Research Papers:

Quantitative assessment of preoperative serum thyrotropin level and thyroid cancer

Jiaojiao Zheng, Chen Li, Weihui Lu, Cong Wang and Zhilong Ai _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:34918-34929. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9201

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Jiaojiao Zheng1,*, Chen Li1,*, Weihui Lu2,*, Cong Wang1,*, Zhilong Ai1

1Department of General Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, P.R. China

2Department of General Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital (Qingpu Branch), Fudan University, Shanghai 201700, P.R. China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Zhilong Ai, email: [email protected]

Keywords: thyroid stimulating hormone, thyroid cancer, TNM staging, lymph node metastasis, meta-analysis

Received: January 11, 2016     Accepted: April 16, 2016     Published: May 06, 2016


Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is the major growth factor for thyrocytes, but the pathogenic role of serum TSH in thyroid cancer (TC) is unknown. The association between TSH level and the development of thyroid cancer has been widely evaluated recently. However, the results remain conflicting. To develop an understanding of the relationship between TSH exposure and thyroid cancer, a meta-analysis of 56 studies involving 20227 thyroid cancer cases and 50003 controls with benign thyroid nodule was performed. Overall, significantly increased TSH level was observed in thyroid cancer patients compared with controls (RoM: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.32–1.56, P < 10–5). The pooled analyses also revealed that higher serum TSH level were significantly associated with the size of TC nodule and malignancy as well as lymph node metastasis. Furthermore, significantly increased THS levels were observed preferentially for papillary thyroid cancer when stratified by histological type of tumors. However, the diagnostic value of TSH level for TC might be limited. These results suggest that higher serum TSH concentration is associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer.

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