Medullary thyroid cancer: An experience from a tertiary care hospital of a developing country

Sajjad Khan, Abdul Aziz, Umer Esbhani, Muhammad Masood

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Background: Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a rare type of thyroid cancer that occasionally occurs as part of MEN2A. The universal treatment of MTC is total thyroidectomy with central lymph node dissection. For disease progression, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and calcitonin (CTN) need to be followed. Our aim was to study the presence and patterns of the above-mentioned characteristics of MTC in our population. Methodology: This retrospective study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital of Pakistan in which data of thirty-Two medullary thyroid cancer patients over the past 20 years were reviewed and analysed after fulfilment of inclusion criteria. Their clinical, pathological, biochemical and treatment modalities were recorded through a retrospective review of their medical record files. Results: The mean age of patients was 42.88 ± 2.67 years in our study, with a male-To-female ratio of 2:1. Patients with sporadic MTC were 68.8%, while 31.2% were familial. The rates of metastasis were highest in bones followed by lungs and liver. Total thyroidectomy was performed in 26 (81.2%) patients and among those chemotherapy and XRT were performed in one and two patients, respectively. Histologically, the mean tumour size was 7.62 ± 3.64 cm. Median pre-surgery calcitonin was 5756 pg/ml that decreased to 29.3 pg/ml post-surgery. Median pre-surgery CEA level was 246.5 ng/ml that decreased to 6.39 ng/ml post-surgery. Two patients were RET positive. Conclusion: MTC usually presents in the fourth decade of life with male predominance and mostly sporadic occurrence. Total thyroidectomy with subsequent serial calcitonin and CEA levels thereafter are the mainstay of treatment and follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-72
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Clinicopathological characteristics
  • developing country
  • medullary thyroid cancer


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