thyroid carcinoma, EBRT has a role in the adjuvant setting following surgery in high-risk patients and in unresectable cancer. Advances in the delivery of external beam radiotherapy, including intensity-modulated radiotherapy reduces toxicity.

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Keywords

anaplastic, intensity modulated radiotherapy, local control, radiation, thyroid cancer, toxicity

About this article
Title

Indications for the use of external beam radiation in thyroid cancer

Journal

Oncology in Clinical Practice

Issue

Vol 10, No 1 (2014)

Article type

Other materials agreed with the Editors

Pages

46-51

Published online

2014-03-06

Bibliographic record

Onkol. Prak. Klin 2014;10(1):46-51.

Keywords

anaplastic
intensity modulated radiotherapy
local control
radiation
thyroid cancer
toxicity

Authors

Meredith Giuliani
James Brierley

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