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Treatment Hopes: Iodine-Refractory Thyroid Cancer
For many people with an aggressive form of thyroid cancer, the recent news about Nexavar® comes as a welcome sign of hope. A recent study released by researchers who conducted a study at the University of Pennsylvania have published documentation showing that Nexavar® offers important success for the treatment of metastatic iodine-refractory thyroid cancer. The specific aspects of this study were released in a contemporary online writing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on June 9, 2008.
What is Iodine-Refractory Thyroid Cancer?
Previously, there were no known treatments that were considered the standard of care of metastatic, iodine-refractory thyroid cancer. The most commonly chosen method of which to address thyroid carcinomas involves thyroidectomy, and post-surgery treatment of radioactive iodine in order to remove any thyroid residue in patients who are at a higher risk of developing a recurrence. Also, a thyroid hormone replacement is prescribed. Because several tumors will differentiate and develop into refractory to radioactive iodine. Subsequently, the prognosis for these patients is not good because there are no advantageous options for the patient's treatment.
What is Nexavar?
Nexavar® is an oral multiple kinase inhibitor for the management of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common form of liver cancer, and patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, the most sweeping type of kidney cancer.
Nexavar® also provides cancer treatment for patients with thyroid cancer that has progressed subsequent standard therapy. These results were recently have taken the oncology world by storm and given great hope to patients who suffer from this type of thyroid disease.
The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones primarily connected to metabolic processes in the body. Nearly thirty-eight thousand new cases will be diagnosed in 2008 within the United States alone, according to the American Cancer Society.
Almost two-thirds of all thyroid cancers happen in people amid the ages of twenty and fifty-five years of age. Taking everything into account, thyroid cancer is regarded as a highly curable cancer because nearly ninety-seven percent of those with this disease are alive after five years subsequent the diagnosis. Not far from ninety-five percent of these cases are determined to be differentiated thyroid cancers; the distinction refers to the type and characteristics of the cancer cells.
Treatment for the Disease
Thyroid cancer is treated by surgery and iodine; however, there remain some patients who do not respond well to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Therefore, novel treatments are necessary for patients who fail typical therapy.
In the existing Phase II clinical trial, over thirty patients who suffer from advanced iodine-refractory thyroid cancer were given Nexavar® for at least sixteen weeks. The certain response rate was over twenty percent, and the disease stabilization rate was over fifty percent. These statistics resulted in a disease control rate of over seventy percent.
These numbers give hope to patients who suffer from this disease as shown by the documented result of seventeen out of the nineteen patients evaluated showed rapid response in their thyroglobulin levels. It is important to point out, however, that one of the patients had liver failure, which could be due to Nexavar® toxicity. The co-authors of the study, therefore, concluded that the study results were more positive than would have been expected from chemotherapy treatment.
Consult a Professional
As with any health issue, the ultimate source of information should be your personal physician. There are many online journals and publications that provide interesting articles on the topic, but a personal consultation with your oncologist or personal physician is more informative.
If you or a loved one is suffering from this disease, it is recommended that you speak to your physician about Nexavar® and iodine-refractory thyroid cancer treatment options.
Note: The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for professional care. This site should not be used in place of professional medical advice. The author is not a physician. For medical emergencies, call 911!
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