Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two-drug combination may slow deadly thyroid cancer

Date:
January 8, 2013
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
A combination of the drugs pazopanib and paclitaxel shows promise in slowing anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), according to a new study. The two drugs together resulted in greater anti-cancer activity in ATC than either drug alone, according to new research.

A combination of the drugs pazopanib and paclitaxel shows promise in slowing anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), according to a Mayo Clinic-led study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The two drugs together resulted in greater anti-cancer activity in ATC than either drug alone, says lead researcher Keith Bible, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic oncologist.

Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a rare but devastating form of thyroid cancer that typically strikes men and women in their 60s and 70s. It is very aggressive, with a median survival of only about 5 months from time of diagnosis. Only 20 percent of patients survive a year beyond diagnosis, and it has historically been found to be resistant to most therapies.

Pazopanib, a kinase-inhibitor that interferes with the growth of cancer cells, is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat renal cancer tumors. Paclitaxel is an FDA-approved chemotherapy drug that disrupts the machinery involved in cell division.

Researchers studied anaplastic thyroid cancer cells and tumors in cell culture and in animal models. Human ATC cells were readily killed, and ATC tumors implanted into mice were 50 percent smaller when treated with the combination in comparison to the response to treatment with either drug alone. Pilot therapy of one patient with metastatic anaplastic thyroid cancer using the combination also resulted in marked tumor shrinkage lasting over six months. "This was a highly unexpected finding for this type of aggressive tumor, which often can double in size in a matter of days," Dr. Bible says.

In previous studies, pazopanib alone was found not effective in the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer. Paclitaxel was added to address the aggressiveness of anaplastic thyroid cancer tumors and bolster anti-cancer effects. The team investigated how the two drugs might complement each other.

Monitoring cancer cells multiply in time-lapse video under a microscope, researchers noted that the drug combination resulted in abnormal cell division and an increase in ATC cell death. Although pazopanib had not been known to specifically affect cell division, researchers speculated that the drug might have another unrecognized molecular target within cancer cells.

"We ended up learning that pazopanib also happens to inhibit a protein involved in cell division known as aurora A; this property seems to be involved in producing enhanced effects when pazopanib is combined with paclitaxel," Dr. Bible says. "This finding suggests that the combination may also be useful in treating other cancers, such as breast cancer, in which aurora A is sometimes found to be present in elevated amounts, as it is in ATC," Dr. Bible says.

The results also prompted an ongoing randomized multicenter clinical trial, led by Mayo Clinic and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and administered through the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, testing the two-drug combination when added to radiation therapy in the initial treatment of patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer.

"This important next step is designed to determine whether the combination of drugs will improve ATC patient survival compared to paclitaxel alone," Dr. Bible says.

The research was funded by National Institutes of Health grants CA125750 and CA13666 and the State of Florida Department of Health Bankhead-Coley Cancer Program. Co-authors include Crescent Isham, Ayoko Bossou, Vivian Negron, Wilma Lingle, Ph.D., Vera Suman, Ph.D. of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Robert Smallridge, M.D., John Copland, Ph.D., and Laura Marlow of Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.; Kelly Fisher and Rakesh Kumar, Ph.D., of GlaxoSmithKline; and Eric Sherman, M.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. C. R. Isham, A. R. Bossou, V. Negron, K. E. Fisher, R. Kumar, L. Marlow, W. L. Lingle, R. C. Smallridge, E. J. Sherman, V. J. Suman, J. A. Copland, K. C. Bible. Pazopanib Enhances Paclitaxel-Induced Mitotic Catastrophe in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. Science Translational Medicine, 2013; 5 (166): 166ra3 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004358

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Two-drug combination may slow deadly thyroid cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108162238.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2013, January 8). Two-drug combination may slow deadly thyroid cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108162238.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Two-drug combination may slow deadly thyroid cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108162238.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) 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