Study Evaluates Thyroid Hormone Suppression For High Risk Thyroid Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.Sc. Assistant Clinical Investigator/Assistant Professor Metabolic Disease Branch/NIDDK/NIH Bethesda, MD

Dr. Klubo-Gwiezdzinska

Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.Sc.
Assistant Clinical Investigator/Assistant Professor
Metabolic Disease Branch/NIDDK/NIH
Bethesda, MD

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: People with intermediate- and high-risk differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) are treated with surgical removal of the thyroid gland and radioactive iodine therapy.  After surgery and initial treatment, the thyroid hormone levothyroxine is used for long-term management not only to replace appropriate physiologic thyroid hormones post-surgery, but also to suppress thyrotropin (TSH) release from the pituitary gland at supraphysiologic doses.

The current recommended American Thyroid Association TSH suppression goal in patients with a high-risk differentiated thyroid cancer presenting with distant metastases is less than 0.1mIU/ml, and between 0.1-0.5 mIU/ml for patients with intermediate-risk DTC presenting with local metastases to the neck lymph nodes. This TSH goal is much lower than physiologic TSH level, which ranges between 0.4-4.1 mIU/ml, depending on the measurement method and person’s age.

TSH suppression is used because some preclinical evidence suggests that TSH can stimulate growth of cancer cells.  However, several preclinical studies show that thyroid hormones may also stimulate cancer growth. In addition, too much levothyroxine, leading to TSH suppression, may cause side effects such as abnormal heart rhythms and decreased bone mass.

In this study, based on a large multicenter database analysis, we found that continuous TSH suppression with levothyroxine was not associated with better progression-free survival and overall survival in patients with either intermediate- and high-risk differentiated thyroid cancer. The patients were followed for an average of 7 years after surgical thyroid cancer removal and radioactive iodine therapy.  Continue reading

Graves’ and Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease: Race and Ethnic Relationships

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Donald S. A. McLeod, FRACP, MPH
Department of Population Health,
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston,
Queensland, Australia

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

Dr. McLeod: We examined the incidence of Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis by race/ethnicity among U.S. active duty service personnel aged 20-54 years over a 15-year period (more than 20,000,000 person years follow-up). Cases were identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes.

In women, we found that Graves’ disease was almost twice as common among non-Hispanic black and Asian-Pacific Islander personnel compared with non-Hispanic white personnel.  While in men, non-Hispanic black and Asian-Pacific Islander personnel had over two-and-a-half times higher incidence compared with non-Hispanic white personnel. The opposite pattern existed for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, with non-Hispanic white personnel having the highest incidence, and non-Hispanic black and Asian-Pacific Islander personnel the lowest incidence. Hispanic personnel did not have significantly different incidence compared to white personnel for either disorder.

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Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes and Thyroid Diseases

 Pauline Mendola, PhD Investigator Epidemiology Branch Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH Rockville, MD 20852MedicalResearch.com eInterview with Pauline Mendola, PhD
Investigator
Epidemiology Branch
Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH Rockville, MD 20852

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

Dr. Mendola: Women with thyroid disease during pregnancy had more obstetric complications including preeclampsia and preterm birth.  They were also more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit during their delivery admission.
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