Keith C. Bible, MD, PhD, professor of oncology, Mayo Clinic, discusses the promise of pemetrexed as a potential treatment option for patients with follicular cell-derived thyroid cancers.
Preclinical studies have shown that pemetrexed inhibits in vitro growth of thyroid cancer cell lines. Additionally, in phase I trials, several patients with thyroid cancer had beneficial clinical responses with pemetrexed.
In an anecdotally experience, 7 patients with thyroid cancer were treated with pemetrexed, with the majority of patients having brisk responses, Bible says. This case series, which was presented at the ATA Annual Meeting, shows that there are some cytotoxic drugs that seem to have some activity in poorly differentiated, aggressive thyroid cancers.
These results could suggest a potential option for patients who are refractory to other approaches. Bible and his colleagues have approached Lilly, the manufacturer of pemetrexed, to gain funding to continue to study pemetrexed in this group of patients.
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