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Arquivos de Medicina

On-line version ISSN 2183-2447


MAGALHAES, Daniela; VINHA, Eduardo  and  CARVALHO, Davide. A clinical perspective on the utility of calcitonin and carcinoembryonic antigen for the management of medullary thyroid carcinoma: a review of the literature. Arq Med [online]. 2015, vol.29, n.5, pp.123-131. ISSN 2183-2447.

Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a neuroendocrine tumor of parafolicular or C-cells of thyroid. There is a high prevalence of lymph node metastases, yielding low rate of cure once disease spreads beyond the thyroid gland. Only a complete surgical resection of the tumor in the early phase of the disease can offer the chance of cure. Thus, the early diagnosis of this disease is a clinical challenge and is of crucial importance for prognosis. Thyroid C-cells elaborate a number of peptides and hormones of which calcitonin and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) are established markers of MTC. This article offers a review of the published literature trying to evaluate the importance and usefulness of these markers in the early diagnosis of MTC, its role in the surgical strategic decision, as well as their interest in monitoring progression of the disease.

Keywords : medullary thyroid carcinoma; calcitonin; carcinoembryonic antigen.

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