Outcomes Underscore Need for New Agents to Treat Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

Christine Dierks, MD, describes the prognosis of the anaplastic thyroid carcinoma and differentiated thyroid cancer populations.

Christine Dierks, MD, senior physician at the University Hospital Freiburg in Germany, describes the prognosis of the anaplastic thyroid carcinoma and differentiated thyroid cancer populations.

Dierks says that the prognosis is very poor for both patient populations but especially for those with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. Poor outcomes are seen with patients who have anaplastic thyroid carcinoma even if they have combined therapy, which can include surgery and radiotherapy, followed by chemotherapy. In these patients, the life expectancy is about 4 to 5 months after therapy, according to Dierks.

In terms of survival, there is an exception for patients who had BRAF-positive disease because imatinib (Gleevec) is available for these patients. Dierks notes that for the other 80% of patients, the prognosis remains poor due to a lack of agents.