Radioactive iodine (RAI) was universally used in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer after total thyroidectomy. Currently, it is more selective when determining which patients need to be treated with RAI. RAI is rarely used in patients with low-risk thyroid cancer and it is indicated for all patients with high-risk thyroid cancer. There are specific clinicopathological characteristics in patients with intermediate-risk thyroid cancer that are considerered prior to RAI. Experts in the Endocrine Oncology Program at Moffitt use four doses of RAI: 30 mCi - ablative dose for low-risk thyroid cancer, 100 and 150 mCi for intermediate-risk thyroid cancers to treat microscopic disease and the highest dose of 200 mCi for patients with known metastatic disease. We provide our patients with specific preparation instructions before and after RAI therapy, which are very important for patients to follow. Patients may need to use Thyrogen injections prior to RAI or stop thyroid hormone for some time. RAI therapy is generally very well tolerated, however some patients develop side effects such as dry mouth and dry eyes.
Moffittt's highly specialized multidisciplinary team in the Head and Neck-Endocrine Oncology Department treat thyroid cancer patients with RAI. Each patient receives individualized treatment and more complex cases are discussed at the multidisciplinary endocrine tumor board on a weekly basis. To refer a patient to Moffitt, complete our online form or contact a physician liaison for assistance or support. As part of our efforts to shorten referral times as much as possible, online referrals are typically responded to within 24 - 48 hours.