Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy, and its incidence is increasing. Standard therapy for most patients with localized differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) includes surgery, radioactive iodine, and thyroid hormone replacement. A minority of thyroid cancer patients requires systemic therapy for metastatic disease. Patients with metastatic DTC do not usually beneft from traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy. In this review, we describe newly developed small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that are being actively tested and used in the management of advanced thyroid cancer. The use of TKIs as a form of molecular targeted therapy is evolving based on understanding of the pathways involved in DTC. Disrupting tumor vascular supply by targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptor signaling is the most commonly used approach to treat advanced/metastatic DTC. Other mechanisms include targeting BRAF, MAPK/ERK kinase, or mammalian target of rapamycin signaling. Although TKIs appear to have superior effcacy compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy, they can cause substantial adverse effects; symptomatic management of adverse effects, dose adjustment, or cessation of therapy may be required.
- Adverse effects
- Differentiated thyroid cancer
- Progression-free survival
- Targeted therapy