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Editorial  |  Open Access  |  24 Jan 2022

New developments in management of metastatic thyroid cancer

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J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2022;8:3.
10.20517/2394-4722.2021.156 |  © The Author(s) 2022.
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Thyroid cancer is increasing in prevalence[1]. Despite the use of ultrasonography for detection in an early phase, aggressive variants leading to metastatic disease continue to occur in perhaps 5% of patients[2]. This issue of the Journal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment focuses on thyroid cancer. The ten timely review articles provide an excellent overview of selected aspects of metastatic thyroid cancer.

Davidson and Carr[3] provide a thorough review of thyroid cancer metabolism and the principal pathways leading to thyroid cancer with superb illustrations of the various metabolic pathways. In addition, this article reviews the various pharmacologic inhibitors of the pathways, thus providing the reader with an efficient source for comprehending the extensive literature in this field.

Autophagy plays an important role in the homeostasis and survival of thyroid cells. Nagayama provides a very thorough review of the role of autophagy in thyroid cancer and defines the need for additional pharmacologic studies that target this pathway in thyroid cancer cells[4].

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is still a rapidly deadly tumor without any established therapy. Lee and Cheng[5] present elegant studies of transcriptional pathways to explain transcriptional addiction that makes this tumor so difficult to treat effectively. They propose the use of small molecule inhibitors to target the transcriptional regulators in ATC.

Quartuccio and Rubello[6] performed a comprehensive database review and meta-analysis of 18F-FDG PET/CT for detection of hematogenous spread of metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer and found a detection rate of 87% with specificity of 86%. This confirms the utility of this technique in the follow-up of patients with metastatic DTC.

Corn et al.[7] review the issue of finding uptake in the thyroid when 18F-FDG PET/CT is performed for evaluation of other malignancies. They report incidental thyroid uptake on PET/CT at their institution in 3.4% of 4726 scans. Focal uptake was noted in 2.2%, and diffuse uptake was diffuse in 1.2%. They review the literature and provide insightful recommendations for the management of the incidentaloma.

Matrone et al.[8] provide a thorough review of the scientific rationale and current therapy of metastatic medullary thyroid cancer.

Many patients with metastatic thyroid cancer are elderly and have cardiovascular disease that limits the choice of therapy for the metastases. Izkhakov et al.[9] review the influence of cardiovascular disease in the overall prognosis among thyroid cancer survivors.

Damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve is a major issue in the surgical treatment of thyroid cancer, especially in regard to second surgeries for removal of local metastases. Priya et al.[10] provide a timely review of the methods and techniques of intraoperative recurrent laryngeal nerve monitoring for the preservation of the function of this key structure.


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The author declared that there are no conflicts of interest.

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© The Author(s) 2022.


1. Lim H, Devesa SS, Sosa JA, Check D, Kitahara CM. Trends in thyroid cancer incidence and mortality in the United States, 1974-2013. JAMA 2017;317:1338-48.

2. Harari A, Singh RK. Increased rates of advanced thyroid cancer in California. J Surg Res 2016;201:244-52.

3. Davidson CD, Carr FE. Review of pharmacological inhibition of thyroid cancer metabolism. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2021;7:45.

4. Nagayama Y. Autophagy and thyroid cancer. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2021;7:6.

5. Lee WK, Cheng SY. Targeting transcriptional regulators for treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2021;7:27.

6. Quartuccio N, Rubello D. Role of 18F-FDG PET/CT in detection of hematogenous metastases of advanced differentiated thyroid carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2021;7:14.

7. Corn S, Mitmaker E, Tabar R, Ciarallo A, How J. Incidental thyroid uptake on PET scanning: epidemiology, clinical significance, and management challenge. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2021;7:41.

8. Matrone A, Gambale C, Prete A, et al. Systemic treatment of advanced, metastatic, medullary thyroid carcinoma. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2021;7:23.

9. Izkhakov E, Keinan-boker L, Stern N. Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality as a confounder of prognosis in thyroid cancer. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2021;7:24.

10. Priya S, Garg S, Dandekar M. Intraoperative monitoring of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in surgeries for thyroid cancer: a review. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2021;7:70.

Cite This Article

OAE Style

Hershman JM. New developments in management of metastatic thyroid cancer. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2022;8:3.

AMA Style

Hershman JM. New developments in management of metastatic thyroid cancer. Journal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment. 2022; 8: 3.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hershman, Jerome M.. 2022. "New developments in management of metastatic thyroid cancer" Journal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment. 8: 3.

ACS Style

Hershman, JM. New developments in management of metastatic thyroid cancer. J. Cancer. Metastasis. Treat. 2022, 8, 3.

About This Article

Special Issue

This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism and Treatment of Thyroid Cancer
© The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, for any purpose, even commercially, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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Journal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment
ISSN 2454-2857 (Online) 2394-4722 (Print)


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