New Test That Ranks Thyroid Nodules Could Possibly Avoid Unnecessary Surgery

A new diagnostic test for identifying and classifying thyroid nodules has been deemed accurate, according to a new clinical study.

The test, which was developed with FAPESP, a São Paulo company, Onkos Diagnostics Moleculares, has also been able to prevent a large number of unnecessary surgeries. The mir-THYpe molecular test, which has been around since 2018, uses biomarkers to confirm or rule out the presence of cancer in thyroid nodules. The information comes from the FAPESP Agency.

How it works?

According to Marcos Tadeu dos Santos, founder of the company, when a nodule is identified in the thyroid, the technique most used today to determine whether or not there is cancer is an aspiration puncture, with the removal of blood material from the patient’s neck for analysis.

“The vast majority of nodules are benign, but up to 30% of them are classified as ‘undetermined’ and, in these cases, for safety reasons, the standard procedure is surgery to extract the thyroid. However, only 25% of cases are malignant and this means that 75% of surgeries in case of indeterminate nodules are potentially unnecessary,” he said.

According to Santos, once the thyroid gland is removed, the patient must have hormone replacement procedures for the rest of his or her life. That takes a huge toll on a person. Hence, unnecessary surgeries, ideally, should be avoided.

In the new study, researchers from Onkos looked at 440 patients who underwent the new test for two years in Brazil. “We have managed to avoid 75% of surgeries that would be performed unnecessarily. Another result is that in 92% of cases, the use of the test changed the clinical conduct of doctors,” Santos said. The study was presented at the 2020 Brazilian Thyroid Meeting and published on the medRxiv platform. It hasn’t been peer reviewed yet. For more information on the thyroid study, go here.

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