20 years of radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer at the Centre of Nuclear Medicine of East-Tallinn Central Hospital

4. November 2015

This summer marks 20 years since the first procedure using radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer was conducted at East-Tallinn Central Hospital. The occasion is being celebrated with an international conference on thyroid cancer. The speakers at the conference are prominent specialists on endocrinology and nuclear medicine from Estonia and elsewhere in Europe. In addition, September has been recognised internationally as Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month for the last 15 years.

According to the Head of the Centre of Nuclear Medicine Anne Poksi and senior doctor Eve Kelk, who are running the multidisciplinary conference, every year nearly 400 patients receive radioiodine therapy for benign or malignant thyroid conditions at the hospital. Modern methods allow for more frequent diagnosis of thyroid cancer, and the current multimodal therapy makes the disease successfully treatable: the 10-year life expectancy of patients is over 90%.

East-Tallinn Central Hospital has created the perfect conditions for performing radioiodine treatment. Since 2006, the Centre of Nuclear Medicine has been equipped with modern hybrid technology – a combined gamma camera/computer tomography system that makes it possible to pinpoint the tumorous tissue in 3D. The possibility to study patients using a mobile positron emission tomography device (PET/CT) has been available almost as long.

The hospital has continuously contributed to the training of staff from the centre. In 2013, the treatment rooms for patients were renovated – now they are comfortable and cosy, helping to ease the patient’s time in isolation during therapy.

The successful treatment of thyroid conditions at East-Tallinn Central Hospital is made possible by cooperating with leading specialists from other medical fields: endocrinologists, surgeons and oncologists. It is impossible to overrate the role of our pathologists and laboratory in the process.

This autumn, East-Tallinn Central Hospital celebrates its 230th anniversary. This reflects our persistence and continuity.