PMID: 1111937Mar 1, 1975Paper

Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid gland

G C ChongL B Woolner


One hundred thirty-nine surgically treated patients with medullary carcinoma of the thyroid gland (MTC) were seen in our institution between January, 1926 and December, 1973. The incidence of this tumor among all thyroid cancers was 8%. Twenty-nine patients had the familial form of MTC; they were subclassified, on the basis of the phenotype, into a group of 15 patients with Sipple syndrome (or multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) Type 2A) and a group of 14 patients with mucosal-neuroma phenotype (or MEN type 2B). Better survivorship was seen in the younger patients, in those with bilateral tumors, in familial MTC, and in patients whose tumor was confined to the thyroid gland at the initial surgery. The incidence of tumor recurrence was 34%. However, in those with adequate surgical treatment, the recurrence was only 23%. The 5- and 10-year survivorships were 80% and 67%, respectively. The best chance of cure lies in early diagnosis through the use of immunoreactive calcitonin measurement in family members at risk, and an aggressive surgical attack on the primary tumor and any cervical metastases.


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