Providence researchers offer combination therapy for metastatic thyroid cancer

Author: Matthew Taylor, M.D., medical director, Providence Thyroid Cancer Program; principal investigator, Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Lab, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute

New diagnoses of thyroid cancer are increasing. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, about 44,000 new thyroid cancers will be diagnosed in the United States this year.

Among U.S. women, thyroid cancer is the seventh most common cancer, representing an increase of 2% annually between 2013 to 2017. The largest increase in thyroid cancers is seen in adolescents ages 15 to 19. Thyroid cancers increased 4% in adolescent females and 5% in adolescent males between 2007 and 2016.

No doubt some of this increase is due to increased detection from more frequent neck ultrasounds, fine-needle aspirations and incidental findings on neck imaging performed for other diagnostic purposes.

While standard care can be effective in curing localized and regional disease, better therapies are needed for patients with metastatic thyroid cancer.

Binimetinib (Mektovi) and encorafenib (Braftovi) are approved for patients with melanoma whose cancers express the BRAF V600 gene mutation. They may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growthNivolumab (Opdivo), a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor approved for several cancers, may help the body’s immune system attack the cancer and may interfere with the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread.

In earlier studies, our team demonstrated durable clinical benefit in patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer treated with monoclonal antibodies. The study was among the first clinical trials to show responsiveness to PD-1 blockade in this population.

To read more about the study:
Encorafenib and Binimetinib With or Without Nivolumab in Treating Patients With Metastatic Radioiodine Refractory BRAF V600 Mutant Thyroid Cancer

For more information or to enroll a patient:

For more information about Dr. Taylor’s clinical practice and research:

About the Author

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