School of Medicine researchers review thyroid cancer test for efficacy


Clinician researchers from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine have published a review looking at the efficacy of a diagnostic thyroid cancer test becoming routinely used in hospitals and medical centers across the country.

Their research study was published online in the January issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Medical Oncology.

The review, which was conducted by a team of physicians in the department of internal medicine, looked at individual patient data from seven different studies of the Afirma® Gene Expression Classifier (GEC) and concluded the test is an excellent tool to rule out malignancy.

“This review was important because there have been no large-scale studies examining the diagnostic accuracy of the test,” said Henry K. Driscoll, M.D., section chief and professor of endocrinology.  “We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis and determined that the test is indeed a very helpful tool.”

The GEC is a new technology that is designed to distinguish benign from malignant thyroid nodules, thereby possibly eliminating the need for surgical biopsy.

Marshall physicians who participated in the study include Prasanna Santhanam, M.D.; Rodhan Khthir, M.D.; Todd Gress, M.D.; Ayman Elkadry; Omolola Olajide, M.D.; and Driscoll, as well as Abid Yaqub, M.D., from the University of Cincinnati.

Marshall Internal Medicine is currently using the GEC test for its patients with indeterminate thyroid nodules.