| Thyroid cancer will afflict over 60,000 people in the United States
this year and is the fastest increasing cancer in both men and women.
It often begins as a seemingly innocuous lump in the neck, sore throat,
or hoarseness. Advanced thyroid cancer is incurable. Though effective
treatments exist for patients with metastatic thyroid cancer, including
surgery and radioactive iodine, these therapies are not without side
effects and do not eradicate the disease.
THYROID CANCER RESEARCH
Brose at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Brose is at the forefront of translational medicine, working
with the department of Otorhinolaryngology and the Abramson Cancer
Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Her team of dedicated
and highly trained physicians, scientists, research specialists
and data managers are devoted to pursuing the highest quality clinical
care and research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of people
with thyroid cancer. The group pursues the immediate application
of advances in scientific knowledge from lab work and from new literature
to patient care in the clinic. Dr. Brose’s ultimate aim is
to directly improve diagnostic approaches and expand and advance
novel treatments for patients with thyroid cancer at all stages.
Dr. Brose is currently focused on clinical trials both at Penn and
in the context of consortiums with colleagues from other institutions
to improve the diagnosis and treatment of people with thyroid cancer.
Currently underway is a trial using targeted therapy with sorafenib
(BAYER) to treat patients that have failed treatment for advanced
thyroid cancer. She has made it possible for these patients who
have not responded to radioactive iodine therapy to be eligible
for these trials, and the results thus far have been extremely positive.
Preliminary results have shown slowing or stabilization of the disease
in over 75% of participants for up to 25 months. The results of
the Phase II trial are the first significant advance for the treatment
of patients with advanced thyroid cancer in over 30 years. Dr. Brose’s
findings will shortly be published in a top oncology journal.
Dr. David Pfister at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Dr. David G. Pfister has been responsible for the medical treatment
of patients with head and neck cancers since he joined Memorial
Sloan-Kettering’s Genitourinary Oncology Service in 1989.
In the fall of 2004 Dr. Pfister was named Chief of the Head and
Neck Medical Oncology Service in the Department of Medicine’s
Division of Solid Tumor Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center in New York City.
Dr. Pfister’s research focuses primarily
on developing new and more effective therapies for tumors of the
head and neck. Dr. Pfister and his colleagues have pioneered and
refined techniques that help patients avoid having their larynxes
(voice boxes) removed and have demonstrated that the combination
of chemotherapy and radiation is an effective alternative to surgery
for cancer of the larynx and surrounding structures. Last year’s
benefit helped support the research and development of Head and
Neck clinical trials, specifically one involving patients with recurrent
and/or metastatic thyroid carcinoma not amenable to curative surgery
or radioactive iodine (RAI).