Thyroid Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Novel Combined-Modality Treatment of Locally Advanced Thyroid Cancer: Case Report

By: Melissa Steele-Ogus
Posted: Friday, July 17, 2020

Enrico Papini, MD, and colleagues from the Queen of Apostles Hospital, Rome, investigated the efficacy of a combined modality approach to treating advanced thyroid cancer. Their case study findings, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, illustrated that mass debulking and long-term tyrosine kinase inhibitors may prove to be effective in managing treatment-resistant locally advanced thyroid cancer.

A 69-year-old woman had radioiodine-refractory, unresectable papillary thyroid cancer that had metastasized to her trachea. She underwent partial resection, and 2 months later, a whole-body scan with 131-I revealed an uptake of close to zero in the thyroid bed. The increase in size of the mass caused dysphonia and dysphagia, at which time she received laser ablation treatment. The malignancy rapidly decreased in volume; the patient’s symptoms temporarily improved, but the tumor returned after 6 months.

At this time, the patient began treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor lenvatinib, at a dose of 10 to 24 mg/day. The tumor burden was controlled for nearly 2 years, when the disease progressed rapidly, and the patient died.

Dr. Papini and colleagues concluded that their experience with this patient suggest the combination of laser ablation and tyrosine kinase inhibitors may prove to be effective in otherwise treatment-resistant thyroid cancer.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.


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