Challenges for Thyroid Cancer With RET and NTRK Alterations


Lova Sun, MD, discusses the importance of identifying genetic alterations in thyroid cancer, including RET and NTRK alterations.

Lova Sun, MD, MCSE, assistant professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, highlights a key challenge in treating differentiated thyroid cancer. This challenge is identifying the unique genetic alterations present in each patient's cancer cells. These alterations are crucial because they determine the most effective course of treatment.

Fortunately, once these alterations are found, there are targeted therapies available that are very effective and well-tolerated by patients. However, the bigger hurdle lies in ensuring that doctors are actively looking for these genetic changes in the first place. By identifying the specific alterations, clinicians can personalize treatment plans and give patients the best chance of successful treatment.


0:05 | I would say the first challenge that we are presented with as clinicians is the important mission of really identifying these alterations. Thyroid cancer patients undergo a range of different treatments, including surgery, radioactive iodine, and sometimes even radiation therapy, especially when they're getting to that phase of being radioactive iodine refractory, and here we're talking about the differentiated thyroid cancer patients, it's really important to find these alterations, ideally using a broad-based DNA and RNA based next-generation sequencing panel.

0:43 | So I would say that's challenge number 1. And once we do identify these alterations, we are fortunate to have very effective targeted therapies for both of these alterations that have high response rates are relatively tolerable. So I would say you know, the, the bigger challenge to us is actually making sure that we are looking to identify these alterations so that we can treat our patients with the most effective therapy.

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