Bone metastases from differentiated thyroid carcinoma

    1. G Weryha1
    1. 1Endocrinology Department and2Nuclear Medicine Department, Hôpital Brabois Adultes, CHU Nancy, 54500 Vandoeuvre, France3Clinic of Traumatology and Orthopaedics, 54000 Nancy, France4Digestive and Endocrine Surgery Department, Hôpital Brabois Adultes, CHU Nancy, 54500 Vandoeuvre, France5Department of Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, 525 East 68th Street, F-2024, New York, New York 10065, USA
    1. (Correspondence should be addressed to M M Muresan; Email: m.muresan{at}


    The presence of distant metastases from differentiated thyroid carcinoma decreases the 10-year survival of patients by 50%. Bone metastases represent a frequent complication especially of follicular thyroid cancer and severely reduce the quality of life causing pain, fractures, and spinal cord compression. Diagnosis is established by correlating clinical suspicion with imaging. Imaging is essential to detect, localize, and assess the extension of the lesions and should be used in conjunction with clinical evidence. Bone metastases are typically associated with elevated markers of bone turnover, but these markers have not been evaluated in differentiated thyroid cancer. Skeletal and whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and fusion 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose whole-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) are the best anatomic and functional imaging techniques available in specialized centers. For well-differentiated lesions, iodine-PET scan combined 124I-PET/CT is the newest imaging development and 131I is the first line of treatment. Bisphosphonates reduce the complications rate and pain, alone or in combination with radioiodine, radionuclides, or external beam radiotherapy and should be employed. Surgery and novel minimally invasive consolidation techniques demand an appropriate patient selection for best results on a multimodal approach. Basic research on interactions between tumor cells and bone microenvironment are identifying potential novel targets for future more effective therapeutic interventions for less differentiated tumors.

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