Incidence of Second Cancers in Thyroid Cancer Patients Treated with Radioactive Iodine Ablation: How High Is Really the Risk?

ABSTRACT

Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is a common endocrine tumor with increasing incidence and excellent prognosis. The therapy of thyroid cancer consists of thyroidectomy, thyroid hormone treatment and, depending on pathological stage, adjuvant radioactive iodine ablation (RIA). Because of the excellent outcome of DTC and the potential cancerous effect of iodine-131, in the last years there has been a huge number of articles addressing the issue of the incidence of second tumors in DTC patients. We will make a short critical review of some of these articles focusing on results reporting and interpretation. Methodological factors that may affect the obtained results will be highlighted for the benefit of the reader so that the risk associated to iodine-131 exposure will be balanced to the risk associated to other risk factors, including enhanced medical surveillance, shared genetic variability and environment factors and proper methodological study design. The review is finally a call to physicians involved in the therapy of these patients, primarily nuclear medicine physicians, endocrinologists and surgeons, to join their complimentary skill for the therapy of these patients.

Keywords: differentiated thyroid cancer; radioactive iodine ablation; second tumors

Citation: Giovacchini G, Leoncini R. Incidence of Second Cancers in Thyroid Cancer Patients Treated with Radioactive Iodine Ablation: How High is Really the Risk? Journal of Diagnostic Imaging in Therapy. 2016; 3(1): 49-51.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.17229/jdit.2016-0712-022

Copyright: © 2016 Giovacchini G and Leoncini R. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC By 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Article History: received 11 July 2016; revised 12 July 2016; accepted 12 July 2016; published online 12 July 2016.

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JDIT-2016-0712-022