Palliation of advanced thyroid malignancies

Surg Oncol. 2007 Dec;16(4):237-47. doi: 10.1016/j.suronc.2007.08.006. Epub 2007 Sep 14.


While most thyroid cancers are slow-growing and have an excellent prognosis after appropriate treatment, a subset of thyroid cancers behave aggressively, and approximately 1500 individuals in the US will die of the disease in the year 2007. Advanced thyroid malignancies can cause distressing and life-threatening symptoms by local invasion in the neck, growth of distant metastases in the lung, bone, and other organs, and tumor production of bioactive substances in the case of medullary thyroid cancer. This article will review palliative modalities, including surgery, radioactive iodine, external beam radiation, and chemotherapy, as well as novel targeted therapies, for the treatment of patients with advanced thyroid malignancies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / therapy*