Research Papers:

Prognostic significance and optimal cutoff of age in medullary thyroid cancer

Ning Qu, Rong-liang Shi, Ting-xian Luo, Yu-long Wang, Duan-shu Li, Yu Wang, Cai-ping Huang and Qing-hai Ji _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:15937-15947. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7556

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Ning Qu1,*, Rong-liang Shi1,2,*, Ting-xian Luo1,*, Yu-long Wang1, Duan-shu Li1, Yu Wang1, Cai-ping Huang1 and Qing-hai Ji1

1 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

2 Department of General Surgery, Minhang Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Qing-hai Ji, email:

Cai-ping Huang, email:

Keywords: medullary thyroid cancer, age, prognosis, SEER, nomogram

Received: November 26, 2015 Accepted: February 09, 2016 Published: February 21, 2016


Age has been found to correlate with the prognosis for medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). This study was conducted to investigate whether age can predict long-term unfavorable prognosis and evaluate its predictive accuracy associated with TNM staging, using data of patients diagnosed with MTC between 2000 and 2010 from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database. The relationship between the patients’ age at diagnosis and cancer-specific survival (CSS) was evaluated using multivariate Cox regression analysis. Age stratifications were combined into a nomogram model to predict the CSS of MTC. The X-tile program determined 49 and 69 as optimal age cutoff values for CSS. On multivariate analysis, independent factors for survival were age (50–69 years, HR 2.853, 95% CI 1.631–4.991; ≥70 years, HR 5.804, 95% CI 2.91–11.555), race (white, HR 0.344, 95% CI 0.188–0.630), T (T3/4, HR 3.931, 95% CI 2.093–7.381), N (N1a, HR 3.269, 95% CI 1.386–7.710) and M (M1, HR 3.998, 95% CI 2.419–6.606). The C-index for CSS prediction with TNM, age (cutoff of 45)/sex/race/TNM and age (cutoff of 49 and 69)/sex/race/TNM were 0.832 (95% CI 0.763–0.901), 0.863 (95% CI 0.799–0.928), and 0.876 (95% CI 0.817–0.935), respectively. Subgroup multivariate analyses also showed that age significantly increased the risk for CSS in females, non-Hispanic white patients, and those with stage IV MTC. In conclusion, CSS was independently associated with ages between 49 and 69 years, which might be applied for risk stratification in MTC patients.

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