Immunotherapy May Be Effective for Advanced Thyroid Cancer


Pembrolizumab found to prevent disease progression in 54.5% of patients with advanced thyroid cancer.

Findings from a recent study show that the immunotherapy pembrolizumab can potentially treat advanced thyroid cancer that did not respond to radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy.

Immunotherapy offers benefits to patients in terms of side effects and long lasting disease control.

The study, presented at American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, included 22 patients with advanced or metastatic papillary or follicular thyroid cancer who did not respond to standard treatment. Patients were treated with 10 mg of pembrolizumab every 2 weeks for 24 months or progression of the disease or toxicity.

Safety, tolerability, and response were assessed every 8 weeks for the first 6 months and every 12 weeks after that point.

Researchers found that 2 patients who completed the treatment had partial response rate and 54.5% of patients did not progress. The 6-month survival was 100% and the 6-month progression free survival rate was 58.7%.

Researchers found that the drug showed promising antitumor activity in these patients. An ongoing follow-up phase 2 clinical trial is aimed at discovering biomarkers that predict response to this drug.

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