Poorly Differentiated Carcinoma of the Thyroid Gland: Current Status and Future Prospects

Thyroid : Official Journal of the American Thyroid Association
T IbrahimpasicI Ganly


Poorly differentiated thyroid cancer (PDTC) is a rare but clinically highly significant entity because it accounts for most fatalities from non-anaplastic follicular cell-derived thyroid cancer. Due to the relative rarity of the disease and heterogeneous diagnostic criteria, studies on PDTC have been limited. In light of the evolution of ultra-deep next-generation sequencing technologies and through correlation of clinicopathologic and genomic characteristics of PDTC, an improved understanding of the biology of PDTC has been facilitated. Here, the diagnostic criteria, clinicopathologic characteristics, management, and outcomes in PDTC, as well as genomic drivers in PDTC reported in recent next-generation sequencing studies, are reviewed. In addition, future prospects in improving the outcomes in PDTC patients are reviewed. PDTC patients tend to present with adverse clinicopathologic characteristics: older age, male predominance, advanced locoregional disease, and distant metastases. Surgery with clearance of all gross disease can achieve satisfactory locoregional control. However, the majority of PDTC patients die of distant disease. Five-year disease-specific survival for PDTC patients has been reported at 66%. On multivariate...Continue Reading


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