Targeted therapy for thyroid cancer
Targeted therapy drugs are designed to seek out a specific characteristic in cancer cells, such as a gene mutation or a protein, and attach themselves to those cells. Once attached, these drugs may kill the cells or may help other therapies, such as chemotherapy, work better.
Among the drugs used in targeted therapy are so-called kinase inhibitors, which target specific enzymes called protein kinases that help regulate cell growth. Other targeted drugs, called angiogenesis inhibitors, are designed to prevent tumors from establishing new blood supplies.
Targeted therapy drugs approved for medullary thyroid cancer include vandetanib (Caprelsa®) and cabozantinib (Cometriq®). Targeted therapy drugs approved for papillary or follicular thyroid cancer include sorafenib (Nexavar®) and lenvatinib (Lenvima®).