Ezra Cohen, MD, professor of medicine, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, discusses the challenges of treating patients with medullary thyroid cancer (MTC).
Cohen says there is a clear cohort of patients with MTC who have relatively indolent disease that doesn’t progress rapidly and therefore does not require treatment. However, for patients with progressive disease, physicians need to discuss treatment options and potential side effects, Cohen says. Additionally, it is important for all patients to undergo germline testing before treatment, since MTC can develop as a result of a hereditary syndrome Cohen says.
Once a therapy has been decided and started, physicians must follow the disease and manage the patients’ side effects. Unfortunately, all patients will end up progressing on their treatment. The biggest challenge in MTC, Cohen says, is that there is no third-line option following cabozantinib and vandetanib.
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