Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Drug that targets vasculature growth attacks aggressive thyroid cancer

18.05.2009
A medication that helps stop the growth of new blood vessels has produced dramatic benefits for some patients with aggressive thyroid cancer, research from Mayo Clinic indicates.

At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Mayo investigators report that cancer in about two-thirds of 37 patients with aggressive differentiated thyroid cancer treated with the drug pazopanib either stopped growing, or quickly shrank.

The patient responses seen to date are promising, the researchers say, because all patients had fast-growing cancers that had spread to their lungs, with half involving lymph nodes and 39 percent also involving bones.

"The benefits were striking in many patients to a degree we have not previously seen in thyroid cancer in response to other therapies, including the standard treatment of radioiodine," says Keith Bible, M.D., Ph.D., a medical oncologist and researcher who led the multicenter clinical trial funded by the National Cancer Institute. Most of the patients treated were enrolled at the Mayo Clinic campuses in Minnesota and Florida.

Approximately one-third of patients achieved sustained and dramatic benefit from pazopanib, while another one-third experienced stabilization of their cancer or some tumor shrinkage. The remaining one-third of patients did not benefit from the drug. The agent was also well tolerated by the majority of patients, Dr. Bible adds.

What is not yet known, however, is the drug's effect on overall survival. "We need more time to establish that definitively," says Dr. Bible. "The trial has been going on for just over a year, and some of our patients are still maintaining a response, while others have not been in the study long enough for us to confirm duration of response." He notes that of the 37 original trial participants, two have died — one from cancer progression and another from other causes.

The National Cancer Institute estimated that 37,340 new cases of thyroid cancer would be diagnosed in 2008, with 1,590 deaths from the cancer. The cancer is much more common in women; it is the seventh most common cancer in women in the U.S. The occurrence of thyroid cancer has recently been rising.

Most thyroid cancers are of two major "differentiated" types — papillary thyroid cancer (the most common, accounting for 75 percent of cases) and follicular thyroid cancer (15 percent).

Fortunately, most patients with thyroid cancer respond well to surgery and to follow-up treatment with radioiodine; even if the cancer recurs and spreads, the disease progresses slowly in most patients, Dr. Bible says. "Many patients do well for a long time without the need of additional therapy," he says. However, about 5 percent of these patients experience rapidly progressing life-threatening disease that is insensitive to radioiodine and other treatment approaches. "Until only recently, we have not had any effective therapies for such patients."

Pazopanib is an experimental agent that is also being studied in advanced kidney, ovarian and other cancers. The drug, administered in pill form, targets proteins involved in angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels that has a critical role in the growth and spread of tumors. The proteins that pazopanib targets include vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), c-kit and Ret.

Mayo investigators are also leading clinical trials to test pazopanib in two other thyroid cancer subtypes -medullary, which does not respond to radioiodine, and anaplastic, the most aggressive subtype.

Dr. Bible says plans are also under way to test pazopanib in a larger, controlled and randomized clinical trial of patients with advanced differentiated thyroid cancer. Researchers want to more accurately assess benefits and risks.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of "the needs of the patient come first." More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers and 46,000 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Collectively, the three locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.

VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources, including excerpts from an interview with Dr. Keith Bible describing the research, are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog.

Karl Oestreich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>