Newly revised guidelines for managing thyroid cancer published in Thyroid journal

November 5, 2009

The American Thyroid Association has released new, revised Management Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. The new guidelines are published in Thyroid, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Thyroid is the official journal of the American Thyroid Association (ATA).

The ATA Guidelines Taskforce updated and revised the initial management guidelines it released in 2006 because of the large number of new clinical research findings that have been published in the last three years. Thyroid nodules continue to be a common clinical problem, and the prevalence of differentiated is rapidly increasing.

For managing thyroid nodules, the guidelines focus on the initial presentation, clinical and ultrasound evaluation, the decision to perform fine-needle biopsy and how to interpret the results, and the management of benign thyroid nodules.

The revised guidelines for managing thyroid cancer provide recommendations for optimal surgical management, the use of radioiodine remnant ablation, suppression therapy, as well as long-term surveillance based on ultrasound, other imaging modalities, and laboratory testing.

Accompanying the Management Guidelines published in Thyroid are four editorials that include commentary on the preparation of the revised guidelines, highlights of the 2009 revisions, the transition from consensus- to evidence-based best practices, and a surgical perspective. The editorials were written by Charles H. Emerson, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Thyroid and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, in Worcester; Leonard Wartofsky, MD, from Washington Hospital Center (District of Columbia); jointly by Efisio Puxeddu, MD, PhD, from University of Perugia, and Sebastiano Filetti, MD, from University of Rome, Italy; and jointly by Dana Hartl, MD, PhD, and Jean-Paul Travagli, MD, from Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

"The Taskforce worked very hard to draft guidelines that were clinically relevant and evidence-based. We hope that they will provide a framework for the care of patients with nodular thyroid disease and thyroid cancer that will be accepted throughout the world," said David S. Cooper, MD, ATA Guidelines Taskforce Chair and Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD).

"The newly revised ATA Task Force Guidelines are a worthy successor to the original guidelines published in 2006. They will be carefully scrutinized by clinical investigators and used on a daily basis by physicians as they evaluate thyroid nodules and manage thyroid cancer," said Charles H. Emerson, MD.

"Guidelines should be designed to guide, and this revision signals the maturation of internationally well received advice on the management of patients with potentially serious disease. Nobody should underestimate the danger of badly managed thyroid cancer and this American Thyroid Association Task Force has produced a first class guide for practitioners," said Terry Davies, MD, President of the American Association and Florence and Theodore Baumritter Professor of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York, NY).

More information: The ATA's revised Management Guidelines and accompanying editorials are available free online at www.liebertpub.com/thy

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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