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Tumour marker for detecting early Recurrence of Thyroid cancer may be soon available

Early recurrence of thyroid cancer may be detectable using a blood test to detect// a protein called ‘Thyroglobin”(Tg) according to a study published by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. The findings were published June 21 online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Thyroglobulin (Tg) is made by thyroid-cancer cells. The measurement is taken after a person is injected with a relatively new drug known as thyrotropin alfa, or Thyrogen.

The drug allows Tg testing without the sometimes debilitating side effects of hypothyroidism that otherwise accompany the test when stimulation testing is done.

“We were surprised to find that even with relatively low thyroglobulin levels, and even when there is no sign of a tumor, about 80 percent of patients had a recurrence of their cancer within three to five years,” says first author Richard T. Kloos, associate professor of internal medicine and of radiology.

“This indicates that we are detecting these tumors very early, and that time and diligence may be needed to find them.”

“Currently, some thyroid-cancer treatment guidelines say that these patients may never need further testing, but our data contradict that,” says Kloos, co-director of the Thyroid Cancer Unit at the OSU CCC – James.

Thyroid cancer requires surgical removal of the gland followed by treatment with radioactive iodine. As the thyroid gland is removed it is essential to give replacement with the hormone thyroxin. This the patient has to take for rest of their life. Till the recent past, Tg testing required that patients had to stop taking their synthetic thyroid hormone several weeks before the test.

“That worked fairly well, except that some people became miserable after they stopped taking their synthetic thyroid hormone and became hypo
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