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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 707156, 11 pages
Review Article

To Treat or Not to Treat: The Role of Adjuvant Radioiodine Therapy in Thyroid Cancer Patients

1Department of Surgery, St. Luke’s University Health Network, 801 Ostrum Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA
2Division of Surgical Oncology, Cancer Care Associates, St. Luke’s University Health Network, 1872 Riverside Circle, Easton, PA 18045, USA

Received 11 July 2012; Revised 14 September 2012; Accepted 18 September 2012

Academic Editor: A. J. M. Balm

Copyright © 2012 Marilee Carballo and Roderick M. Quiros. 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.


Radioactive iodine (RAI) is used in treatment of patients with differentiated papillary and follicular thyroid cancer. It is typically used after thyroidectomy, both as a means of imaging to detect residual thyroid tissue or metastatic disease, as well as a means of treatment by ablation if such tissue is found. In this paper, we discuss the indications for and the mechanisms of RAI in the treatment of patients with thyroid cancer. We discuss the attendant risks and benefits that come with its use, as well as techniques used to optimize its effectiveness as an imaging tool and a therapeutic modality.