A multi-institutional research team from Portugal identified male gender as an independent predictor of poor survival in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), even after adjusting for age and disease stage.

“The few older studies on the topic pointed to a behavioural explanation regarding medical care seeking patterns by men, but our study and newer genetic and basic-science oriented publications raise the possibility of a true biological difference between genders in the tumourigenesis of MTC that should me further investigated,” the authors wrote in the study published in Minerva Endocrinology.

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In addition to the male gender, the univariate analysis performed by the authors also revealed that age ≥45 years, presence of distant metastasis at diagnosis, capsule invasion, extrathyroidal invasion, and absence of biochemical cure after surgery contributed to a poorer prognosis.

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Both older age and the presence of distant metastases were also identified as independent predictors of mortality on multivariate analysis.

The retrospective study included 76 patients diagnosed with MTC (median age at diagnosis, 49 years) at a Portuguese Comprehensive Cancer Center over a period of 34 years.

Almost 47% of the patients had stage 4 disease. A subgroup of patients at stage 1 was identified through presymptomatic genetics. Also, 27.6% of the patients had multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2.

Predictor of Disease-Free Survival in Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma Identified


Costa C, Souteiro P, Paredes S, et al. Male gender as a poor prognostic factor in medullary thyroid carcinoma: behaviour or biological difference? Minerva Endocrinol. Published online February 1, 2022. doi:10.23736/S2724-6507.22.03692-2