The association between serum TSH concentration and thyroid cancer

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    There is mounting evidence that the serum concentration of TSH is an independent predictor for the diagnosis of thyroid malignancy in patients with nodular thyroid disease. Furthermore preoperative serum TSH concentrations are higher in patients with more aggressive tumours, suggesting a potential role for TSH in the progression of differentiated thyroid cancer. Based on these observations, patients with higher serum TSH concentrations and borderline cytological results may require more aggressive investigation and treatment when compared with those with lower baseline TSH levels. The mechanisms underlying the finding of higher serum TSH in patients with thyroid cancer remain unexplained. In this issue of Endocrine-Related Cancer, Fiore and colleagues have analysed the relationship between serum TSH and diagnosis of papillary thyroid cancer in 10,178 patients with nodular thyroid disease who were investigated by fine needle aspiration biopsy. They found significantly higher TSH concentrations in patients who were subsequently diagnosed with thyroid cancer compared with those with benign disease. In addition they found that the development of autonomous thyroid function (TSH
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEndocrine-related cancer
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2009


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