Glitazone Pretreatment Can Boost Efficacy of Radioiodine Therapy in Metastatic Thyroid Cancer

Falls Church, Virginia. Oct. 28, 2011 – Repeated radio-ablation therapy with iodine-131 to treat metastatic thyroid cancer can be less effective than the initial round of treatment due to de-differentiation of the cancer cells as the disease progresses, making them less sensitive to I-131. Glitazones, a class of PPARg drugs capable of re-differentiating the cancer cells, can enhance their I-131 uptake. Long-term use of these agents for treatment of diabetes has been linked to cardiovascular side effects.

Devendra Wadwekar, MD, and coworkers from the University of Utah – Salt Lake City studied the effectiveness of a short, 6-week course of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone prior to radioiodine therapy in patients with metastatic thyroid cancer, including patients whose cancer had spread to the lungs. According to data presented today at the 81st Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association (ATA), short-term glitazone treatment caused no side effects. In 38% of patients, I-131 uptake by metastasized cancer cells in the lung increased significantly compared to no or low uptake in previous rounds of radio-ablation therapy. Additionally, thyroglobulin levels were reduced in the blood of all patients that received glitazone pre-treatment, suggesting a decrease in metastatic disease. Long term efficacy and survival remains to be determined.

About the ATA Annual Meeting
The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association will be held October 26-30, 2011 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells (near Palm Springs), California. This four day creative and innovative scientific program, chaired by Drs. Anthony Hollenberg and Martha Zeiger, has carefully balanced clinical and basic science sessions on the latest advances in thyroidology. The ATA meeting is designed to offer continuing education for endocrinologists, internists, surgeons, basic scientists, nuclear medicine scientists, pathologists, endocrine fellows and nurses, physician assistants and other health care professionals. Visit for more information.

About the ATA
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international individual membership organization with over 1,400 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 88th anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology and Clinical Thyroidology for Patients; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease. Visit for more information.

Media Contact
Bobbi Smith
Executive Director
American Thyroid Association
Phone: 703-772-2462

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