Endocrinol Metab.  2021 Apr;36(2):359-364. 10.3803/EnM.2020.890.

Protocol for a Korean Multicenter Prospective Cohort Study of Active Surveillance or Surgery (KoMPASS) in Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Department of Radiology, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
  • 6Department of Surgery, Thyroid Cancer Center, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Institute of Refractory Thyroid Cancer, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Department of Medicine, Thyroid Center, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 8Department of Internal Medicine, Eunpyeong St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 9Department of Internal Medicine, Biomedical Research Institute, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea
  • 10Department of Internal Medicine, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, Korea
  • 11Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea


A Korean Multicenter Prospective cohort study of Active Surveillance or Surgery (KoMPASS) for papillary thyroid microcarcinomas (PTMCs) has been initiated. The aim is to compare clinical outcomes between active surveillance (AS) and an immediate lobectomy for low-risk PTMCs. We here outline the detailed protocol for this study.
Adult patients with a cytopathologically confirmed PTMC sized 6.0 to 10.0 mm by ultrasound (US) will be included. Patients will be excluded if they have a suspicious extra-thyroidal extension or metastasis of a PTMC or multiple thyroid nodules or other thyroid diseases which require a total thyroidectomy. Printed material describing the prognosis of PTMCs, and the pros and cons of each management option, will be provided to eligible patients to select their preferred intervention. For the AS group, thyroid US, thyroid function, and quality of life (QoL) parameters will be monitored every 6 months during the first year, and then annually thereafter. Disease progression will be defined as a ≥3 mm increase in maximal diameter of a PTMC, or the development of new thyroid cancers or metastases. If progression is detected, patients should undergo appropriate surgery. For the lobectomy group, a lobectomy with prophylactic central neck dissection will be done within 6 months. After initial surgery, thyroid US, thyroid function, serum thyroglobulin (Tg), anti-Tg antibody, and QoL parameters will be monitored every 6 months during the first year and annually thereafter. Disease progression will be defined in these cases as the development of new thyroid cancers or metastases.
KoMPASS findings will help to confirm the role of AS, and develop individualized management strategies, for low-risk PTMCs.


Active surveillance; Watchful waiting; Thyroid cancer; papillary; Cohort studies; Comparative study


  • Fig. 1 Flow diagram of the study process. PTMC, papillary thyroid microcarcinoma; US, ultrasound; CT, computed tomography; AS, active surveillance; QoL, quality of life; CND, central neck dissection; Tg, thyroglobulin; TgAb, anti-Tg antibody.

Cited by  1 articles

Active Surveillance as an Effective Management Option for Low-Risk Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma
Min Ji Jeon, Won Gu Kim, Tae Yong Kim, Young Kee Shong, Won Bae Kim
Endocrinol Metab. 2021;36(4):717-724.    doi: 10.3803/EnM.2021.1042.


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