Rethinking the Treatment of Aggressive Thyroid Cancer

December 19, 2019
Shlomo Koyfman, MD

Shlomo Koyfman, MD, discusses registry data on thyroid cancer and how data from the registry can improve practice for oncologists.

Shlomo Koyfman, MD, a radiation oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic, discusses registry data on thyroid cancer and how data from the registry can improve practice for oncologists.

Oncologists are beginning to think more about aggressive thyroid cancer and how histologies, such as tall cell and hobnail histologies, can recur locally and require multiple surgeries. In some cases, tumors cannot be surgically resected, and patients require radiation instead, says Koyfman.

At the 2019 American Society of Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, an abstract on hobnail thyroid cancers was presented. Because hobnail is a more aggressive variant of thyroid cancer that does not respond well to radioactive iodine, a group of physicians at the Cleveland Clinic identified factors that contribute to recurrence and death in this patient population. They also identified which patients are considered high-risk and should be treated with radiation.

Koyfman states that this is a novel practice that will move the field in a good direction.