Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New treatment stops nasty side effects of thyroid cancer surgery, international study shows

17.06.2004


A new approach to therapy can avoid most of the debilitating effects of preparing for critical, postsurgical treatment for patients with thyroid cancer, according to an international study led by researchers from Johns Hopkins and the University of Pisa.



Using a genetically engineered thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) - called thyrotropin alfa, or rTSH - doctors were able to ablate, or destroy, the small amount of thyroid gland tissue that often remains after thyroidectomy, without the need to temporarily withhold thyroid hormone medication. This new approach also avoided the temporary but troubling symptoms flowing from the deficiency of thyroid hormone (or hypothyroidism), such as fatigue, weight gain, chilliness, slowed thinking, depression, constipation and muscle cramps.

The findings will be highlighted during the clinical trial symposium at the 86th annual meeting of The Endocrine Society in New Orleans, June 16-18.


"Recovery from thyroid cancer has been very difficult for patients because thyroid medication - to replace the thyroid hormone naturally produced by a healthy thyroid gland - has traditionally been withheld for four to six weeks after surgery so radioiodine could be used to identify and destroy glandular tissue that remained," said study co-lead investigator Paul Ladenson, M.D., professor and chief of the Division of Endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The study - at nine centers in North American and Europe - examined 63 patients with thyroid cancer, all of whom had thyroid removal surgery and were undergoing post-operative radioiodine therapy to ensure that all tissue was destroyed. This procedure, called remnant ablation, lowers the risk of thyroid cancer recurrence for some patients and makes for more accurate testing to detect it when it does return. It uses radioactive iodine to ablate remaining tissue and has previously required withholding of replacement thyroid hormone to allow the patient’s own levels of TSH to rise, stimulating thyroid tissue to take up the radioiodine that destroys it.

Each participant was assigned to either an experimental group or a control group. Participants in the experimental group received thyrotropin alfa while taking hormone replacement therapy to maintain a normal thyroid state. For those in the control group, hormone replacement therapy was withheld for the usual four-to-six weeks after surgery, sending them into hypothyroidism. All patients subsequently received radioiodine therapy to wipe out any remaining glandular tissue. Repeat radioiodine scans and thyroglobulin blood tests were performed eight months after surgery to assess the effectiveness of the two approaches.

For both study groups, radioiodine ablation was effective in 75 percent to 100 percent of patients - destroying all thyroid tissue, based on three different criteria. As the researchers expected, patients whose hormone therapy was withheld experienced more symptoms of hypothyroidism than patients who received the thyrotropin alfa.

"The advantage of thyrotropin alfa is that patients can remain on thyroid hormone medication while undergoing testing and not experience the symptoms of hypo-thyroidism," said Ladenson. "These results indicate that thyroid cancer patients can be treated effectively without the very unpleasant side effects that have previously been associated with temporarily withholding their thyroid hormone treatment after surgery."

The thyroid gland is located in the lower front part of the neck. It produces important hormones that the body needs to function normally. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2004, about 23,600 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. It is three times more common in women than in men. Most cases are discovered during a routine physical examination when a painless lump is found in the thyroid.

Co-authors of the study are Furio Pacini, University of Siena, Pisa, Italy; Martin Schlumberger and Carine Corone from the Institut Gustav Roussy, Paris, France; Al Driedger from London Health Sciences Centre, Canada; Richard Kloos from Ohio State University, Columbus; Steven Sherman from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Bryan Haugen from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver; and Christoph Reiners from the University of Wurzburg, Germany.


This study was funded by Genzyme Corporation of Cambridge, Mass., the manufacturer of thyrotropin alfa. Ladenson is a consultant to Genzyme. The terms of this arrangement are being managed by The Johns Hopkins University in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.

David March | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>