Saturday, 14 February 2015

New Drug May Slow Recurrent Thyroid Cancer, Study Finds


Progression-free survival nearly five times longer in people receiving treatment

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new thyroid cancer drug can delay the progression of the disease almost five times longer than a placebo in people with recurring cancer, according to results from a new clinical trial.

The oral drug, lenvatinib, is a targeted therapy that fights cancer by deterring the growth of new blood vessels that could help feed the cancer, researchers said.

Lenvatinib delayed progression of advanced thyroid cancer by 18 months, compared with four months for patients treated with a placebo, the trial found.

"It's an encouraging time for the advancement of treating patients with many different kinds of

"We're achieving a greater understanding of the pathways by which these cancers grow, and we're using that understanding to block those pathways," said Masters, who was not part of the study.

Results of the study, which was funded by drug manufacturer Eisai, were published in the Feb. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Historically, radioactive iodine has been the only treatment available to people with advanced thyroid cancer, said study leader Dr. Steven Sherman. He is associate vice provost for clinical research, and professor and chair of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Unfortunately, more than half of patients do not respond to radioactive iodine treatment, Sherman said in a center news release. In addition, thyroid cancers tend to develop resistance to radioactive iodine over time, making the therapy less and less effective.

"It's been a disease where it's been very difficult to treat once it's become resistant to radioactive iodine," Masters said.

Lenvatinib must await U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for use against thyroid cancer, Masters said. Another targeted drug, sorafenib, which works by encouraging the early death of cancer cells, was approved by the FDA in 2013 to treat thyroid cancer.

source : New Drug May Slow Recurrent Thyroid Cancer, Study Finds

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