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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 102636, 11 pages
Review Article

Targeted Treatment of Differentiated and Medullary Thyroid Cancer

Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Received 14 January 2011; Accepted 14 June 2011

Academic Editor: Nelson Wohllk

Copyright © 2011 Shannon R. Bales and Inder J. Chopra. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The incidence of thyroid cancer is increasing, with a concomitant increase in the number of patients with advanced and metastatic disease. Discoveries regarding the pathogenesis of thyroid cancer have led to the recent development of new therapeutic agents that are beginning to appear on the market. Many of these new agents are targeted kinase inhibitors primarily affecting oncogenic kinases (BRAF V600E, RET/PTC) or signaling kinases (VEGFR, PDGFR). Some of these agents report significant partial response rates, while others attain stabilization of disease as their best response. Their impact on survival is unclear. While these agents target similar pathways, a wide variety of differences exist regarding efficacy and side effect profile. Current expert opinion advises that these agents be used only in a specific subset of patients.