Induction of Leukaemia by 131I Treatment of Thyroid Carcinoma

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The records of 194 patients with thyroid carcinoma treated with 131I, representing all cases thus treated in Denmark from 1948 to 1972, were reviewed. Two cases of myeloid leukaemia were found compared with 0·097 expected cases of non-lymphocytic leukaemia (0·05 > P > 0·01). In 5 series of 131I treated thyroid carcinomata, 10 cases of myeloid leukaemia occurred in a total of 487 patients, corresponding to a frequency of leukaemia of about 2%. These findings appear to show that 131I treatment of thyroid carcinoma is associated with a certain risk of development of leukaemia. This risk must be considered when treatment of localized thyroid carcinoma is planned.

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Brincker, H., Hansen, H. & Andersen, A. Induction of Leukaemia by 131I Treatment of Thyroid Carcinoma. Br J Cancer 28, 232–237 (1973) doi:10.1038/bjc.1973.142

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