2020 Volume 67 Issue 7 Pages 669-717
The Japan Associations of Endocrine Surgeons has developed the revised version of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Thyroid Tumors. This article describes the guidelines translated into English for the 35 clinical questions relevant to the therapeutic management of thyroid cancers. The objective of the guidelines is to improve health-related outcomes in patients with thyroid tumors by enabling users to make their practice evidence-based and by minimizing any variations in clinical practice due to gaps in evidential knowledge among physicians. The guidelines give representative flow-charts on the management of papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, along with recommendations for clinical questions by presenting evidence on the relevant outcomes including benefits, risks, and health conditions from patients’ perspective. Therapeutic actions were recommended or not recommended either strongly (◎◎◎ or XXX) based on good evidence (😊)/good expert consensus (+++), or weakly (◎, ◎◎ or X, XX) based on poor evidence (😣)/poor expert consensus (+ or ++). Only 10 of the 51 recommendations given in the guidelines were supported by good evidence, whereas 35 were supported by good expert consensus. While implementing the current guidelines would be of help to achieve the objective, we need further clinical research to make our shared decision making to be more evidence-based.