||Nineteen patients, 12 females and 7 males, with mean age of 66 years, with anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid, were treated between 1976 and 1990. At diagnosis, in 4 patients disease presented as intraglandular mass, in 11 as infiltration of the adjacent structures and as distant metastases in 4 cases. A preceding history of goiter was found in 7 patients. Total thyroidectomy was performed in 9 patients, subtotal thyroidectomy in 1 and a diagnostic biopsy only in 4 cases. All patients received external radiotherapy (4000-6000 rads). Median global survival was 6 months with no difference between patients receiving thyroidectomy plus RT or biopsy plus RT. All patients died of tumor except 1 who is alive and free of disease at 120 months. Combination modality treatment of anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid represent, at times, a rational palliative therapeutic approach, even if, in selected patients with early intraglandular disease, total surgery may represent a curative therapy.