Dr. Kaniksha Desai is a board-certified endocrinologist and clinical assistant professor of endocrinology at Stanford University. She completed her endocrinology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, with an emphasis on the management of patients with thyroid cancer. Dr. Desai’s clinical practice focuses on the management of patients with thyroid diseases, including thyroid nodules and thyroid cancers, and the management of patients with pituitary disorders. She also maintains board certification in neck ultrasonography and internal medicine.

Clinical Focus

  • Endocrinology
  • Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Thyroid Nodule
  • Thyroid Diseases

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Physician Director, Realizing Improvement through Team Empowerment (RITE), Stanford HealthCare (2021 - Present)
  • Co-Chair, Clinical Educator Advisory Committee, Stanford School of Medicine (2020 - Present)
  • Resident and Medical Student Director Endocrinology, Stanford School of Medicine (2018 - Present)
  • Endocrinology Quality Director, Stanford Health Care (2018 - Present)
  • Clinical Advice Services, Stanford Health Care (2017 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow of American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (FACE), AACE (2021)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Chair Public Health Committee, American Thyroid Association (2020 - Present)
  • Item Writing Task Force Member, American Board of Internal Medicine (2020 - Present)
  • Thyroid Disease Network Committee Member, American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (2021 - Present)
  • Member, American Thyroid Association (2013 - Present)
  • Member, Endocrine Society (2013 - Present)
  • Member, American Association Of Clinical Endocrinology (2013 - Present)

Professional Education

  • ECNU, American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, Board Certain, Neck Ultrasonography (2016)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (2015)
  • Fellowship: Mayo Clinic Endocrinology Fellowship (2015) FL
  • Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine (2013)
  • Residency: Virginia Commonwealth University Internal Medicine Residency (2013) VA
  • Medical Education: Wake Forest School of Medicine (2010) NC

All Publications

  • Radiotherapy for brain metastases from thyroid cancer: an institutional and national retrospective cohort study. Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association Blomain, E. S., Berta, S., Hug, N. F., Giao, D. M., Meola, A., Binkley, M. S., Hui, C., Churilla, T., Shahsavari, N., Desai, K., Chang, S. D., Soltys, S., Pollom, E. L. 2022


    BACKGROUND: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is the standard of care for patients with a limited number of brain metastases. Despite the fact that the seminal studies regarding SRS for brain metastases were largely tissue agnostic, several current national guidelines do not uniformly recommend SRS in thyroid cancer. We therefore investigated oncologic outcomes in a cohort of patients with brain metastases from thyroid cancer who received radiotherapy at our institution as well as those in a nationally representative cancer cohort, the national cancer database (NCDB).METHODS: We identified patients with thyroid cancer and brain metastases treated with radiotherapy at our institution from 2002 through 2020. For the NCDB cohort, the national database of patients with thyroid cancer was screened on the basis of brain-directed radiotherapy or brain metastases. For the institutional cohort, the cumulative risk of local failure, distant intracranial failure and radiation necrosis were calculated, adjusted for the competing risk of death. Overall survival (OS) in both cohorts was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate analysis was accomplished via clustered competing risks regression.RESULTS: For the institutional cohort, we identified 33 patients with 212 treated brain metastases. Overall survival was 6.6 months. The 1-year cumulative incidences of local failure and distant intracranial failures were 7.0% and 38%, respectively. The 1-year risk of radiation necrosis was 3.3%. In the NCDB cohort, there were 289 patients and median survival was 10.2 months. NCDB national practice patterns analysis showed an increasing use of SRS over time in both the entire cohort and the subset of anaplastic patients. Univariate analysis was performed for overall survival, risk of local failure, risk of regional intracranial failure and risk of radiation necrosis.CONCLUSIONS: SRS is a safe, effective and increasingly-utilized treatment for thyroid cancer brain metastases of any histology and should be the standard of care treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/thy.2021.0628

    View details for PubMedID 35229625

  • Benign Ectopic Thyroid in the Lateral (Level II) Neck Compartment CUREUS JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCE Liu, G. S., Berry, G. J., Desai, K., Megwalu, U. C. 2022; 14 (2)
  • Metastatic Paraganglioma of the Spine With SDHB Mutation: Case Report and Review of the Literature INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPINE SURGERY Jabarkheel, R., Pendharkar, A., Lavezo, J. L., Annes, J., Desai, K., Vogel, H., Desai, A. M. 2021; 14: S37–S45

