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Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

Updated : April 29, 2024





Background

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is a rare and aggressive form of thyroid cancer. Because of this cancer up to 40% of deaths are reported worldwide.  

This aggressive tumor rapidly grows and spreads with a poor prognosis and patients usually show rapid growth on their neck mass. 

Epidemiology

Anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid is a rare thyroid malignancy, and it shows a 3:1 ratio of female to male. 

The reported cases in the United States are more than 1000 which are reported in one year.  

Anatomy

Pathophysiology

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma occurs in individuals with iodine-deficient areas. 

In the studies it is noted that the terminal De-differentiation of Long-standing thyroid carcinoma is still undetected. 

Etiology

The causes of Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma are not studied yet. 

Genetics

Prognostic Factors

The diagnosis stage shows a better prognosis in cases of early-stage patients. 

The most patients survive with this disorder only for a few months after diagnosis and there are very less chances of surviving for 5 years.  

Clinical History

Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma occurs in older adults those are more than 60 years old. 

 

Physical Examination

  • Lymph Node Examination  
  • Neck Examination 
  • Respiratory Distress Assessment  

Age group

Associated comorbidity

Associated activity

Acuity of presentation

ATC is a condition characterized by sudden neck mass increase and compressive symptoms like swallowing and breathing difficulties, presents over weeks to months. 

Differential Diagnoses

  • Differentiated Thyroid Carcinomas  
  • Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma 
  • Thyroid Lymphoma 

Laboratory Studies

Imaging Studies

Procedures

Histologic Findings

Staging

Treatment Paradigm

Surgical resection is the initial treatment part for localized ATC.  

There are some therapies such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy that are used by medical surgeons for treatment. 

Appointments with medical physicians and preventing recurrence of infection is an ongoing life-long effort. 

by Stage

by Modality

Chemotherapy

Radiation Therapy

Surgical Interventions

Hormone Therapy

Immunotherapy

Hyperthermia

Photodynamic Therapy

Stem Cell Transplant

Targeted Therapy

Palliative Care

Use of a non-pharmacological approach for Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

In immunotherapy the aim is to identify and destroy cancer cells to improve patient’s immune system. 

Inform patients on ways to prevent this and what steps to take and to promote lifestyle changes.  

Use hypoxia modulation therapy which aims to improve oxygen delivery in hypoxic tumor region of patient. 

Use of Antineoplastics for treatment of Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

Doxorubicin: It generates free radicals which causes DNA damage and apoptosis of cancer cells. 

Cisplatin: It has DNA cross-links which causes damage to intrastrand and interstrand DNA which inhibits DNA replication and transcription process. 

Use of Intervention with a procedure in treating Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

Debulking surgery is considered in such cases when complete resection is not possible due to extensive local invasion. 

Tracheostomy is considered only in patients who experience airway complaints due to tracheal compression. 

Use of phases in managing Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

In the initial diagnosis phase, clinical evaluation, imaging studies, and biopsy of the thyroid mass to confirm the diagnosis these all activities performed by physicians.  

In palliative care phase, therapists should give attention to reduce pain and improve nutritional support of the patient. 

Physicians should arrange regular follow-up visits to check the improvement of patients and newly observed complaints. 

 

Medication

Media Gallary

Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

Updated : April 29, 2024




Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is a rare and aggressive form of thyroid cancer. Because of this cancer up to 40% of deaths are reported worldwide.  

This aggressive tumor rapidly grows and spreads with a poor prognosis and patients usually show rapid growth on their neck mass. 

Anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid is a rare thyroid malignancy, and it shows a 3:1 ratio of female to male. 

The reported cases in the United States are more than 1000 which are reported in one year.  

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma occurs in individuals with iodine-deficient areas. 

In the studies it is noted that the terminal De-differentiation of Long-standing thyroid carcinoma is still undetected. 

The causes of Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma are not studied yet. 

The diagnosis stage shows a better prognosis in cases of early-stage patients. 

The most patients survive with this disorder only for a few months after diagnosis and there are very less chances of surviving for 5 years.  

Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma occurs in older adults those are more than 60 years old. 

 

  • Lymph Node Examination  
  • Neck Examination 
  • Respiratory Distress Assessment  

ATC is a condition characterized by sudden neck mass increase and compressive symptoms like swallowing and breathing difficulties, presents over weeks to months. 

  • Differentiated Thyroid Carcinomas  
  • Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma 
  • Thyroid Lymphoma 

Surgical resection is the initial treatment part for localized ATC.  

There are some therapies such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy that are used by medical surgeons for treatment. 

Appointments with medical physicians and preventing recurrence of infection is an ongoing life-long effort. 

In immunotherapy the aim is to identify and destroy cancer cells to improve patient’s immune system. 

Inform patients on ways to prevent this and what steps to take and to promote lifestyle changes.  

Use hypoxia modulation therapy which aims to improve oxygen delivery in hypoxic tumor region of patient. 

Doxorubicin: It generates free radicals which causes DNA damage and apoptosis of cancer cells. 

Cisplatin: It has DNA cross-links which causes damage to intrastrand and interstrand DNA which inhibits DNA replication and transcription process. 

Debulking surgery is considered in such cases when complete resection is not possible due to extensive local invasion. 

Tracheostomy is considered only in patients who experience airway complaints due to tracheal compression. 

In the initial diagnosis phase, clinical evaluation, imaging studies, and biopsy of the thyroid mass to confirm the diagnosis these all activities performed by physicians.  

In palliative care phase, therapists should give attention to reduce pain and improve nutritional support of the patient. 

Physicians should arrange regular follow-up visits to check the improvement of patients and newly observed complaints.