[Radioiodine therapy and radioiodine after-care in differentiated thyroid gland carcinomas]

A R Börner, H W Müller-Gärtner
Zentralblatt Für Chirurgie 1997, 122 (4): 274-85
Differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) is a rare tumor with a generally good prognosis. Still some of these cancers cause the patient's death after many years of illness. Thus, treatment and aftercare have to be risk-adapted according to tumor type and staging. Surgery is the primary treatment for this tumor and its metastases, followed by therapy with radioiodine. According to the guidelines edited by the German Association for Nuclear Medicine (DGN)--work group for therapy--radioiodine therapy is an effective regimen with minimal side-effects. Radioiodine scintigraphy is the most important part of the aftercare program, together with the monitoring of the highly specific tumormarker thyreoglobulin. Other diagnostic modalities may be added when considering therapeutic options or confirming clinical suspicions. This paper aims at giving an update and overview on the applications of radioiodine, other radioisotopes and additional diagnostic and therapeutic options in differentiated thyroid cancer and related aspects of radiation exposure and radiation protection. As new therapeutic procedures and optimised diagnostic modalities become available, there is new hope for patients with locally advanced or metastatic DTC.

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