Follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) is the second most common cancer of the thyroid gland, accounting for up to 20% of all primary malignant tumors in iodine-replete areas. The diagnostic work-up, staging, risk stratification, management, and follow-up strategies in patients who have FTC are modeled after those of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), even though FTC is more aggressive. FTC has a greater propensity for haematogenous metastasis than PTC. Furthermore, FTC is a phenotypically and genotypically heterogeneous disease. The diagnosis and identification of markers of an aggressive FTC depend on the expertise and thoroughness of pathologists during histopathological analysis. An untreated or metastatic FTC is likely to de-differentiate and become poorly differentiated or undifferentiated and resistant to standard treatment. While thyroid lobectomy is adequate for the treatment of selected patients who have low-risk FTC, it is not advisable for patients whose tumor is larger than 4 cm in diameter or has extensive extra-thyroidal extension. Lobectomy is also not adequate for tumors that have aggressive mutations. Although the prognosis for over 80% of PTC and FTC is good, nearly 20% of the tumors behave aggressively. The introduction of radiomics, pathomics, genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, and liquid biopsy have led to improvements in the understanding of tumorigenesis, progression, treatment response, and prognostication of thyroid cancer. The article reviews the challenges that are encountered during the diagnostic work-up, staging, risk stratification, management, and follow-up of patients who have FTC. How the application of multi-omics can strengthen decision-making during the management of follicular carcinoma is also discussed.
- follicular carcinoma