Long-Term Survival in Patients With Papillary Thyroid Cancer Who Did Not Undergo Prophylactic Central Lymph Node Dissection: A SEER-Based Study

Jun Long Song, Ling Rui Li, Zhi Liang Xu, Juan Juan Li, Sheng Rong Sun, Chuang Chen


Background: The role of prophylactic central lymph node dissection (pCLND) for papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) remains contentious, and the impact of pCLND on long-term patient outcomes is unclear.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database was performed. Patients diagnosed with PTC who did not undergo pCLND between 2004 and 2015 were included in this study, and patients with pN0 PTC who underwent CLND were included as the control group. The researchers calculated the subdistribution hazard ratio (SHR) using the Fine-Gray model and the hazard ratio (HR) using the Cox proportional hazards regression to compare Thyroid cancer-specific survival (TCSS) and overall survival (OS) of the different groups.

Results: A total of 38,205 T1-2cN0 PTC patients without pCLND were eligible for the study entry, and 24,157 patients with T1-2pN0 PTC patients who had received CLND were included as the control group. The actuarial 10-year TCSS and OS rates of patients without pCLND were 99.53% and 92.77%, respectively. Patients without pCLND had similar TCSS compared with the control group after adjusting for age, sex, race, tumor stage, multifocality, thyroid surgery, and radiation (SHR = 1.35, 95% CI: 0.95 - 1.93). However, patients without pCLND had a significantly poorer OS than the control group (HR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.26 - 1.51).

Conclusions: Patients without pCLND had similar TCSS compared with the control group after adjusting for confounders but had significantly poorer OS. Whether the OS disparities were attributed to pCLND or other factors still needs further study.

World J Oncol. 2022;13(3):136-144
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/wjon1483


Papillary thyroid cancer; Prophylactic central lymph node dissection; Survival; SEER database

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