Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug That Targets Vasculature Growth Attacks Aggressive Thyroid Cancer

Date:
May 16, 2009
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
A medication that helps stop the growth of new blood vessels has produced dramatic benefits for some patients with aggressive thyroid cancer, new research indicates.

A medication that helps stop the growth of new blood vessels has produced dramatic benefits for some patients with aggressive thyroid cancer, research from Mayo Clinic indicates.

At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Mayo investigators report that cancer in about two-thirds of 37 patients with aggressive differentiated thyroid cancer treated with the drug pazopanib either stopped growing, or quickly shrank.

The patient responses seen to date are promising, the researchers say, because all patients had fast-growing cancers that had spread to their lungs, with half involving lymph nodes and 39 percent also involving bones.

"The benefits were striking in many patients to a degree we have not previously seen in thyroid cancer in response to other therapies, including the standard treatment of radioiodine," says Keith Bible, M.D., Ph.D., a medical oncologist and researcher who led the multicenter clinical trial funded by the National Cancer Institute. Most of the patients treated were enrolled at the Mayo Clinic campuses in Minnesota and Florida.

Approximately one-third of patients achieved sustained and dramatic benefit from pazopanib, while another one-third experienced stabilization of their cancer or some tumor shrinkage. The remaining one-third of patients did not benefit from the drug. The agent was also well tolerated by the majority of patients, Dr. Bible adds.

What is not yet known, however, is the drug's effect on overall survival. "We need more time to establish that definitively," says Dr. Bible. "The trial has been going on for just over a year, and some of our patients are still maintaining a response, while others have not been in the study long enough for us to confirm duration of response." He notes that of the 37 original trial participants, two have died — one from cancer progression and another from other causes.

The National Cancer Institute estimated that 37,340 new cases of thyroid cancer would be diagnosed in 2008, with 1,590 deaths from the cancer. The cancer is much more common in women; it is the seventh most common cancer in women in the U.S. The occurrence of thyroid cancer has recently been rising.

Most thyroid cancers are of two major "differentiated" types — papillary thyroid cancer (the most common, accounting for 75 percent of cases) and follicular thyroid cancer (15 percent).

Fortunately, most patients with thyroid cancer respond well to surgery and to follow-up treatment with radioiodine; even if the cancer recurs and spreads, the disease progresses slowly in most patients, Dr. Bible says. "Many patients do well for a long time without the need of additional therapy," he says. However, about 5 percent of these patients experience rapidly progressing life-threatening disease that is insensitive to radioiodine and other treatment approaches. "Until only recently, we have not had any effective therapies for such patients."

Pazopanib is an experimental agent that is also being studied in advanced kidney, ovarian and other cancers. The drug, administered in pill form, targets proteins involved in angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels that has a critical role in the growth and spread of tumors. The proteins that pazopanib targets include vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), c-kit and Ret.

Mayo investigators are also leading clinical trials to test pazopanib in two other thyroid cancer subtypes -medullary, which does not respond to radioiodine, and anaplastic, the most aggressive subtype.

Dr. Bible says plans are also under way to test pazopanib in a larger, controlled and randomized clinical trial of patients with advanced differentiated thyroid cancer. Researchers want to more accurately assess benefits and risks.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Drug That Targets Vasculature Growth Attacks Aggressive Thyroid Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090515093232.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2009, May 16). Drug That Targets Vasculature Growth Attacks Aggressive Thyroid Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090515093232.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Drug That Targets Vasculature Growth Attacks Aggressive Thyroid Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090515093232.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins