Interventional Thyroidologists IT Training Programs: How to Get Started in Thyroid Tumor Ablation for Endocrinologists.
With the formation of the Thyroid Tumor Ablation website,thyroidablation.net, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist’s task force on thyroid tumor ablation with radiofrequency RFA, it is time for all those endocrinologists doing their own needle biopsies to seek early training in RFA and ethanol ablation PEI methods. Expert molecular marker researchers Syd Finkelstein of Interpace
and Yuri Nikiforov of U. of Pittsburgh
have stated non-surgical ablation procedures such as PEI and RFA will be the next wave of treatment options for thyroid cancer patients.They predict that microRNA studies will been able to determine that a thyroid cancer may be low enough risk that primary ablation without surgery becomes more feasible.
This is all happening because the long standing thyroid friendly short and thin RFA systems developed in Korea are pending FDA approval in 2018 the US.
The present uses for PEI and Thyroid RFA in the rest of the world include benign thyroid nodules,thyroid and parathyroid cysts, autonomous thyroid nodules, recurrent thyroid cancer nodal neck metastatic disease, micro-papillary thyroid cancers as as third option to surgery or active surveillance. Although RFA is not available in the US, PEI is. Only the lack of referrals to PEI operators is holding back PEI from reaching it’s place as a first line therapy for thyroid cysts and cancer neck lymph nodes. PEI has also shown it is a third arm to surgery and active surveillance for micro-papillary cancers <1.5 cm.
How does one become an IT to care for their patients without referral to interventional radiologists? IR physicians in the US are not doing thyroid RFA. The IT and IR physicians are starting at square one. The early training of endocrinologists with the thyroid friendly Korean system is found in at least 3 locations.
- Asan Medical Center’s Master’s class in thyroid ablation under Professor JH Baek. This program must be applied for 3 months in advance. The 3-5 day course includes RFA, and core needle biopsy. It is $500 US plus airfare to Seoul. ( $1800 ) and hotels. I am going to this master’s course in May 2018 to spend time with the world expert. Contact Eileen Yoon <[email protected]> at AMC for information on the classes.
- Centro-Palmer Institute master’s class is 3-5 days, and covers ethanol and thyroid RFA. I took Dr.Roberto Valcavi’s’s course 3 years ago. Centrally located in Reggio Emilia near Bologna’s international airport. The fee is $3500 EU. This is more expensive but woth it as you are in the center of the greatest food area in Italy. Great to time with an Italian vacation.
- Since my time with Dr.Valcavi, I have had the chance to study RFA. First with Medtronic’s the longer thick probe used for liver. I taught several endocrinologists with that system. Since June 2017 I have used the Thyroid friendly RFA system from Korea for my own learning and my development of various teaching aids for training other endocrinologists.My course is 3-5 days, and includes hands on RFA ablation of beef nodules, and simulated PEI treatment of thyroid cysts and cancer lymph nodes. My course is aimed toward training endcorinologists doing a high volume 0f their own thyroid needle biopsies. These physicians are the most likely to learn RFA which requires USG free hand parallel approach. Those interested can attend a free 2 hour RFA introduction with hands on RFA ablation. The master’s class fee in Santa Monica Thyroid Center is presently reduced to $750/day. Call Matt at 310-393-8860 or email to [email protected] for my course and free 2 hour demo for high volume biopsy endocrinologists.
- AACE Task force member Dr.Brittany Henderson during her master’s class.
Dr.Guttler using bovine liver model with beef nodule to train students in RFA. The thyroid friendly Korean small thin electrode, generator and cooling system are seen on the right.