Risk Factors Contributing to a Poor Prognosis of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma: Validity of UICC/AJCC TNM Classification and Stage Grouping

Yamaguchi University, Yamaguti, Yamaguchi, Japan
World Journal of Surgery (Impact Factor: 2.64). 05/2007; 31(4):838-48. DOI: 10.1007/s00268-006-0455-0
Source: PubMed


In 2002, the UICC/AJCC TNM classification for papillary thyroid carcinoma was revised. In this study, we examined the validity of this classification system by investigating the predictors of disease-free survival (DFS) and cause-specific survival (CSS) in patients.
We examined various clinicopathological features, including the component of the TNM classification, for 1,740 patients who underwent initial and curative surgery for papillary carcinoma between 1987 and 1995.
Clinical and pathological T4a, clinical N1b in the TNM classification, and patient age were recognized as independent predictors of not only DFS, but also CSS of patients. Tumor size, male gender, and central node metastasis independently affected DFS only. There were 1,005 pathological N1b patients, but pathological N1b did not independently affect either DFS or CSS. Regarding the stage grouping, clinical stage IVA including clinical N1b more clearly affected DFS and CSS than pathological stage IVA including pathological N1b.
Clinical stage grouping was more useful than pathological stage grouping for predicting the prognosis of papillary carcinoma patients possibly because pathological stage overestimates the biological characteristics of many pathological N1b tumors.

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