Selective embolization of thyroid arteries (SETA) as a palliative treatment of inoperable anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC).

OBJECTIVES: Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is one of the most aggressive solid tumors in humans. Despite intense application of multimodality of treatment with surgery and/or external beam radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the survival rates remain low--generally the mean survival is about six (6) months after diagnosis. Rapid development--particularly over the last decade--of interventional radiology, provides methodology that allows examining thyroid arterial embolization as an alternative approach to ablating thyroid tissue. The aim of the present study was to evaluate selective embolization of the thyroid arteries (SETA) as a possible alternative for the palliative treatment of advanced, inoperable ATC.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study group comprised five (5) patients with advanced stage of inoperable ATC. All the patients underwent SETA of the superior and/or inferior thyroid arteries. SETA was performed using polyvinyl alcohol particles, ranging from 500-710 microm in diameter. After SETA, selective angiography of thyroid arteries was performed to ensure that the targeted arteries were completely occluded.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study suggest that SETA is minimally invasive and save method of palliative treatment of ATC and, as such, may be recommended in cases of intractable hemorrhage and pain caused by ATC progression.

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