CONTEXT: Current American Thyroid Association (ATA) Management Guidelines for the treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) stratify patients to decide on additional radioiodine (RAI) therapy after surgery, and to predict recurring/persisting disease. However, studies evaluating the detection of distant metastases and how these guidelines perform in patients with distant metastases are scarce. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the 2015 ATA Guidelines in DTC patients with respect to 1) the detection of distant metastases, and 2) the accuracy of its Risk Stratification System in patients with distant metastases. PATIENTS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We retrospectively included 83 DTC patients who were diagnosed with distant metastases around the time of initial therapy, and a control population of 472 patients (312 low-risk, 160 intermediate-risk) who did not have a routine indication for RAI therapy. We used the control group to assess the percentage of distant metastases that would have been missed if no RAI therapy was given. RESULTS: Two hundred forty-six patients had no routine indication for RAI therapy of which 4 (1.6%) had distant metastases. Furthermore, among the 83 patients with distant metastases, 14 patients (17%) had excellent response, while 55 (67%) had structural disease after a median follow-up of 62 months. None of the 14 patients that achieved an excellent response had a recurrence. CONCLUSIONS: In patients without a routine indication for RAI therapy according to the 2015 ATA Guidelines, distant metastases would initially have been missed in 1.6% of the patients. Furthermore, in patients with distant metastases upon diagnosis, the 2015 ATA Guidelines are an excellent predictor of both persistent disease and recurrence.

American thyroid association guidelines, differentiated thyroid cancer, distant metastases, prognosis, recurrence, survival,
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Department of Internal Medicine

van Velsen, E.F.S, Stegenga, M.T. (Merel T.), van Kemenade, F.J, Kam, B.L.R. (Boen L R), van Ginhoven, T.M, Visser, W.J, & Peeters, R.P. (2020). Evaluation of the 2015 ATA Guidelines in Patients With Distant Metastatic Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 105(3). doi:10.1210/clinem/dgz137