Axitinib treatment in advanced RAI-resistant differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) and refractory medullary thyroid cancer (MTC)
Issue Date: 
Oxford University Press
Jaume Capdevila, José Manuel Trigo, Javier Aller, José Luís Manzano, Silvia García Adrián, Carles Zafón Llopis, Òscar Reig, Uriel Bohn, Teresa Ramón y Cajal, Manuel Duran-Poveda, Beatriz González Astorga, Ana López-Alfonso, Javier Medina Martínez, Ignacio Porras, Juan Jose Reina, Nuria Palacios, Enrique Grande, Elena Cillán, Ignacio Matos, Juan Jose Grau, Axitinib treatment in advanced RAI-resistant differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) and refractory medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), European Journal of Endocrinology, Volume 177, Issue 4, Oct 2017, Pages 309–317,
Background Axitinib, an antiangiogenic multikinase inhibitor (MKI), was evaluated in the compassionate use programme (CUP) in Spain (October 2012–November 2014). Subjects and Methods 47 patients with advanced radioactive iodine (RAI)-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC, n = 34) or medullary thyroid cancer (MTC, n = 13) with documented disease progression were treated with axitinib 5 mg b.i.d. The primary efficacy endpoint was objective response rate (ORR) by Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST) v1.1. Progression-free survival (PFS) and adverse events (AEs) were secondary objectives. Regulatory authorities validated the CUP, and all patients signed informed consent form. Results Axitinib was administered as first-line therapy in 17 patients (36.2%), as second-line in 18 patients (38.3%) and as third/fourth-line in 12 patients (25.5%). With a median follow-up of 11.5 months (0–24.3), ORR was 27.7% (DTC: 29.4% and MTC: 23.1%) and median PFS was 8.1 months (95% CI: 4.1–12.2) (DTC: 7.4 months (95% CI: 3.1–11.8) and MTC: 9.4 months (95% CI: 4.8–13.9)). Better outcomes were reported with first-line axitinib, with an ORR of 53% and a median PFS of 13.6 months compared with 16.7% and 10.6 months as second-line treatment. Twelve (25.5%) patients required dose reduction to 3 mg b.i.d. All-grade AEs included asthenia (53.2%), diarrhoea (36.2%), hypertension (31.9%) and mucositis (29.8%); grade 3/4 AEs included anorexia (6.4%), diarrhoea (4.3%) and cardiac toxicity (4.3%). Conclusion Axitinib had a tolerable safety profile and clinically meaningful activity in refractory and progressive thyroid cancer regardless of histology as first-line therapy. To our knowledge, this is the first time that cross-resistance between MKIs is suggested in thyroid cancer, highlighting the importance of prospective sequential clinical studies.

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