Researchers examine whether the use of serum antibody levels can act as a preoperative indicator of nodule malignancy in patients with thyroid nodules. They found that patients with elevated levels of antibodies in their serum are at a higher risk for having malignant nodules


In a recently published article in the Journal of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, researchers explore whether preoperative screening of antibody levels can be used to assess the risk of thyroid nodule malignancy in patients. Thyroid nodules are fairly common in the general population. Having the ability to identifying their risk of malignancy may improve the ability of healthcare officials to predict the risk of thyroid cancer in certain patients.

How can we predict whether nodules are cancerous before operating? Researchers have suggested that studying levels of TgAb (Thyroglobulin Antibody) – a protein in the body that interferes with the thyroid protein thyroglobulin (Tg) – may be a good indicator of a specific type of thyroid cancer known as well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma (WDTC). It has been predicted that patients with WDTC will have higher levels of TgAb in their serum.

In this study, researchers examined data collected from 405 patients who underwent surgery to remove their thyroid over the course of 2 years. Two groups were established based on preoperative levels of TgAb. Patients with high levels were placed in the TgAb positive group, and patients with low levels were in the TgAb low/negative group.

The results of this study indicated that the prevalence of WDTC is higher in patients in the TgAb positive group than in the TgAb low/negative group. From this study, researchers suggest that high TgAb levels may be a useful predictor of thyroid nodule malignancy prior to surgery. They suggest that the use of TgAb levels in cancer risk determination should be used in concert with other preoperative assessments.




Written By: Nicole Pinto, HBSc

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