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Researchers Say Drug Shows Dramatic Results in Fight Against Some Thyroid Cancers

August 8, 2010
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.

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