Endocrine tumours: familial nonmedullary thyroid carcinoma is a more aggressive disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur J Endocrinol. 2015 Jun;172(6):R253-62. doi: 10.1530/EJE-14-0960. Epub 2015 Jan 30.


Objective: There is controversy as to whether familial nonmedullary thyroid carcinoma (FNMTC) is more aggressive than sporadic NMTC (SNMTC). The aim of the study was to evaluate the biological characteristics of patients with FNMTC by a meta-analysis.

Methods: Four databases (PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane library databases, and the Web of Science) were searched to identify studies published before September, 2014. All original studies that compared clinical characteristics and prognosis of patients with FNMTC and SNMTC were included. The pooled effect sizes of interesting parameters were calculated by odds ratio (OR), standard mean difference (SMD), or hazard ratio (HR).

Results: Twelve studies with a total of 12 741 participants were included in this analysis. FNMTC patients had an increased rate of recurrence (OR=1.72, 95% CI: 1.34 to 2.20) and decreased disease-free survival (DFS) (HR=1.83, 95% CI: 1.34 to 2.52) in comparison with SNMTC patients. FNMTC possessed more aggressive biological behaviors, characterized by younger age at diagnosis (SMD=-0.91, 95% CI: -1.59 to -0.22), higher risk of multifocal (OR=1.50, 95% CI: 1.32 to 1.71), bilateral (OR=1.29, 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.66), extrathyroidal invasion (OR=1.20, 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.41), and lymph node metastasis (OR=1.18, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.38).

Conclusion: FNMTC is a more aggressive disease and possesses higher recurrence rate and lower DFS. More attention and careful consideration should be paid regarding the decision about treatment for patients with FNMTC.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Thyroid Cancer, Papillary
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / mortality
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology*