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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 317487, 7 pages
Review Article

Comprehensive Literature Review: Recent Advances in Diagnosing and Managing Patients with Poorly Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma

1Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
2The University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, AZ, USA
3Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 245131, Tucson, AZ 85724-5131, USA

Received 10 November 2012; Revised 8 January 2013; Accepted 10 January 2013

Academic Editor: Eleonore Fröhlich

Copyright © 2013 Jack Hannallah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas are a rare form of thyroid carcinomas; they display an intermediate behavior between well-differentiated and anaplastic thyroid carcinomas. PDTCs are more aggressive than the well-differentiated, but less aggressive than the undifferentiated or anaplastic, forms. No clinical features can accurately diagnose poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas. Thus, the results of histocytology, immunohistochemistry, and molecular genetics tests aid in diagnosis. Given the aggressiveness of poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas and the poor survival rates in patients who undergo surgery alone, a multimodality treatment approach is required. We conducted a comprehensive review of the current diagnostic and therapeutic tools in the management of patients with poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas.