Dietary Iodine Intake, Therapy with Radioiodine, and Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

Dietary Iodine Intake and Anaplastic Carcinoma

  • Nikola Bešič
  • Barbara Gazic


Background. Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is one of the most aggressive tumors. The aim of the study was to determine the correlation between a higher dietary intake of iodine, frequency of ATC and the characteristics of ATC, and to find out how often patients with ATC had a history of RAI therapy.

Patients and methods. This retrospective study included 220 patients (152 females, 68 males; mean age 68 years) with ATC who were treated in our country from 1972 to 2017. The salt was iodinated with 10 mg of potassium iodide/kg before 1999, and with 25 mg of potassium iodide/kg thereafter. The patients were assorted into 15-year periods: 1972–1986, 1987–2001, and 2002–2017.

Results. The incidence of ATC decreased after a higher iodination of salt (p = 0.04). Patients are nowadays older (p = 0.013) and have less frequent lymph node metastases (p = 0.012). The frequency of distant metastases did not change over time. The median survival of patients in the first, second, and third periods was 3, 4, and 3 months, respectively (p < 0.05). The history of RAI therapy was present in 7.7 % of patients.

Conclusions. The number of patients with a history of RAI therapy did not change over time. The incidence of ATC in Slovenia decreased probably because of higher salt iodination.

Author Biography

Nikola Bešič
How to Cite
Bešič, N., & Gazic, B. (2020). Dietary Iodine Intake, Therapy with Radioiodine, and Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma. Radiology and Oncology, 54(2), 187-193. Retrieved from
Clinical oncology