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Prognostic significance of gross extrathyroidal extension invading only strap muscles in differentiated thyroid carcinoma. BJS 2018; 105: 1155-1162.

Published: 17th April 2018

Authors: S. Y. Park, H. I. Kim, J.‐H. Kim, J. S. Kim, Y. L. Oh, S. W. Kim et al.

Background

In the eighth edition of the AJCC staging system for differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC), minimal extrathyroidal extension (ETE) is no longer a determinant of T3 category. Instead, gross ETE invading only strap muscles has been designated as a new T3b category. The long‐term prognosis of patients with DTC and gross ETE invading only strap muscles was investigated.

Method

This was a retrospective analysis of patients who underwent thyroidectomy between 1996 and 2005. Differences in cancer‐specific and recurrence‐free survival according to extent of ETE were assessed.

Results

A total of 3174 patients with DTC were included. No significant differences were observed in 10‐year cancer‐specific survival among patients with no ETE (98·6 per cent), microscopic ETE (98·3 per cent) and gross ETE invading only strap muscles (98·9 per cent) (P = 0·375). The 10‐year recurrence‐free survival rate for patients with gross ETE invading only strap muscles (89·2 per cent) was shorter than that for patients with no ETE (93·7 per cent; P = 0·016), but similar to that of patients with microscopic ETE (90·3 per cent). In univariable analysis, patients with gross ETE invading only strap muscles had a significantly higher risk of recurrence than those with no ETE (hazard ratio (HR) 1·67, 95 per cent c.i. 1·10 to 2·55; P = 0·017). In multivariable analysis, gross ETE invading only strap muscles was not an independent predictor of recurrence (HR 1·09, 0·71 to 1·69; P = 0·685).

Conclusion

Although gross ETE invading only strap muscles may provide prognostic information about long‐term recurrence, it does not affect mortality. The actual impact of gross ETE invading only strap muscles will be important in revising the staging system in the future.

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