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Axitinib gives new hope to thyroid cancer sufferers

In patients with advanced thyroid cancer, radioactive iodine therapy can be very effective. However, there are some patients who fail to respond to this and the alternative options are limited.  
 
A recently reported trial of the new and orally active (i.e tablet therapy) drug axitinib (a small molecular weight tyrosine kinase inhibitor – targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor system, and developed by Pfizer pharmaceuticals) demonstrated a partial response in 18 of sixty trial patients (30% response rate) and a further 25 patients (42%) had disease stabilisation (i.e. no progression).
 
Axitinib is rapidly going forward into clinical trials.