Navigation Links
Penn Medicine researcher unveils findings on 2 new weapons against thyroid cancer

AMSTERDAM -- For many years, patients with advanced thyroid cancer faced bleak prospects and no viable treatment options. But now, building on recent discoveries about the genetics and cell signaling pathways of thyroid tumors, researchers are developing exciting new weapons against the disease, using kinase inhibitors that target tumor cell division and blood vessels. Two recent clinical trials led by a researcher from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania showcase the great promise of these new approaches. The work will be presented at the European Cancer Congress (ECCO 17 - ESMO 38 - ESTRO 32) in Amsterdam today.

The first study provides additional data from the phase III DECISION trial of the drug sorafenib, a kinase inhibitor already approved for treatment of kidney and liver cancer, which was presented as a plenary during the 2013 annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. In the newly released findings, lead author Marcia Brose, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of Otorhinolarlyngology: Head and Neck Surgery and the division of Hematology/Oncology in the Abramson Cancer Center, and her colleagues examined the effectiveness of sorafenib on thyroid cancers that harbor BRAF and RAS mutations. They previously reported that for patients who received sorafenib, progression free survival was 10.8 months vs. 5.8 months in the placebo arm. Of the 417 patients enrolled in the trial, 256 had tumors collected for genetic analysis. As they expected, the most common mutations were found in the BRAF and RAS genes. However, the analyses show that all groups, regardless of the presence of a BRAF and RAS mutation benefited from treatment with sorafenib.

"Our results are important because they show that regardless of the presence of these two common genetic changes, the group that was treated with sorafenib did better than the placebo," Brose says. "There was no subgroup that didn't appear to benefit from the intervention with the sorafenib." The use of sorafenib for the first line treatment for advanced differentiated thyroid cancer is now being evaluated for approval by the FDA, which would represent the first effective drug for advanced thyroid patients in more than 40 years.

The second study Brose will present during the European Cancer Congress focused on the subgroup of patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), which is the most prevalent form of advanced thyroid cancer. About half of PTC patients harbor the BRAFV600E mutation, which is also present in melanomas that can be successfully treated with BRAF inhibitor drugs. "In this phase II study, we took the BRAFV600E inhibitor, vemurafenib, and studied it in BRAF-mutated papillary thyroid cancer patients to see if there's an effect," Brose explained. Approximately 50 PTC patients with the BRAFV600E mutation were enrolled in the study, all with progressive disease that had failed to respond to radioactive iodine treatment. The patients were divided into two groups: one that had not received sorafenib or other similar kinase inhibitor, and one that had.

The progression free survival of the treatment nave group was 15.6 months and had a response rate of 35 percent, while the progression free survival in the previously treated group was 6.3 months with a response rate of26 percent. "Our results show that we can effectively treat PTC patients that have progressive disease by targeting a common mutation, and produce clinically meaningful periods of progression free survival," Brose said.

Taken together, the two trials offer substantial new hope for patients with progressive thyroid cancer. "A few years ago there was nothing to offer these patients," Brose says. "By understanding similarities across different types of cancers, we have been able to show that therapies previously shown to be effective in other cancers, such as liver, kidney and bone, can be effectively used to treat a rare cancer, providing significant hope to these patients."


Contact: Holly Auer
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Institute for regenerative medicine to lead national effort to aid wounded warriors
2. Combining Chinese and Western medicine could lead to new cancer treatments
3. Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine Celebrates 30th Anniversary
4. Three Physicians Join Texas Children’s Urology Division and Bring Robotics, Gender Medicine and Research Expertise
5. U.S. Preventive Medicine Awarded Exclusive, Workplace Health Program for Innovative Self-Funded Health Benefits Plan, Health Options Plus™
6. Metro-Detroit Prescription Medicine Dose Packs Available from
7. State-of-the-Art Teleradiology and Telemedicine Consumer Platform Introduces Employer Memberships With Most Competitive Rates in the Industry
8. South Jersey Family Medicine Switches to e-MDs for EHR, Practice Management and Patient Portal Solutions
9. Penn Medicine study: Proton therapy cuts side effects for pediatric head and neck cancer patients
10. Penn Medicine researchers harness the immune system to fight pancreatic cancer
11. The Australasian Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AustADSM) Provides Mini-Residency Programs for Post Graduates in the Dental Treatment of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive ... proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into ... Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" report to ... report contains up to date financial data derived from varied ... major trends with potential impact on the market during the ... segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and country level ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , ... ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , ... Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Guerbet announced today that it has been named a ... One of 12 suppliers to receive the ... of Premier members through exceptional local customer service and ... lower costs. "We ... customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: