NTRK Inhibitor Treatment for Patients With Thyroid Cancers

Lori J. Wirth, MD, explains the role of NTRK inhibitor in TRK fusion-positive thyroid cancer treatment.

Lori J. Wirth, MD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and medical director of the Center for Head and Neck Cancers at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains the role of NTRK inhibitor in TRK fusion-positive thyroid cancer treatment.

Although NTRK gene fusions an uncommon in thyroid cancer, it is an important target considering the number of FDA-approved targeted therapies for the treatment of the disease. According to Wirth, because the agents have tumor agnostic approvals, they are attractive options for patients with certain disease subtypes, like iodine refractory thyroid cancer.

The response rates with the approved NTRK inhibitor are very high in patients with thyroid cancer, says Wirth. The drugs also have demonstrated the ability to induce durable response, she explains.


0:07 | The identification of NTRK fusions in a subset of thyroid cancers really paved the way for the introduction of the trek specific inhibitors for treatment in patients with these fusions in iodine refractory thyroid cancer. And while this is an uncommon cancer, and the NTRK fusions are seen, uncommonly in these patients, it still is so meaningful because when patients with NTRK fusion positive-iodine refractory thyroid cancer are treated with a drug like larotrectinib or entrectinib attractive, and they typically have very high response rates that are very durable.

0:50 | This is the kind of treatment that is really a game changer for patients. The other aspect of this gene specific therapy, of course, is that the side effect profile is generally quite well tolerated. So, I really think of the tumor agnostic approvals for both are attractive and tried to nip NTRK fusion positive cancers as a real landmark in our moving therapies forward for patients with iodine refractory thyroid cancer. And this is really a huge success story and precision medicine for patients with thyroid cancer.

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