New therapeutic options for advanced forms of thyroid cancer

Victor Bernet, Robert Smallridge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Introduction: While the vast majority of patients with thyroid cancer have an excellent prognosis, those with more aggressive courses experience significant morbidity and mortality. Advanced forms of thyroid cancer are typically refractory to standard therapy. Numerous agents with potential usefulness in the treatment of advanced thyroid cancer have recently come under study. Areas covered: This article reviews agents identified through a systematic review of the scientific literature as being under investigation for treatment of advanced thyroid cancer. A search of both PubMed and the NCI Clinical Trials website was performed to identify such agents having reached Phase II or III testing. Improved understanding of cancer cell signaling pathways has led to the identification of > 500 kinases as potential therapeutic targets. Additional agents of interest include those that inhibit neoangiogenesis, alter epigenetic factors or stimulate antitumor immune reactions. While presently available agents have shown promise in improving progression-free survival (PFS), complete responses are not seen and significant adverse side effects are encountered. Expert opinion: The development of numerous new anticancer agents holds the promise of treatment regimens that will extend PFS and ultimately overall survival in patients with advanced thyroid cancer. Anticipated future developments include individualized, multimodal treatment regimens based on specific tumor cell biology and driver mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-241
Number of pages17
JournalExpert Opinion on Emerging Drugs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer
  • Anti-CEA antibodies
  • B-raf inhibitors
  • Differentiated thyroid cancer
  • Histone deacetylase inhibitors
  • Kinase inhibitors
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroid cancer therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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