Health Discoveries in Thyroid Cancer

Targeted therapy has strong results for thyroid cancer

September 21, 2010
Mayo Clinic researchers have found a targeted therapy using the drug pazopanib significantly reduces the progression of thyroid cancer, the Lancet Oncology reports.

The research team studied 37 patients with the most aggressive form of differentiated thyroid cancer and found 18 patients had a long-term response to the drug. Within that group, a dozen patients have not experienced disease progression. Their median, progression-free survival is nearly one year and the overall survival rate is 81 percent.

"In this group of patients, we would have expected the cancer to have progressed in everyone within six months, but instead the median time to progression was almost a year in response to pazopanib therapy," said Dr. Keith Bible, the lead researcher in the multicenter clinical trial funded by the National Cancer Institute. Most of the patients were treated at Mayo Clinic campuses in Minnesota and Florida.

However, the researchers note that pazopanib isn't intended for use against slow-developing, differentiated thyroid cancers.

As part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the Head and Neck Service at Long Island Jewish Medical Center has a national reputation for thyroid and parathyroid gland surgery. In the past decade, more than 2,000 patients have undergone surgery for over-active parathyroid glands at the center, more than any hospital in New York state.
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