While traditional therapies have focused on targeting cancer cells or parts of pathways that lead to cancer progression, these treatments can be ineffective due to either biological changes that have already taken place or the ability of cancer cells to develop resistance. In an effort to enhance the range of treatment options for patients with advanced disease, researchers have been focusing on ways to target the immune system’s relationship with tumors. A new study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal looks at the emerging developments in immunotherapy and the potential to apply them to thyroid cancer. Numerous components of cancer cell and immune cell interactions have been identified and research is underway to use these interactions to interrupt tumor growth and promote cell death.
Traditional treatments are effective for most of the patients who develop thyroid cancer, however in select cases, these therapies do not work. As researchers learn more about the immune system and its relationship to cancer cells, we can begin to use this information to target critical components of this association and improve patient outcomes in individuals with tumors that are unresponsive to traditional treatment.
The Thyroid Cancer Care Collaborative (TCCC) aims to keep both patients and physicians up to date on the most current treatment options and research relating to thyroid health. Through this information, we can help to ensure that patients are receiving the most appropriate, effective, and personalized care.