Challenges Remain in Treating Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer

Yuliya Mikheeva, MD, PhD, discusses the many challenges oncologists face in treating patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer harboring BRAF mutations.

Yuliya Mikheeva, MD, PhD of Saint-Petersburg State University, discusses the many challenges oncologists face in treating patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) harboring BRAF mutations.

Due to ATC being an aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis and survival rate of only 3-5 months with treatment, the unmet need for novel therapies remains unfilled. For this patient population, especially those with BRAF mutations, limited options exist.

According to Mikheeva, when a patient with ATC, immunotherapy is done in order to find the BRAF mutation. However, is the mutation cannot be found, the prognosis for these patients can be poor. For patients harboring BRAF mutations, targeted therapy may be a possible option to turn to which potentially can increase survival.


Transcription:

0:08 | Anaplastic cancer is not very sensitive to a lot of different therapy strategies and standard chemotherapy has a very low effectiveness and not all patients have a BRAF mutation. Only about 50% to 70% of our patients have BRAF mutations. Of course, we have not enough time to find different approaches for our patients. When we have a patient with anaplastic thyroid cancer, we do the immunochemistry to find the BRAF mutation and for 1 day, about 24 hours, we do the data analysis.


1:17 | In our clinic, we do everything very quickly and if a patient has no BRAF mutation and their volume of tumors is very high, we started the standard chemotherapy without targeted therapy because we have such opportunities like another target therapy. That's why if we can't find a BRAF mutation, the prognosis of these patient is very poor.