Background: Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is an aggressive neoplasm for which a paucity of data exist about the relative role of operative procedures in disease management. Methods: The FACT trial was a randomized, controlled phase 2/3 trial assessing the safety and efficacy of carboplatin/paclitaxel with CA4P (experimental arm) or without CA4P (control arm) in ATC, 2007-11. Patients were permitted to have had an operation before enrollment, which was stratified on the basis of exposure to operation. A subpopulation of patients who had a cancer-related operation (thyroidectomy) was compared with those who did not, and 1-year and median survival were estimated. Results: A total of 80 patients were enrolled; 55% had undergone a cancer-related operation, of whom 70% had near-total/total thyroidectomy. Baseline characteristics for operative and nonoperative patients were not substantially different. Median survival for patients who had cancer-related operation was 8.2 months in the CA4P arm versus 4.0 months in the control arm, resulting in a hazard ratio of 0.66 (P = .25) and a suggested associated reduction in risk of death of 35%. 1-year survival was 33.3% in the CA4P arm versus 7.7% in the control arm. Conclusion: In this largest prospective study ever conducted in ATC, thyroidectomy followed by CA4P combination regimen showed a nonsignificant trend toward improvement in patient survival.
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