New targeted therapies and other advances in the management of anaplastic thyroid cancer

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Purpose of reviewAnaplastic thyroid cancer is the most aggressive solid tumor known to humans. Even when found in a localized form, the prognosis is grave. For metastatic disease, there has been little effect on survival using traditional chemotherapy.Recent findingsOver a five-decade interval, there has been little progress in the treatment of this malignancy. However, targeted agents represent a new mode of treatment, and some studies have shown encouraging preclinical results. Combretastatin has shown activity in phase 1 and phase II trials; although the registration phase III study failed to meet its accrual goals, it did appear to show some benefit, especially in younger patients.SummaryCombinations of this compound and other targeted agents may prove to be a breakthrough in an otherwise untreatable cancer.

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