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Haymart gets $3.3M to develop risk-based approach to thyroid cancer survivorship care

Date Visible: 
05/06/2024 - 1:30pm

Media contact: Nicole Fawcett, 734-764-2220 |  Patients may contact Cancer AnswerLine™ 800-865-1125

Do all thyroid cancer survivors need the same level of follow-up care and monitoring? With a new $3.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, Megan Haymart, M.D., will identify survivors at different risks of recurrence and develop a system for long-term monitoring based on that risk.

The number of people diagnosed with thyroid cancer has been increasing in recent years, with people diagnosed at younger ages. Many patients are likely cured with initial treatment, but all are followed equally, often for the rest of their lives.

“Unnecessary surveillance results in cancer-related worry, additional testing leading to false positive test results, and in some instances, complications from additional treatments,” said Haymart, Nancy Wigginton Endocrinology Research Professor of Thyroid Cancer at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center.

With this grant, Haymart will evaluate recurrence and mortality data from two Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results, or SEER, registries to determine characteristics of patients at lower or higher risk of cancer recurrence. They will then use that data to develop tailored surveillance pathways based on an individual’s recurrence risk.

“The ability to categorize thyroid cancer survivors into meaningful recurrence risk-stratified groups, tailor surveillance care pathways to recurrence risk, and then refine surveillance care pathways after assessing trade-offs will inform appropriate long-term follow-up, reduce patient harm and improve health care costs,” Haymart said. “This study will dramatically change the care of thyroid cancer patients and will serve as a model for risk-stratified surveillance for other cancer types.”

Grant citation: National Cancer Institute 1R01CA28197601A1