Management of thyroid carcinoma invading the aerodigestive tract.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The Laryngoscope (Impact Factor: 2.14). 10/1998; 108(9):1402-7.
Source: PubMed


To evaluate approaches to thyroid carcinoma invading the aerodigestive tract, with particular attention to well-differentiated carcinomas.
Retrospective review of experience with thyroid carcinoma invading the aerodigestive tract over a 20-year period at a tertiary referral hospital.
The medical records of all patients with a diagnosis of thyroid cancer treated at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, from 1977 through 1997 were reviewed. Multiple clinical variables were analyzed including treatment, development of recurrence, and survival. Survival and time to local recurrence were determined by Kaplan-Meier analysis, and statistical comparisons were made using log-rank analysis.
Five hundred thirty-six cases were identified; 28 patients (5.2%) were identified with invasive disease involving the aerodigestive tract. Histologic findings at the time of invasion included 15 well-differentiated (WD) carcinomas and 13 poorly differentiated (PD) carcinomas. Eight of the 28 patients (5 WD, 3 PD) underwent surgical resection of some portion of the aerodigestive tract with curative intent. Ten patients (8 WD, 2 PD) underwent incomplete resection with tumor left adjacent to aerodigestive tract structures. All patients undergoing incomplete resection developed local recurrence. Six required salvage resection, as opposed to no recurrences in WD carcinomas following complete resection (P = .01). Survival at 5 years for WD carcinomas undergoing complete resection versus initial incomplete resection was 100% versus 50%, respectively (P = .27).
Review of our experience shows that complete resection of thyroid carcinoma invading the aerodigestive tract can offer prolonged palliation, improved local control, and the opportunity for cure in selected patients.

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