Phase 2 Trial Defines Sunitinib Potential in Advanced Thyroid Cancer

While sunitinib failed as adjuvant treatment in advanced kidney cancer, this phase 2 study presented at the ongoing annual meeting of The Endocrine Society found that in patients with advanced thyroid cancer, sunitinib treatment resulted in median progression free survival of about 8 months. The authors think their results create sufficient evidence to initiate a phase 3 trial of the drug in thyroid cancer patients.

In patients with advanced thyroid cancer, sunitinib, a drug approved for treatment of several other cancers, showed significant cancer-fighting activity t, a new phase 2 clinical trial has found. Results of the single-center study will be presented Sunday at the Endocrine Society's 97th annual meeting in San Diego.

"Sunitinib can potentially be used as an effective adjunctive treatment in patients with advanced differentiated thyroid cancer," said Principal Investigator Kenneth Burman, MD, Chief of Endocrine at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C. Differentiated thyroid cancer is the most common type of cancer of the thyroid, a gland in the neck. For patients with this type of cancer, surgery and treatment with radioactive iodine to destroy the cancer cells are very effective, but in some patients, the tumor will continue to progress.

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