Thyroid Tumors

Although thyroid tumors are rare in children, they are being diagnosed with increasing frequency. About 2 percent of children develop solitary thyroid nodules – lumps which can grow on an otherwise normal thyroid gland. Most of these are benign, but a few are malignant and can develop into thyroid cancer.

Medical experts have not yet standardized the management of thyroid tumors in children. In partnership with the Texas Children’s Hospital Evidence-Based Outcomes Center, the program has developed and implemented an evidence-based clinical pathway that guides the care of children and young adults with well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma. This practice guideline allows the physicians to provide individualized care that is congruent with national standards and is seamlessly integrated into Texas Children Hospital’s electronic medical record to ensure efficient patient care.

Research

Our team has several ongoing collaborative research projects that reflect their academic interests in advancing patient care and outcomes. We are conducting a longitudinal prospective study to understand the long-term outcomes of pediatric thyroid surgery, as well as patient and family quality of life.

We routinely track our institutional surgical outcomes and participate in national surgical quality improvement collaboratives to benchmark our results, enhance care and promote teamwork.

At Texas Children’s Hospital, we are interested in understanding the biology of thyroid cancer with the goal of offering more successful therapies for pediatric patients. We have established the North American Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Registry to collect information on children with thyroid cancers. Email us at raretumors@txch.org to get information on how to enroll in the registry.

We are the first and only center in North America to open a clinical trial of lenvatinib in children. Lenvatinib is approved for use in adults with differentiated thyroid cancer. We are currently testing the safety of this medication in children, and plan to test the effectiveness of this medication in children with thyroid cancers. More information on this clinical trial can be obtained by emailing raretumors@txch.org or by visiting clinicaltrials.gov.