Saturday, May 28, 2011

Scientists Explore How Thyroid Cancer Metastasizes

Distant metastases of thyroid cancer can dramatically reduce a patient's likelihood of survival, which is one reason why a scientist at the Ohio State University College of Medicine recently reviewed the current clinical understanding of how thyroid carcinoma cells migrate.

Dr. Matthew Ringel, who also hails from the Arthur G. James Comprehensive Cancer Center, stated that a number of factors can influence the metastasis of thyroid cancer, but that the disease appears to be able to spread at nearly any stage. Ringel's review, which appeared in the journal Thyroid, traced the study of metastasis back to 1889, when English pathologist Stephen Paget described cancer migration using a "seed and soil" model.

Today, this analogy is still widely used, according to a review published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Medicine. That said, in the past century, researchers have added significantly to the collective knowledge about how thyroid cancer spreads. Ringel noted that the migration of thyroid tumor cells to other parts of the body can be thought of in terms of short dormancy or long dormancy.

Short-dormant metastases involve the mutation of thyroid cancer epithelial cells into those that can grow into a number of different cell types. These cells escape into the bloodstream, stick in different organ systems and begin growing almost immediately.  The study's author noted that short-dormant metastatic cells tend to be organ-specific. For instance, while medullary thyroid cancer often metastasizes in the liver and bones, papillary thyroid cancer usually migrates to the lungs or brain, he wrote.

By contrast, long dormancy is a more recently observed phenomenon. Ringel stated that once embedded in a distant organ system, long-dormant thyroid cancer cells may wait for months or years before rapidly multiplying, due to either genetic variations, immune activity or the cellular micro environment.  The endocrinologist added that different varieties of the disease tend to be short- or long-dormant.

He specified that anaplastic, invasive papillary and invasive follicular thyroid cancers often spread quickly, while metastases of well-differentiated forms of the condition may experience long periods of dormancy.

SOURCE: endocrineweb

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Treatments and Shifting Paradigms in Differentiated Thyroid Cancer Management


Background: Although most thyroid cancer patients have an excellent prognosis, 10% of low-risk cancers and 25% of high-risk cancers recur, with mortality rates in excess of 50% at 3 years for aggressive thyroid cancer. Traditional paradigms including surgery, I131 ablation, and TSH suppression do not offer additional therapeutic options for cancers that fail these interventions. Risk stratification and outcomes data are shifting the treatment paradigms to favor more individualized therapies based on risk, and new treatment targets have been identified with promise to treat more aggressive thyroid cancer.

Methods: The authors review the recent literature and published guidelines on thyroid cancer and summarize changing management paradigms and treatments of thyroid cancer.

Results: Outcomes data and risk stratification have promoted changes to traditional paradigms. Total/near-total thyroidectomy improves outcomes in both recurrence and mortality. Central compartment lymph node dissection facilitates nodal status determination and likely improves outcomes, while low-risk patients with small tumors are not likely to benefit from I131 remnant ablation. Early-phase studies have demonstrated significant improvement in progression-free survival with multikinase inhibitors targeting MAPK and angiogenic pathways.

Conclusions: Risk stratification and outcomes data have modified treatment paradigms in thyroid cancer. Patients with progressive thyroid cancer that is no longer surgically resectable or iodine avid should be considered for treatment with multikinase inhibitors, preferably by enrollment in a therapeutic treatment trial

Posted: 05/10/2011; Cancer Control. 2011;18(2):96-103. © 2011 H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc.,

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Doctors Thyroid Self Exam Video

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Texas Drinking Water Cover-Up

An investigative report by a local Houston Texas news stations reveals numerous top-level Texas Government officials participated in a massive cover up of dangerous levels of radiation causing thyroid cancer  in Texas drinking water.

The report from KHOU 11 in Houston shed light on what government watchdogs are calling "a conspiracy of the highest order" in the aftermath of the release of several email communications between Top Texas Officials in the Governors office, the state legislation, and the state agency in charge of protecting the environment in Texas.

The emails that were ordered to be released by the state attorney general reveal radiation tests of public drinking water were falsified to prevent Federal violations that would have required the local water systems to be cleaned up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in Five Americans will develop skin cancer duting the course of their lives. Despite that prevalence, skin cancer remains the proverbial elephant in the room, a disease men and women are aware of but prefer not to think about.

Thanks to a societal trend that prefers to avoid or ignore the subject of skin cancer. However, as the following facts and figures about skin cancer attest, skin cancer is a topic that cannot be ignored and one men, women and children alike need to learn about to better reduce their risk of experiencing  this largely preventable disease.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, men are more likely to develop non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer than women. In fact, the Natonal Cancer Institute notes the majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over the age of 50.
  • The rate of skin cancers increases with age. However, skin cancers and specially melanomas can be found in younger people.
  • The five year overall survival rate for melanoma, which represents the percentage of patients who live at least five years after diagnosis is 91%. This includes patients who are disease free, in remission or undergoing continuing treatment.
  • The five year localized survival rate for melanoma is 98%. Localized cancer represents cancer that, at the time of diagnosis, has not spread to the other parts of the body.
  • The National Cancer Institute Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results program notes that nearly 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma and 13 million are living with a history of non melanoma skin cancer.
  • Basal cell carcinoma, a slow growing and painless type of non melanoma skin cancer, is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Roughly 2.8 million cases of BCC are diagnosed annually in the U.S. Though rarely fatal, BCC's can be unsightly if the cancer is allowed to grow.
  • According to the National Cancer Institute, between 40% to 50 % of Americans who live to age 65 will have melanoma or nonmelanoma skin cancer at least once in their lifetime.
  • Roughly 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (or UV) radiation from the sun.
  • According  to the National Center for Chronic Prevention and Health Promotion, melanoma accounts for less than 5% of skin cancer cases, but it causes more than 75% of skin cancer deaths.
  • The World Health Organization reports that 10 minutes in a tanning bed is equal to the skin cancer causing effects of 10 minutes in the Mediterranean  summer sun.
To learn more about skin cancer, visit the Skin Cancer Foundation at