Objective: The maximal safe dose (MSD) on the basis of bone marrow irradiation levels allows the delivery of a large amount of I-131 to thyroid cancer tissue. The efficacy of MSD therapy in differentiated metastatic thyroid cancers that persisted after conventional fixed dose therapy is investigated. Methods: Forty-seven differentiated thyroid carcinoma patients with non-responsive residual disease despite repetitive fixed dose I-131 therapy were enrolled in this study. Their postoperative pathologies were 43 papillary carcinomas and 4 follicular carcinomas. The MSD was calculated with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center protocol using serial blood samples. The MSDs were administered at intervals of 6 months. Treatment responses were evaluated using I-131 whole-body scans and serum thyroglobulin measurements. Results: The mean calculated MSD was 12.5 ± 2.1 GBq (339.6 ± 57.5 mCi). Of the 46 patients, 7 (14.9%) showed complete remission, 15 (31.9%) partial remission, 19 (40.4%) stable disease, and 6 (12.8%) disease progression. Of the patients who showed complete or partial remission, 15 (65%) showed response after the first MSD session and 6 (26%) showed response after the second session. Twenty-nine patients (62%) experienced transient cytopenia after therapy, but three did not recover to the baseline level. Conclusions: The maximal safe dose provides an effective means of treatment in patients who failed to respond adequately to conventional fixed dose therapy. I-131 MSD therapy can be considered in patients who fail fixed dose therapy.
- I-131 therapy
- Maximal safe dose
- Thyroid carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging