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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 985780, 9 pages
Review Article

Challenges Associated with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Therapy for Metastatic Thyroid Cancer

1Department of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2Department of Cardiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 30 June 2011; Accepted 16 July 2011

Academic Editor: Maria João M. Bugalho

Copyright © 2011 Maria E. Cabanillas et al. 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.


Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) which target angiogenesis are promising treatments for patients with metastatic medullary and differentiated thyroid cancers. Sorafenib, sunitinib, and pazopanib are commercially available drugs which have been studied in these diseases. Vandetanib is the first drug approved in the United States for treatment of medullary thyroid cancer. These TKIs are used as chronic therapies, and therefore it is imperative to understand the adverse event profile in order to avoid excessive toxicity and maintain patients on therapy as long as it proves beneficial. Here we review common toxicities, management of these, and other challenging situations that arise when using TKIs in patients with thyroid cancer.