Orbital radiotherapy ineffective in treating Graves’ disease

A NHS-led clinical trial conducted across 11 hospitals does not support combining radiotherapy and steroid treatment in thyroid eye disease patients


A multi-centre UK trial that took a decade to complete has concluded that radiotherapy does not help Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) patients who are also receiving steroid tablets.

A University of Bristol press release confirmed the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology research does not support the use of the “widely used, expensive and time-consuming” treatment.

However, the research found that disease severity was reduced in patients who received antiproliferative immunosuppressive drugs in combination with steroids.

GO, also called thyroid eye disease, results in double vision as well as protruding and swollen eyes. The condition is most common in women.

Bristol Medical School consultant senior lecturer, Dr Richard Lee, confirmed that the research is the only multi-centre UK trial to have been conducted with GO patients.