Thyroid Cancer Coverage from Every Angle
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Lenvatinib in Advanced Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: Real-World Setting

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Sunday, November 1, 2020

According to study results published in Endocrine, lenvatinib may result in limited clinical benefit for patients with advanced anaplastic thyroid cancer. Lenvatinib was also shown to be associated with a mostly manageable set of adverse events.

“Lenvatinib effectively reduced tumor size initially, but it is doubtful whether the administration of lenvatinib will prolong the survival time of patients with [anaplastic thyroid cancer],” concluded Bo Hyun Kim, MD, of Pusan National University Hospital, South Korea, and colleagues.

The retrospective study included 14 patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer who had undergone lenvatinib treatment between August 1, 2016, and December 31, 2019. A total of 10 patients had been diagnosed with de novo anaplastic thyroid cancer, and 4 patients had experienced a transformation from differentiated to anaplastic disease. Lenvatinib had been used as a neoadjuvant treatment in eight patients.

At a median follow-up of 6.7 months, 13 patients (91%) had experienced a reduced tumor burden, with a median best improvement from baseline of –15.8%. Nine patients had stable disease, whereas four achieved a partial response and one experienced disease progression. The median progression-free survival was 5.7 months, and the median overall survival was 6.7 months. The median daily dose of lenvatinib was 13 mg.

Adverse events occurred in all patients and were mostly manageable. A pair of life-threatening adverse events did occur—one case of tracheal perforation and one of pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum. A flap surgery was performed to reconstruct the tracheal perforation, but the patient with pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum, which appeared to be associated with lenvatinib treatment, died.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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