Role of metastasectomy in the management of thyroid carcinoma: The NIH experience

Ho Pak, Loukas Gourgiotis, Wen I. Chang, Lori C. Guthrie, Monica C. Skarulis, James C. Reynolds, Maria J. Merino, David S. Schrump, Steven K. Libutti, H. Richard Alexander, Nicholas J. Sarlis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: We studied the impact of metatasectomy on disease outcome in 29 advanced nonmedullary thyroid carcinoma (ThyrCa) patients who were operated on between 1969 and 2001 at NIH to further define its role in the management of this malignancy. Methods: Data were extracted by retrospective chart review. A Kaplan-Meyer survival curve was constructed, and comparative stratification for various parameters was performed. Results: During 47 surgeries, the following lesions were resected from midmediastinum/hila, 17; lung parenchyma, 12; skeleton, 14; kidneys, 2; and brain, 2. All patients received multiple radioiodine (RAI) treatments. External-beam radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other palliative measures were used in selected patients. Six patients (21%) died within 74.7 ± 54.7 months after the first distant metastasectomy. The outcome of the remaining patients was as follows: complete remission, 3; partial remission, 10; and 10: progressive disease, 10, with a follow-up of 175 patient-years. Metastasectomy led to a decrease of 38% in thyroglobulin levels in 23 patients. Cumulative survival rates were 78.5 ± 8.4% at 5 years and 50.2 ± 12.5% at 10 years (mean ±SEM) after initial distant metastasectomy. Conclusions: Our data show that extensive targeted metastasectomy in the setting of a tertiary center can be beneficial to patients with disseminated ThyrCa with persistent or recurrent distant disease, when used in conjunction with nonsurgical treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Metastasis
  • Multimodality therapy
  • Resection
  • Surgery
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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