    View details for DOI 10.14444/7163

    View details for Web of Science ID 000618077900008

  • Doege-Potter syndrome presenting as 'end-stage renal disease-associated hypoglycaemia': a primary presentation of retroperitoneal sarcoma. BMJ case reports Shekhar, S., Chen, J., Desai, K. 2020; 13 (8)


    A middle-aged woman with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) due to obstructive nephropathy presented to the hospital for an episode of unresponsiveness and hypoglycaemia. Initially, she was diagnosed with hypoglycaemia associated with ESRD and was discharged. However, she returned to the hospital after experiencing tonic-clonic seizures and recurrent hypoglycaemia. Her hypoglycaemia workup revealed an elevated insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) to IGF1 ratio consistent with paraneoplastic IGF2 secretion. Subsequently, a CT abdomen revealed a retroperitoneal mass, found to be a retroperitoneal sarcoma. Her hypoglycaemia was treated with glucocorticoids and growth hormone. Surgical debulking of her tumour was attempted, but she expired due to postoperative haemorrhagic shock. Doege-Potter syndrome is a rare cause of hypoglycaemia which should be suspected in any new-onset, worsening, inexplicable or refractory hypoglycaemia, particularly in non-diabetic ESRD. Here we present a report of retroperitoneal sarcoma presenting with hypoglycaemia in a patient with ESRD without diabetes.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bcr-2020-235549

    View details for PubMedID 32843457

  • Visual Vignette ENDOCRINE PRACTICE Vukkadala, N., Desai, K., Megwalu, U. 2019; 25 (12): 1366
  • Socioeconomic Predictors of Pituitary Surgery CUREUS Deb, S., Vyas, D. B., Pendharkar, A., Rezaii, P. G., Schoen, M. K., Desai, K., Gephart, M. H., Desai, A. 2019; 11 (1)
  • Clinical efficacy of frameless stereotactic radiosurgery in the management of spinal metastases from thyroid carcinoma. Spine Hariri, O. n., Takayanagi, A. n., Lischalk, J. n., Desai, K. n., Florence, T. J., Yazdian, P. n., Chang, S. D., Vrionis, F. n., Adler, J. R., Quadri, S. A., Desai, A. n. 2019


    MINI: Study evaluates the efficacy of CyberKnife® (CK) SRS for thyroid spinal metastases (SM). Patients with SMs from thyroid carcinoma that were treated with CK SRS between 2003 and 2013were identified. CK can be safely used to treat SMs from thyroid cancer with a high rate of local control.A retrospective data review.To evaluate the efficacy of CyberKnife® SRS for thyroid SMs.Thyroid carcinoma is an infrequent cause of spinal metastasis (SM). The absolute efficacy of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) generally and CyberKnife® (CK) in particular remains poorly characterized for thyroid SM. The current study is the first to specifically evaluate the efficacy of CyberKnife® SRS for thyroid SMs.A retrospective review of patients at our institution between 2003 and 2013 was done. Details about tumor location, radiographic findings before and after CK SRS, tumor recurrence, prescription isodose level, total and maximum dose, number of fractions, and gross tumor volume coverage were similarly collected. For comparison with other studies, the biologically effective dose (BED) and the equivalent total dose in 2Gy fractions (EQD2) were calculated. Each patient was assessed for survival and local disease control from the time of the first CK session and survival analysis was carried out using the Kaplan-Meier method. Risk factors for local failure were assessed using multivariate logistic regression.A total of 12 patients with 32 spinal metastases from thyroid carcinoma that were treated with CK SRS were identified. Survival for 1, 2, and 3 years was 55%, 44%, and 33%, and local control was 67%, 56%, and 34% respectively. The study found that the single strongest factor associated with local control was prior radiotherapy (β-coefficient -27.72, p = 0.01). No complications occurred in the immediate or late follow-up period.This was the first study to specifically investigate the efficacy of CK for treatment of thyroid SMs. Our findings suggest that CK can be safely used to treat spinal SMs from thyroid cancer and is associated with a high rate of local control.4.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/BRS.0000000000003087

    View details for PubMedID 31261273

  • DUAL ECTOPIC THYROID GLANDS. Endocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Vukkadala, N. n., Desai, K. n., Megwalu, U. n. 2019

    View details for PubMedID 31013156