New Thyroid Cancer Treatments 2021



Article last updated on 18/6/2021

What is Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in front of the neck. It is shaped like a butterfly, with a right lobe and a left lobe. The thyroid makes hormones that help regulate your metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. There are four main types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic. Papillary is the most common type. Most cancers of the thyroid are benign (non-cancerous) but some are malignant (cancerous), meaning they can grow outside of the thyroid (advanced) or spread to other parts of the body (metastasized).1


How to treat Thyroid Cancer?

There are different types of treatment for thyroid cancer. Surgery is the main treatment in nearly all cases. Radiation therapy for thyroid cancer can be used to destroy remaining thyroid tissue that couldn’t be removed by surgery. Other treatments include thyroid cancer medication, chemotherapy, thyroid hormone therapy and targeted therapy. Immunotherapy is a new type of thyroid cancer treatment option which is being tested in clinical trials. Together with a thyroid cancer specialist you can explore options to make the choice that best fits your treatment needs.1,2


Thyroid Cancer treatment side effects

It is helpful to learn more about the side effects of treatment upfront, so you know what to expect. Your treating thyroid cancer doctor can discuss this with you and help you manage your wellbeing during and after treatment.2

Surgery

Most people need to take thyroid hormone pills for the rest of their life, to compensate for the lost function of the thyroid. In some cases, calcium and vitamin D pills may also be needed.2

Radioactive iodine treatment

Side effects from radioactive iodine treatment for Thyroid Cancer include: Mild nausea during the first day, swelling and pain in the neck where thyroid cells remain, and dry mouth. In rare cases, men receiving high doses can lose fertility. Women are advised to avoid getting pregnant for one year after a high dose. High doses also destroy healthy thyroid cells, in which case thyroid hormone pills may be needed.2

Chemotherapy

Side effects of chemotherapy vary and depend on the type and dose of drugs given and the length of time they are taken. Side effects may include hair loss, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, increased chance of infections, bleeding, and feeling tired (fatigue).2


What are the newest Thyroid Cancer Treatments?

There are several approved Thyroid Cancer treatments options. Here are some of them:


Cometriq (cabozantinib)

Cometriq (cabozantinib) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (chemotherapy) indicated for the treatment of patients with progressive, metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC).

The medullary thyroid cancer treatment Cometriq (cabozantinib) was approved for progressive, metastatic MTC by:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA on November 29, 2012.
  • European Medicines Agency (EMA), Europe on March 26, 2014.

Lenvima (lenvatinib)

Lenvima (lenvatinib) is used to treat thyroid cancer, and is given after radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer has been tried without success. It is also used to treat advanced kidney cancer (together with Afinitor (everolimus)), liver cancer and endometrial cancer (in combination with Keytruda (pembrolizumab)) when other medicines have not been effective. Lenvima (lenvatinib) is a multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (targeted therapy) that targets specific proteins on cancer cells that cause them to grow and multiply. Targeted therapies usually cause less damage to healthy cells than chemotherapy or radiation do.

Currently, Lenvima (lenvatinib) has been approved for the treatment of:

  • Differentiated thyroid cancer - approved in over 50 countries including the US, Japan, EU countries and parts of Asia
  • Second line renal cell carcinoma - approved in over 40 countries including the US, EU countries and parts of Asia
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (a type of liver cancer) - approved in over 40 countries including the US, EU countries and parts of Asia

View the list of countries and approval dates (up until 2019) here (PDF).


Retevmo (selpercatinib)

Retevmo (selpercatinib) is a kinase inhibitor (chemotherapy) indicated to treat patients aged 12 years and older with advanced or metastatic RET-mutant medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), who require a medicine by mouth or injection (systemic therapy). It is also used to treat metastasized RET fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults to treat advanced or metastasized RET fusion-positive thyroid cancer in patients aged 12 years and older.

Retevmo (selpercatinib) was approved for the treatment of RET-mutant lung and thyroid cancers by:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA, on May 8, 2020.

Gavreto (pralsetinib)

Gavreto (pralsetinib) is a kinase inhibitor (chemotherapy) indicated for the treatment of thyroid cancer that is advanced or metastatic RET fusion-positive in adults who require systemic therapy and who are radioactive iodine-refractory (if radioactive iodine is appropriate). It is also used to treat metastasized RET fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Gavreto (pralsetinib) was approved for the treatment of RET-altered thyroid cancers by:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA, on November 30, 2020.

If you are trying to access drugs for Thyroid Cancer that are approved outside of your country of residence, we might be able to help you access it with the support of your treating doctor. You can read more about the medicines we can help you and your doctor access and about their price below:




Why access and buy treatments for Thyroid Cancer with TheSocialMedwork?

TheSocialMedwork is registered in The Hague with the Dutch Ministry of Health as an independent medicines intermediary (registration number 6730 BEM) and as an international pharmacy (registration number 16258 G). We have helped patients from over 85 countries to access thousands of medicines that are not yet approved in their home country, including patients with Thyroid Cancer. With a prescription from your treating doctor, you can count on our expert team to safely and legally guide you to access Thyroid Cancer drugs. If you or someone you know are looking to access a medicine that is not yet approved where you live, we will support you. Contact us for more information.


References:

  1. Thyroid Cancer
  2. Side effects Thyroid Cancer treatment
  3. Cometriq (cabozantinib) - Thesocialmedwork.com
  4. Cometriq product information sheet [PDF]
  5. Lenvima (lenvatinib) - Thesocialmedwork.com
  6. Lenvima product information sheet [PDF]
  7. Retevmo (selpercatinib) - Thesocialmedwork.com
  8. Retevmo product information sheet [PDF]
  9. Gavreto (pralsetinib) - Thesocialmedwork.com
  10. Gavreto product information sheet [PDF]

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to influence or impact the care provided by your treating physician. Please do not make changes to your treatment without first consulting your healthcare provider. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat illness or to influence treatment decisions. TheSocialMedwork is as diligent as possible in compiling and updating the information on this page. However, TheSocialMedwork does not guarantee the correctness and completeness of the information provided on this page.