New therapies favored over old in thyroid cancer

July 23, 2007

The NCCN has updated the clinical practice guidelines for certain types of thyroid cancer.

For thyroid cancers that have metastasized to other areas of the body, conventional chemotherapy agents may not be the best choice. "Cytotoxic chemotherapy has been shown to have minimal efficacy," NCCN stated in the guidelines. Patients would be better off enrolling in a clinical trial investigating one of the new, novel targeted therapies, according to NCCN.

According to Steven I. Sherman, M.D., associate professor at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and chair of the NCCN thyroid carcinoma panel, years of research will be required before any new drugs receive approval for thyroid cancer, but patients can still benefit from some potentially promising new therapies by enrolling in a trial. There are several drugs under investigation for efficacy in thyroid cancer. One drug has made it to phase III studies. Most of the drugs are still in phase II clinical studies, and a few are in phase I. Here's a roundup of the candidates:

THE AUTHOR is a clinical writer based in the Seattle area.