The incidence and survival analysis for anaplastic thyroid cancer: a SEER database analysis

Am J Transl Res. 2019 Sep 15;11(9):5888-5896. eCollection 2019.


Background: Thyroid carcinoma is the most common malignant endocrine tumor; the anaplastic thyroid cancer subtype is aggressive and has a poor prognosis. However, there is no effective treatment for this disease.

Methods: This study was analyzed using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Joinpoint regression models, linear regression models, Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox regression models were used to study the trends in incidence, survival rate and median survival time and to detect the risk factors affecting prognosis in patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Results: While the incidence rate and truncated incidence rate fluctuated slightly over the past 30 years, they were relatively stable and had no obvious upward trend (APC = -0.22 and 0.24, respectively, P>0.05). The median survival was 3.16 months, and the survival rate did not improve significantly (the APC values of the 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month survival rates were 0.44, 0.35, -0.23 and -0.86, respectively, P>0.05). After subgroup analysis and survival analysis, it was concluded that the prognosis of the patients might be related to their metastatic stage, surgical status, chemotherapy treatment, age and socioeconomic status at the time of diagnosis (P<0.05). Total thyroidectomy is superior to other methods and is beneficial in prolonging the life of patients and improving the overall survival rate (the median survival was 10 months, and the 6-month survival rate was 59.26%).

Conclusion: The incidence trend for anaplastic thyroid cancer over the last 30 years was stable, and the survival rate and median survival time were not significantly improved. The prognosis of the patients may be related to their metastatic stage, age, socioeconomic status, surgical status and chemotherapy treatment.

Keywords: Anaplastic thyroid cancer; SEER database; epidemiology; prognosis.