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Management of paediatric thyroid carcinoma: recent experience with recombinant human thyroid stimulating hormone in preparation for radioiodine therapy

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Abstract Background:

Thyroid carcinoma in children is rare and raises unique management issues. Although metastatic disease is more common in this age group, prognosis remains good with appropriate treatment. The aim of the study was to report recent experience in the management of differentiated thyroid carcinoma in children, especially in the use of radioiodine after recombinant human thyroid stimulating hormone (rhTSH) stimulation. Methods:

Eight patients, aged 5–17  years (five were boys) presented following total thyroidectomy for thyroid carcinoma between May 2003 and June 2005. Seven had papillary carcinoma and one had follicular carcinoma. Five had known lymph node metastases and one had pulmonary metastases at presentation. Four patients had previously received therapeutic irradiation for malignancy. All eight underwent diagnostic iodine scans, seven with rhTSH stimulation. Seven went on to receive radioiodine treatment as hospital inpatients, comanaged by the paediatric and nuclear medicine units. The dosage of 131I ranged from 1.5 to 3.7 × 109 Bq. All except one were prepared by rhTSH stimulation. Results:

Seven of eight patients had significant uptake in the neck on diagnostic scan and two had pulmonary abnormalities. Six of seven evaluable patients achieved complete thyroid ablation. Both patients with pulmonary abnormalities had scan resolution, although one of them only after a second radioiodine treatment. All patients had thyroxine replacement in doses to suppress TSH and all remain alive and well at time of carrying out this study. Conclusion:

Optimal management of paediatric thyroid carcinoma necessitates a multidisciplinary approach. Radioiodine therapy under rhTSH is an effective and safe adjuvant treatment in this special subgroup.

Keywords: paediatric; radiation; radioiodine; recombinant human thyroid stimulating hormone; thyroid cancer

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2006.01149.x

Affiliations: 1: Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2: Centre for Molecular Imaging, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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