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 Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways
28.06.2017 | University of Iowa Health Care

nachricht Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders
28.06.2017 | University of California - Davis

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>