Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study to treat deadly form of thyroid cancer shows promise

Date:
April 18, 2013
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
A combination of therapies may prove to be a promising advance for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer based on results of a phase I clinical trial, say researchers. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is one of the deadliest of all cancers. Nearly all patients diagnosed with this cancer die from it, and life expectancies are measured in weeks to a few months.

A combination of therapies may prove to be a promising advance for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer based on results of a phase I clinical trial, say researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Related Articles


Anaplastic thyroid cancer is one of the deadliest of all cancers. Nearly all patients diagnosed with this cancer die from it, and life expectancies are measured in weeks to a few months. Even though it is very rare -- approximately 600 patients are diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer each year in the United States -- the cancer accounts for 50 percent of all deaths from all types of thyroid cancer, according to the American Thyroid Association.

The collaborative study, published in the April 16 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, reports that combining paclitaxel chemotherapy with an experimental agent known as efatutazone was safe and well tolerated by patients. Efatutazone in combinatorial therapy is also being studied in clinical trials for colon and lung cancers.

"This is good news, because we did not reach a maximum tolerated dose, meaning that the drug is well tolerated," says the study's lead investigator, Robert Smallridge, M.D., an endocrinologist who treats patients with thyroid cancer.

But he added that the study of 15 patients, most of whom were at the most advanced metastatic stage, also demonstrated "a trend toward clinical benefit."

One patient had a partial response, defined as a greater than 30 percent reduction in the size of tumors, and seven patients experienced short-term stable disease, meaning a period when the tumors did not grow.

If correct, these are just glimpses of treatment benefit, and a phase II clinical trial is needed to define a true clinical advantage, says Dr. Smallridge. But any hint of progress in treating this deadly cancer is heartening, he adds.

"To see a partial response is very rare in anaplastic thyroid cancer," Dr. Smallridge says.

The study found that doubling the dose of efatutazone (from 0.15 mg daily to .03 mg daily) delayed the median time to progression from 48 days to 68 days, and pushed median survival from 98 days to 138 days, respectively.

"We are encouraged that this drug combination showed biologic activity in this deadly disease and feel that additional testing with this and other new agents will be helpful in trying to improve outlook and outcome for patients," says Dr. Smallridge.

Efatutazone is a PPAR-gamma activator which turns on a powerful tumor suppressor capable of halting cell growth, says Mayo Clinic in Florida cancer biologist John Copland, Ph.D., a study co-author. PPAR-gamma is a transcriptional factor that increases the expression of many genes, and Dr. Copland's early work on the agent showed that it forces PPAR-gamma to turn on two tumor suppressor genes that have been silenced in anaplastic thyroid cancer. "It is very rare that a drug can take a suppressed gene and cause it to be re-expressed," he says.

The phase I clinical trials cancer program at Mayo Clinic in Florida has grown significantly over the past four years. Currently, there are 21 open, phase I oncology studies, with another 11 phase I studies in development. Together, these studies represent more than half of all patients on cancer clinical trials at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (CA136665). Dr. Copland has been working with the agent since 2004, after it was developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical company, Daiichi Sankyo, which also funded this clinical trial. Reinhard von Roemeling, M.D., from Sankyo participated in the study, as did researchers Marcia S. Brose, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; J. Trad Wadsworth, M.D., Eastern Virginia University; Yariv Houvras, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Center; Manisha H. Shah, M.D., Ohio State University; Ann W. Gramza, M.D., University of Oregon Medical Center; Joshua P. Klopper, M.D., University of Colorado School of Medicine; Michael Menefee, M.D., Mayo Clinic in Florida; and Keith Bible, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic in Rochester.


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. R. C. Smallridge, J. A. Copland, M. S. Brose, J. T. Wadsworth, Y. Houvras, M. E. Menefee, K. C. Bible, M. H. Shah, A. W. Gramza, J. P. Klopper, L. A. Marlow, M. G. Heckman, R. Von Roemeling. Efatutazone, an Oral PPAR-  Agonist, in Combination with Paclitaxel in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: Results of a Multicenter Phase 1 Trial. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2013; DOI: 10.1210/jc.2013-1106

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Study to treat deadly form of thyroid cancer shows promise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418124811.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2013, April 18). Study to treat deadly form of thyroid cancer shows promise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418124811.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Study to treat deadly form of thyroid cancer shows promise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418124811.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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