Tailored surgery according to molecular analysis in differentiated thyroid carcinomas
Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is an often indolent disease implying a long survival and in most of the cases an excellent prognosis, but there is still a limited percentage of cases where, in spite of their pre-operative conventional staging, these tumors could better be treated through a more selective surgical approach. Small PTC in fact are generally considered as “low risk” tumors but using simply a TNM classification might lead to a limited surgery such as unilateral hemithyroidectomy, in particular according to the most recent guidelines of the American Thyroid Association. On the other hand though, an absence of the mutation could allow simplifying the follow-up of these patients, for example avoiding unnecessary radioactivated iodine therapy after surgery or even limiting to a unilateral thyroidectomy the operative procedure for these cases. Molecular testing has a peculiar interest for surgeons in two different ways: (I) with respect to diagnosis, in order to reduce the number of indeterminate citologies; (II) with respect to prognosis after both cytology and histology, in order to improve risk stratification and help the surgeon in developing a tailored surgical therapy. The aim of this review is the second issue: how to implement the concept of a tailored surgery according to molecular analysis in differentiated thyroid carcinomas (DTC).