Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a relatively rare type of thyroid cancer that can run in families. Most patients with MTC are cured after surgery, but about 15% can have metastatic spread of MTC to distant organs such as the bone, liver, and lung. Unlike other types of thyroid cancer, MTC does not respond to radioactive iodine therapy. If the cancer can no longer be removed by surgery, some patients will be offered chemotherapy for metastatic MTC. There are 2 drugs, Vandetanib and Cabozantanib, approved for the treatment of metastatic MTC. These drugs work by blocking the stimulators of growth of the cancer and are called targeted kinase inhibitors (TKI). The drugs are taken by mouth each day.
Some MTC patients do not respond to the current TKI options and therefore, there is a need to find more treatments for this group of patients. This study from a hospital in Brazil tested a drug called Sorafenib also a TKI (already approved for treating metastatic papillary thyroid cancer) for its ability to stop the growth of metastatic MTC. They also looked at side effects of the medication.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
de Castroneves LA et al Sorafenib for the Treatment of progressive metastatic medullary thyroid cancer: efficacy and safety analysis. Thyroid 2016;26:414-9. Epub February 9, 2016.