Among adults who were treated with radiation during childhood, those who went on to develop thyroid cancer are at no greater mortality risk than those who did not develop thyroid cancer, according to findings published in Thyroid.
“In most cases, sporadic thyroid cancer has an excellent prognosis. Whether radiation-induced thyroid cancer has the same excellent prognosis is not clear,” Dan V. Mihailescu, MD, an assistant professor in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues wrote. “The primary objective of the present study was to determine whether, among individuals with exposure to external radiation during their childhood, a diagnosis of thyroid cancer, compared with no diagnosis of thyroid cancer, is associated with reduced survival.”
Mihailescu and colleagues assessed instances of death from 1974 to 2016 among 353 adults with thyroid cancer at baseline (mean age, 31.45 years; 46.7% women) and 694 matched adults who did not have thyroid cancer (mean age, 31.67 years; 47% women), all of whom were treated with radiation during childhood. The Social Security Death Index, National Death Index and medical records provided data on mortality and causes of death.
Among adults who were treated with radiation during childhood, those who went on to develop thyroid cancer are at no greater mortality risk than those who did not develop thyroid cancer.
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There were 100 deaths among those with thyroid cancer and 162 deaths among those without the condition, according to the researchers. When comparing the mortality risk for participants with thyroid cancer with participants without the condition, the researchers found that the HRs did not reach significance, even when only including participants with tumors of 10 mm or more, indicating that there was “no difference in survival.”
The risks for death from a cardiovascular or neoplastic cause were also similar between the two groups, although the researchers noted that “HRs for thyroid cancer incidence by cause of death varied significantly.”
“The results of our study indicate that radiation-induced thyroid cancer does not negatively affect overall survival,” the researchers wrote. “Although not derived from a direct comparison with sporadic (nonradiation-induced) thyroid cancer, our results suggest that the two conditions share a similar clinical behavior and an excellent long-term prognosis.” – by Phil Neuffer
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.