Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

  • Christian Passler
  • Reza Asari
  • Christian Scheuba
  • Bruno Niederle

12.13 Conclusion

Multimodal treatment using hyperfractionated radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery may be the treatment of choice for ATC. Surgery plays an important role because local tumor control cannot be achieved without debulking of large tumor masses.

Current evidence indicates that undifferentiated thyroid carcinoma originates from follicular cells. Therefore prognostic factors are related primarily to the extent of the disease at presentation. A small number of patients with completely resectable tumors (mainly as incidental ATC in the form of small foci of ATC in differentiated carcinomas) may be cured by aggressive surgery in combination with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Nevertheless, in most patients death from ATC cannot be avoided, since multimodal treatment does not have much influence on distant metastases and thus on the survival rate. However, quality of life can be improved. It is probably less severe to die from distant metastases, than from suffocation due to failure of local tumor control. Although future therapeutic aspects are promising, clinical trials showing their impact on survival are still lacking.


Thyroid Cancer Thyroid Carcinoma Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma Local Tumor Control Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Passler
    • 1
  • Reza Asari
    • 1
  • Christian Scheuba
    • 1
  • Bruno Niederle
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Endocrine Surgery, Department of SurgeryVienny University HospitalViennaAustria
  2. 2.Division of Endocrine Surgery, Department of SurgeryMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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