Time trend in tumour size and characteristics of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma
Article first published online: 14 AUG 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 77, Issue 3, pages 459–464, September 2012
How to Cite
Han, J. M., Kim, W. B., Kim, T. Y., Ryu, J.-S., Gong, G., Hong, S. J., Kim, J.-H., Oh, Y. L., Jang, H. W., Kim, S. W., Chung, J. H. and Shong, Y. K. (2012), Time trend in tumour size and characteristics of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. Clinical Endocrinology, 77: 459–464. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2012.04396.x
- Issue published online: 14 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 14 AUG 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 28 MAR 2012 01:16PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 9 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 22 FEB 2011
- Manuscript Received: 26 JAN 2011
- Korean Foundation for Cancer Research
Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is one of the most aggressive malignancies. Nevertheless, there have been reports that some patients experience long-term survival and those in whom ATCs of small size are often detected. We evaluated the time trend of characteristics of ATC such as size and association with coexistent differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). We also found the characteristics of patients showing long-term survival.
Design and Patients
This is a retrospective observational cohort study from the two major tertiary referral hospitals in Seoul, Korea. Ninety-five patients who had been diagnosed with ATC from 1995 to 2010 were included. We classified them into three groups according to the time of initial diagnosis: group 1 (1995–1999), group 2 (2000–2004) and group 3 (2005–2010).
The mean tumour size decreased significantly according to groups; 6·2, 5·5 and 4·0 cm in group 1, 2 and 3, respectively (P = 0·02). The frequency of cases with coexistent DTC increased; 10·3%, 35·1% and 48·3% in group 1, 2 and 3, respectively (P = 0·02). Fifteen of 95 patients survived more than 24 months, and among them, 13 are still alive who underwent curative surgery. Among 15 long-term survivors, nine patients with ATC arising from DTC had ATC tumour portion less than 1 cm. Another five patients with ATC without coexistent DTC had relatively small-sized tumours (1·0–4·0 cm).
The tumour size of ATC decreased, and cases with coexistent DTC increased over the last two decades. We found that patients with ATC showing long-term survival are those who had atypical presentations such as anaplastic transformation in early stage of DTC or small size of tumours without coexistent DTC.