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Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia

On-line version ISSN 1677-9487

Abstract

ROMAGNOLI, Serena; MORETTI, Sonia; VOCE, Pasquale  and  PUXEDDU, Efisio. Targeted molecular therapies in thyroid carcinoma. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab [online]. 2009, vol.53, n.9, pp.1061-1073. ISSN 1677-9487.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-27302009000900002.

Thyroid cancer incidence has significantly increased in the last three decades and many patients seek medical attention for its treatment every year. Among follicular cell-derived tumors, the majority are differentiated thyroid carcinomas (DTC), whose prognosis is very good with only 15% of the cases presenting disease persistence or recurrence after initial treatment. Medullary thyroid carcinoma has a worse prognosis, especially in patients with diffused cancers at the time of initial surgery. Traditional treatment options for persistent or recurrent disease include additional surgery, radioiodine treatment and TSH-suppression in DTC patients; external beam radiotherapy, and cytotoxic chemotherapy, often have low efficacy and many patients with advanced disease ultimately die. In the last two decades many of the molecular events involved in cancer formation have been uncovered. This knowledge has prompted the development of novel therapeutic strategies mainly based on the inhibition of key molecular mediators of the tumorigenic process. In particular the class of small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors was enriched by many compounds that have reached clinical trials and in some cases have had approval for clinical use in specific cancers. Many of these compounds entered clinical trials also for locally advanced or metastatic thyroid carcinomas showing very promising results.

Keywords : Thyroid carcinoma; radioiodine therapy; external beam radiation therapy; cytotoxic chemotherapy; targeted therapies; tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

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