Thyroid Blog & News

Dr. Alan Ho – Selumetinib-Enhanced Radioiodine Uptake in Advanced Thyroid Cancer

Virtual Journal Club, Episode 2

Complete footage of this Virtual Journal Club session is coming soon!

On September 27th 2018, the THANC (Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer) Foundation hosted its Virtual Journal Club on the topic of Selumetinib-Enhanced Radioiodine Uptake in Advanced Thyroid Cancer.  The presentation was delivered by Alan Ho, MD, PhD, Geoffrey Beene Junior Faculty Chair of Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He specializes in the treatment of head and neck malignancies, specifically cancers of the salivary glands and thyroid. His research is focused on developing novel therapeutics for these malignancies.

At this September’s Thyroid Center Journal Club meeting, Dr. Ho presented his research on metastatic thyroid cancers that are refractory to radioiodine. In his study, he investigated whether the MAPK kinase (MEK) 1 and MEK2 inhibitor selumetinib could reverse this refractoriness to radioiodine in patients with metastatic thyroid cancer. The cohort of patients examined in this study included patients with classic papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), tall-cell variant PTC, and poorly differentiated thyroid cancer. Dr. Ho and his colleagues demonstrated that selumetinib produces clinically meaningful increases in radioiodine uptake and retention in a subgroup of patients that is refractory to radioiodine. Additionally, they found that the effectiveness may be greater in patients with RAS genetic mutations. Selumetinib-enhanced radioiodine uptake is advantageous because only a short course of drug therapy is required to have a clinical effect. Thank you, Dr. Ho!