Anaplastic thyroid cancer: Clinical outcomes with conformal radiotherapy

Aarti Bhatia, Archana Rao, Kie Kian Ang, Adam S. Garden, William H. Morrison, David I. Rosenthal, Douglas B. Evans, Gary Clayman, Steven I. Sherman, David L. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Background. The aim of this study was to review institutional outcomes for anaplastic thyroid cancer treated with conformal 3-dimensional radiotherapy (3DRT) or intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Methods. In all, 53 consecutive patients were analyzed. Thirty-one (58%) patients were irradiated with curative intent. Median radiation dose was 55 Gray (Gy; range, 4-70 Gy). Thirteen (25%) patients received IMRT to a median 60 Gy (range, 39.9-69.0 Gy). Thirty-nine (74%) patients received chemotherapy with radiation. Results. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of overall survival (OS) at 1 year for definitively irradiated patients was 29%. Patients without distant metastases receiving ≥50 Gy had superior survival outcomes; 5 such patients had no evidence of disease at last followup. Use of IMRT versus 3DRT did not influence toxicity. Conclusions. Outcomes for anaplastic thyroid cancer treated with 3DRT or IMRT remain equivalent to historical results. Healthy patients with localized disease who tolerate full dose irradiation can potentially enjoy prolonged survival. Biologically targeted radiosensitization merits prioritized investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-836
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Anaplastic
  • Conformal
  • IMRT
  • Radiotherapy
  • Thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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