The revised clinical practice guidelines on the management of thyroid tumors by the Japan Associations of Endocrine Surgeons: Core questions and recommendations for treatments of thyroid cancer

Endocr J. 2020 Jul 28;67(7):669-717. doi: 10.1507/endocrj.EJ20-0025. Epub 2020 Apr 9.


The Japan Associations of Endocrine Surgeons has developed the revised version of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Thyroid Tumors. This article describes the guidelines translated into English for the 35 clinical questions relevant to the therapeutic management of thyroid cancers. The objective of the guidelines is to improve health-related outcomes in patients with thyroid tumors by enabling users to make their practice evidence-based and by minimizing any variations in clinical practice due to gaps in evidential knowledge among physicians. The guidelines give representative flow-charts on the management of papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, along with recommendations for clinical questions by presenting evidence on the relevant outcomes including benefits, risks, and health conditions from patients' perspective. Therapeutic actions were recommended or not recommended either strongly (◎◎◎ or XXX) based on good evidence (😊)/good expert consensus (+++), or weakly (◎, ◎◎ or X, XX) based on poor evidence (😣)/poor expert consensus (+ or ++). Only 10 of the 51 recommendations given in the guidelines were supported by good evidence, whereas 35 were supported by good expert consensus. While implementing the current guidelines would be of help to achieve the objective, we need further clinical research to make our shared decision making to be more evidence-based.

Keywords: Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma; Clinical practice guidelines; Follicular thyroid carcinoma; Medullary thyroid carcinoma; Papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Endocrine Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Endocrine Surgical Procedures / standards*
  • Endocrinology / organization & administration
  • Endocrinology / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / organization & administration
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Societies, Medical / standards
  • Surgeons / education
  • Surgeons / organization & administration
  • Surgeons / standards
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / therapy*