Risk-stratified follow-up of patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma

Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a differentiated neuroendocrine tumor, mostly slowly growing with a relative good prognosis, with an overall 10-year survival of 61–76% [1,2]. Surgery is the only curative therapy for MTC [3]. After surgery, patients with MTC should be assessed regarding the presence of residual disease, the localization of metastases and the identification of progressive disease. Postoperative staging is used to separate low-risk from high-risk patients with MTC [4]. The TNM system utilizes tumor size, extrathyroidal invasion, nodal metastasis and distant spread of cancer. The number of lymph node metastases and involved compartments as well as postoperative serum calcitonin (CTN) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels should be documented in addition. The normalization of serum CTN levels postoperatively is associated with an excellent prognosis (10-year survival >95%).

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