Staging systems for papillary thyroid carcinoma: A study of 2 tertiary referral centers
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Objective: To find out the most applicable and consistent staging system for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) available in the literature. Background: The commonly used staging systems for PTC have predicted cancer-specific survival (CSS) well. However, their applicability and generalizability have not yet been evaluated in different clinical settings. Methods: A MEDLINE search from 1965 to 2005 was carried out to identify different staging systems available in the literature and 9 systems were applicable to 1634 PTC patients within 2 tertiary-referral centers. The CSS of each staging system within individual centers were calculated using Kaplan-Meier method and the CSS of each tumor stage in one individual center was compared with that of the other by log-rank test. In addition, within each center, the predictability of each staging system relative to the others was ranked based on the proportion of variation explained (PVE) value. Results: Clinicopathologic features, treatment received, and tumor stages were significantly different between the 2 centers. There were also significant differences in CSS within at least one tumor stage between the 2 centers in 8 of the 9 staging systems. The TNM was a highly predictive and consistent staging system within the 2 centers. Although the absolute PVE values differed between the 2 centers, the relative ranking of the 9 staging systems within each center correlated significantly to each other (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Despite referral, treatment, and data collection biases inherent within each center, the TNM system remained to be the most applicable and consistent staging system for PTC in 2 centers managing the same population group.
Annals of Surgery