Naifa L. Busaidy, MD, associate professor, MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the results of a cooperative study that investigated the association between long-term thyroid hormone suppression therapy (THST) and improved outcomes in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC).
Busaidy says the study, which followed 5000 patients, examined if excess thyroid hormone can improve disease-free survival. It is known that in thyroid cancer, giving a patient excess thyroid hormone will decrease recurrence risk but physicians do not know how much hormone thyroid suppression is most effective.
The study found that thyroid hormone suppression is important for the first 3 years but suppressing the patient beyond 3 years might not be necessary. Busaidy says the study also showed that physicians do not need to aggressively use THST. Suppressing the thyroid hormone can cause adverse events, such as irregular heartbeat and osteoporosis.
Busaidy says it is important to weigh the risks and benefits of each patient.
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