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In the case of thyroid cancer, a secondary tumor is called Metastatic Thyroid Cancer and nearly fifteen percent of thyroid tumor patients develop distant metastases.
Experimental Drug Slows Thyroid Cancer Progression
Thanks to important progress in recent years, cancer rates have declined markedly in the United States. But unfortunately, the incidence of thyroid cancer diagnosis have nearly doubled in the past thirty years. And since thyroid cancer can return well beyond its first treatment, it is no surprise that news reports show research on this type of tumor is at an all time high.
A recent analysis conducted at the M. D. Anderson's Cancer Center in Houston studied thyroid cancer metastasis, with the most common sites of metastases being lymph nodes, bone or lung. Cancer cells may at times fragment and break-away from the primary tumor then circulate through the blood stream to later fix upon a new site and grow into a secondary tumor. In the case of thyroid cancer, this secondary tumor is called Metastatic Thyroid Cancer and nearly fifteen percent of thyroid tumor patients develop distant metastases.
For many thyroid cancer patients, papillary or follicular thyroid carcinomas are not fatal. Removal of the thyroid through surgery is often followed by treatment with radioactive iodine and is, in most cases, sufficient. However, once the cancer metastasizes, the treatment becomes more complex often involving a thyroid surgeon, an endocrinologist, a radiologist, and, in some cases medical and radiation oncologists.
Recent Reports Published
Current studies have shown progress in the unraveling of the mystery behind thyroid tumors and how to prevent them from spreading. A recent report published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that a drug called Motesanib Diphosphate, a VEGF inhibitor, was administered to metastatic thyroid cancer patients. The drug is manufactured by Amgen, Inc. in Thousand Oaks, California. The results were documented by Dr. Sherman, chair and professor at M. D. Anderson Hospital, along with colleagues in ten countries and resulted in one of the largest studies on metastatic thyroid cancer ever conducted.
The study showed positive results among the ninety-three participants, equivalent to forty-nine percent. Of the participants, fourteen percent exhibited tumors that had shrunk in size, while thirty-five percent exhibited tumors that stabilized.
Dr. Sherman expressed that VEGF receptors show strong evidence in the treatment role of metastatic thyroid cancer. Dr. Sherman continued stating that there is no standard chemotherapy treatment for metastases thyroid cancer in its advanced stages. Treatment for thyroid cancer is a need that has been unmet.
The study included a once daily, orally administered pill of 125 mg Motesanib Diphosphate over a time span of forty-eight weeks to patients with metastatic or locally advanced thyroid cancer that was radioiodine resistant. The study goal was affirmed by radiological exams that confirmed the tumor had diminished in size. And the time frame of the response, as well as drug safety was studied by researchers.
The conclusion of the study showed patients with metastatic cancer or advanced cancer displayed a qualified reaction which indicates that Motesanib Diphosphate can result in partial responses in their tumors. In fact, Amgen's daily pill starves tumors to achieve the result needed which helps patients treat their cancer by shrinking the tumor and slowing the growth.
What's Next for Thyroid Tumor Research?
Locating new patients whose thyroid tumors have a specific mutation which are more plausible to respond to the drug is one example. This trial is the first to identify certain mutations in an effort to tailor therapy for future patients.
Which Treatment Option is Best?
Although there have been incredible strides made in the research within this field, surgery remains a viable treatment option for patients with certain types of thyroid cancer. An experienced thyroid cancer surgeon can, in some cases, remove the thyroid in one segment with little dissection of the tumor. If neck lymph nodes are distended as a result of papillary thyroid cancer, the patient will need to have them removed - an operation that is called a modified radical neck dissection.
Photo of Total Thyroidectomy
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In order to choose the best treatment plan for your cancer, it is best to consult with a professional who is experienced in the field of treatment for these types of cancers. Each thyroid tumor case has its own specific physical manifestations and as such, patients require an individual assessment in the privacy of a physician's office in order to determine the most effective treatment plan.
Individuals with a risk factor or symptom are encouraged to meet with an endocrinologist or thyroid cancer specialist for a private, one-on-one consultation as soon as possible. An endocrinologist is an exceptional starting point toward the goal of achieving resolution to questions or symptoms. If further treatment is necessary, the endocrinologist can recommend a thyroid surgeon or setup a treatment plan, or even suggest that a waiting period be established in order to track symptoms.
Stay Informed of Treatment Options
Although your doctor is responsible for the ultimate treatment plan for your thyroid cancer, it is important to keep informed about recent developments and research studies. Make a habit to scan thyroid research sites and blogs to find out more and keep informed about progress and news issues regarding this important type of cancer. For a more thorough and efficient information experience, Google alerts can be setup within a matter of minutes so that email updates are sent to you on the subject of your choice.
By developing a routine of daily or weekly information gathering, the mystery of thyroid cancer and current research findings is less frustrating.
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