Mortality risk of nonoperative papillary thyroid carcinoma: A corollary for active surveillance Journal Article

Authors: Ho, A. S.; Luu, M.; Zalt, C.; Morris, L. G. T.; Chen, I.; Melany, M.; Ali, N.; Patio, C.; Chen, Y.; Mallen St. Clair, J.; Braunstein, G. D.; Sacks, W. L.; Zumsteg, Z. S.
Article Title: Mortality risk of nonoperative papillary thyroid carcinoma: A corollary for active surveillance
Abstract: Active surveillance is established as an alternative to surgery for papillary thyroid microcarcinomas, but inclusion criteria and mortality risk for pursuing a nonsurgical approach have not been clearly defined. To gauge the feasibility of expanding active surveillance thresholds, we investigated the effects of increasing size and age on disease-specific survival (DSS) in a large nonoperative thyroid cancer cohort, compared against a matched group of surgical patients. Methods: Papillary thyroid carcinoma patients staged T1-4N0M0 were identified in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database between 1975 and 2015, stratified by nonsurgical and surgical management. Propensity score matching was performed to adjust for imbalances in covariates. Multivariable models were constructed using restricted cubic splines to model nonlinear relationships of age and tumor size with DSS. Results: Overall, 1453 nonoperative patients and 54,718 surgical patients met the inclusion criteria. Collectively, increasing age and size after certain thresholds independently led to greater differences in DSS between nonsurgical and surgical patients. For younger ages (14-55 years), surgical approach compared with nonsurgical approach was not associated with any difference in the 10-year DSS among 0-4 cm cancers (99.8% vs. 100%, p = 0.470), 4.1-6 cm cancers (98.8% vs. 100%, p = 0.599), or >6 cm cancers (97.3% vs. 100%, p = 0.718). Older patients with larger tumors (>75 years, >6 cm) demonstrated the greatest difference in DSS (48.1% vs. 91.3%, p < 0.001). Similar results were found when applying propensity score matching. For age, restricted cubic spline plots showed minimal relative survival hazard in nonoperative cases beginning after age 60 years, with a change point illustrating acceleration in relative hazard beyond age 72 years. For size, relative survival hazard was observed after 2.0 cm and increased slowly with nodule growth up to an inflection point of 4.5 cm. Beyond this, mortality risk escalated with each additional year without plateau. Conclusions: Increasing age and size lead to progressively greater mortality risk without surgery, but only beyond certain thresholds. We define escalating gradients at which a nonsurgical approach may be deemed appropriate, and beyond which survival benefits from surgery become apparent. Such findings reconcile controversial observations regarding age and size in active surveillance and further reshape evolving treatment paradigms in thyroid cancer. © Copyright 2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2019.
Keywords: active surveillance; thyroid cancer; papillary thyroid carcinoma; low-risk cancer; nonsurgical treatment
Journal Title: Thyroid
Volume: 29
Issue: 10
ISSN: 1050-7256
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc  
Date Published: 2019-10-01
Start Page: 1409
End Page: 1417
Language: English
DOI: 10.1089/thy.2019.0060
PUBMED: 31407637
PROVIDER: scopus
PMCID: PMC7476400
Notes: Article -- Export Date: 1 November 2019 -- Source: Scopus
Citation Impact
MSK Authors
  1. Luc Morris
    192 Morris