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L D de Hosson, J Stelwagen, G Bouma, B Sijtema, S Huitema, H J R van Faassen, G H de Bock, D J A de Groot, M J E Campmans-Kuijpers, I P Kema, E G E de Vries, and A M E Walenkamp

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Roeliene C Kruizinga, Wim J Sluiter, Elisabeth G E de Vries, Bernard A Zonnenberg, Cornelis J Lips, Anouk N A van der Horst-Schrivers, Annemiek M E Walenkamp, and Thera P Links

von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) mutation carriers develop benign and malignant tumors, requiring regular surveillance. The aim of this study was to calculate the optimal organ-specific age to initiate surveillance and optimal intervals to detect initial and subsequent VHL-related manifestations. In this study, we compare these results with the current VHL surveillance guidelines. We collected data from 82 VHL mutation carriers in the Dutch VHL surveillance program. The cumulative proportion of carriers diagnosed with a first VHL-related manifestation was estimated by the Kaplan–Meier method. The Poisson distribution model was used to calculate average time to detection of the first VHL-related manifestation and subsequent manifestations. We used this to calculate the optimal organ-specific age to initiate surveillance and the surveillance interval that results in a detection probability of 5%. The calculated organ-specific ages to initiate surveillance were 0 years (birth) for adrenal glands, 7 years for the retina, 14 years for the cerebellum, 15 years for the spinal cord, 16 years for pancreas, and 18 years for the kidneys. The calculated surveillance intervals were 4 years for the adrenal glands, biennially for the retina and pancreas, and annually for the cerebellum, spinal cord, and kidneys. Compared with current VHL guidelines, the calculated starting age of surveillance was 6 years later for the retina and 5 years earlier for adrenal glands. The surveillance intervals were two times longer for the retina and four times longer for the adrenal glands. To attain a 5% detection probability rate per organ, our mathematical model indicates that several modifications of current VHL surveillance guidelines should be considered.

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T P Links, K M van Tol, P L Jager, J Th M Plukker, D A Piers, H M Boezen, R P F Dullaart, E G E de Vries, and W J Sluiter

In differentiated thyroid carcinoma 10-year survival rates amount to 80–95%. Because age at diagnosis varies widely, these survival rates strongly depend on age at presentation. The aim of the present study was to analyse the attributable risk factors, including therapy per se, on survival in thyroid cancer after proper adjustment for the baseline mortality rate in the general population and to elucidate the adverse treatment effects on survival. Initial treatment in 504 patients consisted of thyroidectomy and 131I ablation. High-dose 131I was administered for residual disease. Patients in complete remission underwent an annual physical examination and thyroglobulin measurements during TSH suppression. Survival time was studied after transformation to standardised survival time to adjust for the baseline mortality rate in the general population.

Median follow-up since diagnosis was 9 years. The 10-year overall survival was 83% and disease-specific survival 91%. After initial treatment, persistent disease occurred in 75 patients (15%). In univariate analysis, T4, N1, M1 status and Hürthle cell type were prognostic for persistent and recurrent disease. Age was not prognostic for recurrent disease in multivariate analysis. The standardised survival time was not altered in disease-free patients. However, patients with persistent disease had a median standardised survival time of only 0.60 (95% confidence interval 0.47;0.72), ranging from 0 to above 1, independent of initial tumour status or age. The cumulative proportion of persistent disease was at least 20% of the whole group.

Disease-free patients after thyroid carcinoma have a normal residual life span. In contrast, in cases of persistent disease the life expectancy ranges widely with its median being reduced to 60%. Overall, treatment including radioiodine is safe but unsuccesful in 20% of the patients. Age is not a disease-specific risk factor and should not be used as an independent factor in treatment algorithms.