Primary vs Secondary Thyroid Cancer Survival in Adolescents and Young Adults

Melanie Goldfarb MD Assistant Professor of Surgery, Endocrine Surgery University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch.com Interview with
Melanie Goldfarb MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Endocrine Surgery
University of Southern California
Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Goldfarb: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) who develop thyroid cancer as a secondary cancer are six times more likely to die than AYAs with primary thyroid cancer, though survival with treatment is excellent for both primary and secondary cancers at greater than 95 percent. Additionally, Hispanics, Males, and those of lower socioeconomic status have worse overall survival.


MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Goldfarb: This is the first study of its kind. However, we were surprised at the magnitude of increased risk of death in secondary thyroid cancer since the survival from thyroid cancer is so high.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Goldfarb: That it is important for young cancer survivors to discuss the possibility of a secondary thyroid cancer diagnosis with their doctor, and the possible need for screening, because a diagnosis of secondary thyroid cancer may be a marker for an increased risk of overall death

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Goldfarb: This study will hopefully spur future research that will investigate if there are any causes—biologic, environmental, prior treatment-related, or access to care disparities—to account for the survival differences in these secondary cancers.

Citation:

Goldfarb, M. and Freyer, D. R. (2014), Comparison of secondary and primary thyroid cancer in adolescents and young adults. Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28463