Metastatic Papillary Thyroid Cancer to the Liver: The Central Role of a Multidisciplinary Approach to Treatment

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Ochsner Journal


Background: Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is comprised of papillary and follicular subtypes, and both have an overall excel-lent long-term prognosis. Patients with localized DTC that is successfully treated, usually with surgery, exhibit long-term survival well above 90%. In contrast, patients who develop distant metastatic disease have a significantly worse overall prognosis and out-come, often with disease that is refractory to conventional therapy such as surgery, radioactive iodine, and hormone suppression. For patients who recur with distant metastatic disease, limited effective treatment options are available, and most die of their disease within 5 years of recurrence. Case Report: We report the case of a 26-year-old female who presented with recurrent papillary thyroid cancer and a metastatic lesion isolated to the liver. Because of the extremely large size of the metastatic liver mass upon initial presentation, we took a neoadjuvant, multifaceted approach to treatment that included selective internal radioembolization therapy, an oral multikinase inhibitor, and surgical resection of the tumor mass after maximal reduction in tumor size. However, the patient died of metastatic DTC after 39 months of treatment. Conclusion: A multimodal, comprehensive approach to managing such complex patients is essential to optimize both the sequence and therapeutic approach to treatment.

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