In many cases, treatment of nodular goiter has had mixed results from hot and cold thyroid. A hot thyroid nodule is a benign tumour that can be treated with the established radiotherapy. Cold nodes can be malignant and are so far removed surgically.
In August 2012, the University Hospital in Frankfurt, Department of Nuclear Medicine, performed for the first time a microwave ablation of thyroid nodule on a patient in Europe. The microwave therapy has since been established in Frankfurt. Now the world’s first hospital has treated a patient with hot and cold thyroid nodules by the combined use of radioiodine therapy and microwave ablation. Compared to the usual procedures, the new combination therapy for patients is much safer and more comfortable, the release stated.
The release reported that the microwave ablation of the cold node followed by radioactive iodine treatment of the hot node was for the first time this year performed on a 52-year-old patient. For both procedures, no surgery was needed. With microwave ablation, treatment was performed under local anaesthesia; a probe is passed through the skin to position the antennae in the node with the purpose to apply microwaves directly on the thyroid nodules.
The diseased cells are heated by the waves, and the treated thyroid tissue is then metabolised by the body. The thyroid nodule is reduced to smaller size. Using real-time images from an ultrasonic device, the ablation process is monitored and controlled at all times. The duration of treatment depends on size and number of thyroid nodules and normally requires between 10 and 15 minutes. The microwave treatment is an outpatient procedure, according to MedWaves.
For the subsequent treatment of the patient’s hot node, radioactive iodine in the form of a capsule was administered. The rays cause cell death in the tumour. The node is removed without damaging surrounding tissue. The treatment is very safe and well tolerated. For combination therapy, a hospital stay of a few days is sufficient.
Radioiodine application and microwave ablation are both non-surgical procedures. A big advantage is the fact that the risks of surgery and related anesthesia are completely eliminated. This is especially important for people who have pre-existing conditions, for example, the cardiovascular system problems and thus have an increased risk during surgery.
“The patient stated that a dental visit was more unpleasant than this treatment. We are pleased to be the first clinic to offer our patients this very gentle combination therapy,” said Hudayi Korkusuoz who performed the first treatment.”