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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Risk of Distant Metastasis in Parathyroid Carcinoma and Its Effect on Survival: A Retrospective Review from a High-Volume Center

Elliot A. Asare MD, MS, Angelica Silva-Figueroa MD, Kenneth R. Hess PhD, Naifa Busaidy MD, Paul H. Graham MD, Elizabeth G. Grubbs MD, Jeffrey E. Lee MD, Michelle D. Williams MD, Nancy D. Perrier MD
Endocrine Tumors
Volume 26, Issue 11 / October , 2019



Development of distant metastases (DM) is associated with markedly decreased survival in parathyroid carcinoma (PC). We sought to identify factors associated with development of DM and to quantify the effect that development of DM had on overall survival (OS).


Patients with surgically resected local/regional PC treated or surveilled at a tertiary-referral cancer hospital from 1980 to 2017 were included. We assessed the association between biochemical and clinicopathologic factors (preoperative parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, sex, race, age, preoperative serum calcium levels, serum calcium levels at 6 months postop, tumor size, and extent of resection) with the development of DM. We also assessed the effect of development of DM on OS.


Seventy-five patients with PC were assessed; 17 (22.7%) developed DM at a median follow-up of 77 months. The cumulative incidence of DM in the cohort was 20, 30, and 38% at 5, 10, and 20 years respectively. Tumor size > 3.2 cm based on recursive partitioning analysis was the only significant predictor for development of DM (hazard ratio (HR) = 3.51; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04–11.91; p = 0.04). Median OS for the entire cohort was 17 years compared with 40 months for the cohort who developed DM. The HR for death after distant metastasis was 9.6 (95% CI 4.2–22.3; p < 0.0001).


Development of distant metastasis during surveillance is associated with decreased OS, including late recurrences. Primary tumor size should be considered in future interval surveillance and development of treatment algorithms.

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