Role of biomarkers in predicting the occurrence of thyroid neoplasms in radiation-exposed children
Schneider, Arthur, B.
Mihailescu, Dan V.
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With increasing numbers of childhood cancer survivors who were treated with radiation, there is a need to evaluate potential biomarkers that could signal an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer. We aimed to examine the relationships between thyrotropin and thyroglobulin levels and the risk of developing thyroid nodules and cancer in a cohort of radiation exposed children. 806 subjects who were irradiated in the neck area as children were examined and followed for up to 25 years. All subjects underwent a clinical examination, measurements of thyrotropin, thyroglobulin levels and thyroid imaging. At baseline, 216 subjects had thyroid nodules and 548 did not. Of those with nodules, 176 underwent surgery with 55 confirmed thyroid cancers. During the follow-up, 147 subjects developed thyroid nodules including 22 with thyroid cancer. Thyroglobulin levels were higher in subjects with prevalent thyroid nodules (26.1 ng/mL vs 9.37 ng/mL; p <0.001) and in those who had an initial normal exam but later developed thyroid nodules (11.2 ng/mL vs 8.87 ng/mL; p=0.017). There was no relationship between baseline thyrotropin levels and the prevalent presence or absence of thyroid nodules, whether a prevalent neoplasm was benign or malignant, subsequent development of thyroid nodules during follow-up, or whether an incident nodule was benign or malignant. In conclusion, in radiation exposed children, higher thyroglobulin levels indicated an increased risk of developing thyroid nodules but did not differentiate between benign and malignant neoplasms. There was no association between the baseline thyrotropin level and the risk of developing thyroid nodules or cancer.
CitationShulan, J. M., Vydro, L., Schneider, A. B. and Mihailescu, D. V. Role of biomarkers in predicting the occurrence of thyroid neoplasms in radiation-exposed children. Endocrine-Related Cancer. 2018. 25(4): 481-491. 10.1530/ERC-17-0408.