The focus of my research has been to identify novel treatments for patients with advanced thyroid cancer. Since 2004 I have run the Thyroid Cancer Therapeutics program at the Abramson Cancer Center, and I currently treat between 75 and 100 patients with advanced thyroid cancer every month in the context of clinical trials, and where no trial is available, with FDA approved agents. The goal of the proposed research is to elucidate the activity of pioglitazone in patients with metastatic/recurrent PPFP (PAX8-PPARgamma translocation) follicular thyroid cancer that has been documented by CT scan to be progressive over the prior 14 months by RECIST criteria, is resistant to radioiodine, and is not amenable to surgical cure. This trial is in keeping with the work of my group to elucidate novel treatments for patients with progressive advanced thyroid cancer, and I look forward to working with Dr. Koenig on this project.
My group has been instrumental in several studies of kinase inhibitors for patients with advanced thyroid cancer. We were the first to show the activity of sorafenib (BAYER/ONYX) in this setting and my results have shown slowing or stabilization of the disease in over 90% of patients with advanced differentiated thyroid cancer. The success of my Phase II trial using sorafenib to treat patients that have failed treatment for advanced thyroid cancer has led to the pivotal international, multicenter phase III trial of this agent for which for which I am a global Principle Investigator. My knowledge of the management of these patients has allowed me to achieve excellent results for my patients and I actively recruit and train other physicians in the treatment of thyroid cancer with these agents. Since the time of my first trial opening, I have expanded my clinical trials so that patients with anaplastic, and medullary thyroid cancer, as well as patients that have progressed on sorafenib will have additional treatment options. This study will fit in well with my group’s goal to have treatment studies for all subtypes of thyroid cancer that are advanced and needing new therapeutic options.