Most patients with thyroid cancer do well, are at low risk and are often cured of their cancer after surgery. Those with higher risk cancers (large cancers that spread outside the thyroid) can be treated with radioactive iodine, which acts as a “magic bullet” to destroy thyroid cancer cells as it is taken up and concentrated within the cells. However, in some patients, the thyroid cancers stop taking up radioactive iodine and are, thus, more difficult to treat as they become resistant to radioactive iodine. In particular, cancers that contain the BRAF-mutation are more likely to become radioactive iodine-resistant. Treatment options are limited for these patients. Newer chemotherapeutic drugs (tyrosine kinase inhibitors, TKI) target essential proteins in thyroid cancer cells and have been shown to be effective in treating these cancer. In particular, dabrafenib is a TKI that can block the BRAF-mutation, possibly allowing the thyroid cancer cells to take up radioactive iodine again. This study was done to determine if dabrafenib could increase the uptake of radioactive iodine in radioactive iodine-resistant thyroid cancer.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
Rothenberg SM et al. Redifferentiation of iodine-refractory BRAF V600E-mutant metastatic papillary thyroid cancer with dabrafenib. Clin Cancer Res. December 30, 2014 [Epub ahead of print].
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
All patients included in this study were older than 18 years of age (6 males and 4 females) and had thyroid cancer that could not be removed by surgery or was radioactive iodine-resistant. All patients had already received 1-4 previous radioactive iodine treatments. All patients were