Tyrosine kinase receptors have been shown to play an important role in epithelial thyroid tumor growth and angiogenesis. Thyroid cancers commonly present oncogene mutations involved in MAPK kinase pathway like BRAF and RET; they are also frequently dependent on VEGF stimuli. Preliminary clinical experiences suggest a promising role of sunitinib (a tyrosine kinase inhibitor) for the treatment of advanced thyroid cancers. This review deals with the available data on the effect of sunitinib in the treatment of metastatic, radioiodine refractory thyroid cancers. We also report our experience with the off-label use of sunitinib in such patients.
Keywords: Thyroid cancer, sunitinib, tyrosin-kinase inhibitor, metastatic disease, Tyrosine kinase receptors, epithelial thyroid tumor, angiogenesis, oncogene mutations, MAPK kinase, BRAF, RET, VEGF stimuli
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