Thyroid Cancer Treatment
The latest innovations in thyroid cancer treatment are available from the multispecialty team of cancer experts at Moffitt Cancer Center. We believe that a team approach is always the most beneficial for patients and that is the reason why Moffitt makes it as convenient as possible for our patients to consult with numerous experts in a single location.
We offer our patients expertise at every level of our multispecialty team consisting of endocrinologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine specialists, radiation oncologists, speech therapists, and geneticists specializing in thyroid tumors. Challenging cases are discussed at multispecialty tumor board on weekly basis.
Thyroid cancer treatment
Management of thyroid cancer is very specific and highly individualized based on patient characteristics, tumor characteristics and expertise of the clinical team. At Moffitt Cancer Center, we recognize that one size does not fit all, and we develop personalized, evidenced-based treatment plans for patients with thyroid cancer.
After the diagnosis of cancer is established, the patient is evaluated for the need and extent of surgery. Previously, almost all our patients were treated with total thyroidectomy, however we now offer lobectomy and active surveillance for selected patients.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we are privileged to offer our patients experienced thyroid surgeons. The most important surgery for thyroid cancer patients is the first surgery, and it is essential to have it done by an experienced, high-volume surgeon. Our thyroid cancer surgeons achieve the best clinical outcome by balancing the potential benefits and risks of each procedure in order to maximize the benefits and avoid unnecessary risks. Each patient undergoes meticulous planning with the appropriate imaging prior to surgery.
Surgery is the most commonly recommended option for thyroid cancer treatment, and our surgeons perform a wide range of innovative surgical procedures, including:
Lobectomy – Can be used to treat well-differentiated cancers, such as papillary and follicular cancers that have not spread beyond the thyroid
Total thyroidectomy – Removes all of the thyroid
Central neck exploration and dissection of the lymph nodes – If the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, the affected nodes are removed during surgery
Lateral neck dissection – Lymph nodes and fatty tissue in the neck are removed to treat lymphatic metastases
Radioactive iodine therapy (RAI) is used for selected patients with papillary or follicular thyroid cancer. It works by finding and destroying cancer cells that remain after surgery or have spread beyond the thyroid. The dose and preparation for RAI therapy is determined according to the cancer and patient characteristics. Some patients require more than one treatment with radioactive iodine.
Patients with advanced aggressive disease in the neck, disease that grew into other organs and structures, particularly when not completely removed by surgery are treated with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). Patients with multiple recurrences who cannot be treated surgically as well as patients with metastatic disease to the bones, brain and other organs are also considered for EBRT. EBRT uses a machine located outside a patient’s body generating high-energy X-rays that are targeted to destroy cancer cells in a specific area.
Patients with metastatic progressive thyroid cancer are treated with multikinase inhibitors. Based on thyroid cancer mutational profile we use targeted therapies for thyroid cancer patients.
At Moffitt, our dedicated research team continues to evaluate new thyroid cancer treatments. In recognition of these efforts, Moffitt has been designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center – the only one based in Florida – by the National Cancer Institute. We have a robust portfolio of clinical trials with active protocols for thyroid cancers through which qualified patients can benefit from promising therapies that aren’t yet available elsewhere.