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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 618985, 12 pages
Review Article

Differentiated Thyroid Cancer: Management of Patients with Radioiodine Nonresponsive Disease

Department of Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 1461, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 1 August 2011; Revised 21 November 2011; Accepted 21 November 2011

Academic Editor: Mingzhao M. Xing

Copyright © 2012 Naifa Lamki Busaidy and Maria E. Cabanillas. 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.


Differentiated thyroid carcinoma (papillary and follicular) has a favorable prognosis with an 85% 10-year survival. The patients that recur often require surgery and further radioactive iodine to render them disease-free. Five percent of thyroid cancer patients, however, will eventually succumb to their disease. Metastatic thyroid cancer is treated with radioactive iodine if the metastases are radioiodine avid. Cytotoxic chemotherapies for advanced or metastatic noniodine avid thyroid cancers show no prolonged responses and in general have fallen out of favor. Novel targeted therapies have recently been discovered that have given rise to clinical trials for thyroid cancer. Newer aberrations in molecular pathways and oncogenic mutations in thyroid cancer together with the role of angiogenesis in tumor growth have been central to these discoveries. This paper will focus on the management and treatment of metastatic differentiated thyroid cancers that do not take up radioactive iodine.