Should Age at Diagnosis Be Included as an Additional Variable in the Risk of Recurrence Classification System in Patients with Differentiated Thyroid Cancer
Objective: To evaluate the influence of age at diagnosis on the frequency of structural incomplete response (SIR) according to the modified risk of recurrence (RR) staging system from the American Thyroid Association guidelines. Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 268 patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) followed up for at least 3 years after initial treatment (total thyroidectomy and remnant ablation). The median follow-up in the whole cohort was 74.3 months (range: 36.1-317.9) and the median age at diagnosis was 45.9 years (range: 18-87). The association between age at diagnosis and the initial and final response to treatment was assessed with analysis of variance (ANOVA). Patients were also divided into several groups considering age younger and older than 40, 50, and 60 years. Results: Age at diagnosis was not associated with either an initial or final statistically significant different SIR to treatment (p = 0.14 and p = 0.58, respectively). Additionally, we did not find any statistically significant differences when the percentages of SIR considering the classification of RR were compared between different groups of patients by using several age cutoffs. Conclusions: When patients are correctly risk stratified, it seems that age at diagnosis is not involved in the frequency of having a SIR at the initial evaluation or at the final follow-up, so it should not be included as an additional variable to be considered in the RR classifications.