I-131 Treatment for Differentiated Thyroid Cancer (DTC)

Radioactive iodine (RAI) ablation is the standard of care backed by decades of clinical success for the treatment of DTC.1 Consider these data:

  • The 10-year survival rate for DTC patients receiving RAI ablation following total thyroidectomy (surgical removal the thyroid) exceeds 96%2
  • In DTC, after total thyroidectomy and successful I-131 ablation, high-risk patients did not show a higher recurrence rate than low-risk patients. (see Figure 1)2

Recurrence-free survival in high-risk and
low-risk patients (P=0.68)2

Recurrence-free survival in high-risk and low-risk patients (P=0.68)

Figure 1

A recent study demonstrated that low-risk patients over the age of 45 who receive a dose of at least 54 mCi have a significantly lower 15-year mortality rate (P=.002) and a higher rate of successful ablation than those patients receiving a lower dose (see Figure 2)3

Low-risk DTC patients ≥age 45 receiving
higher-dose RAI had a lower 15-year mortality rate3*†

Low-risk DTC patients ≥age 45 receiving higher-dose RAI had a lower 15-year mortality rate

Figure 2

* Low-risk DTC classified as patients with pT1b-T2 tumors without lymph node or distant metastases.
After complete remission.

  • In a landmark study involving more than 1,300 thyroid cancer patients showed that, 30 years post-treatment, the cumulative cancer mortality rate in patients who did not receive radioiodine ablation was 3 times that of patients receiving radioiodine ablation (P=0.03)4

This information is not intended as medical advice. Responsibility for patient care resides with the healthcare professional on the basis of his or her professional license, experience and knowledge of the patient. For full Prescribing Information including indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions and adverse events, please see the appropriate product labeling.


  1. Siegal E. The beginnings of radioiodine therapy of metastatic thyroid carcinoma: a memoir of Samuel M. Seidlin, MD (1895-1955) and his celebrated patient. Ca Biother & Radiopharm. 1999;14(2):71–79.
  2. Verburg FA, Stokkel MPM, Duren C, et al. No survival difference after successful 131I ablation between patients with initially low-risk and high-risk differentiated thyroid cancer. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2010;37:276–283.
  3. Verburg FA, Mäder U, Reiners C, Hänscheid H. Long-term survival in differentiated thyroid cancer is worse after low-activity initial post-surgical 131I therapy in both high- and low-risk patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014;99(12):4487–96.
  4. Mazzaferri EL, Jhiang SM. Long-term impact of initial surgical and medical therapy on papillary and follicular thyroid cancer. Am J Med. 1994;97(5):418-28.