Age, thyroglobulin levels and ATA risk stratification predict 10-year survival rate of differentiated thyroid cancer patients

Abstract : INTRODUCTION: Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is the most common of endocrine cancers. Many studies have focused on recurrence-free survival of DTC patients, however, few studies have addressed overall survival rates. Given its very good prognosis, estimating overall or long-term survival in patients with DTC seems rational. So far, neither the impact of pre- and post-ablation thyroglobulin, nor that of initial American Thyroid Association (ATA) risk stratification on long-term disease-specific survival, have been sufficiently studied. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the factors that influence long-term disease-specific survival and thyroglobulin levels in patients with DTC who have been previously treated with thyroidectomy and radioactive iodine (RAI) remnant ablation. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This observational retrospective study included 1093 patients who were treated for DTC between 1995 and 2010 and are still monitored in our tertiary center. Only patients who needed RAI ablation after thyroidectomy were included in this study. Patients who were treated with RAI following rhTSH stimulation, patients who presented positive anti-thyroglobulin antibodies, and patients who had micro-cancers were excluded. Pre-ablation stimulated thyroglobulin (Pre-ablation sTg) was measured after thyroid hormone withdrawal (THW), just before RAI. RESULTS: According to ATA standards, 29 patients (2.7%) were classified as high-risk patients. Initial ATA high-recurrence risk rating (HR 21.9; 95% CI: 8.5-56.3), age>55 years (HR 23.8; 95%-CI: 7.5-75.3) and pre-ablation sTg≥30 μg/l (HR 8.4; 95% CI: 4.6-15.3) significantly impacted ten-year survival. Moreover, age over 45 years, ATA moderate-risk and follicular DTC were also significant. Ten-year survival was lower in ATA high-risk patients (51% vs 95% and 93% for the low and intermediate risk; p<10-7), patients older than 55 years (82% vs 98%; p<10-7), and in patients with pre-ablation sTg≥30 (78% vs 95%; p<10-7). Three rates of long-term survival were distinguished: excellent (survival rate of 99% in patients<55 years with pre-ablation sTg <30μg/l) representing 59% of the cohort, moderate (survival rate of 94.5% in patients <55 years with pre-ablation sTg ≥30μg/l or ≥55 years with pre-ablation sTg <30 μg/l) representing 38% of the cohort, and low (survival rate of 49% in patients ≥55 years with pre-ablation sTg ≥30μg/l) representing 3% of the cohort. CONCLUSION: Initial ATA high-risk classification, age over 55 years old and pre-ablation sTg ≥30 μg/l are the main negative factors that influence the ten-year survival in DTC. We suggest three categories of overall survival rates. Patients older than 55 years with pre-ablation sTg ≥30 μg/l have the worst survival rate.
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Antony Kelly, Bertrand Barres, Fabrice Kwiatkowski, Marie Batisse-Lignier, Bernadette Aubert, et al.. Age, thyroglobulin levels and ATA risk stratification predict 10-year survival rate of differentiated thyroid cancer patients. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2019, 14 (8), pp.e0221298. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0221298⟩. ⟨inserm-02271761⟩

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