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J Clin Oncol. 2008 Oct 10;26(29):4714-9. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.16.3279. Epub 2008 Jun 9.

Phase II trial of sorafenib in advanced thyroid cancer.

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  • 1Developmental TherapeuticsProgram of the Abramson CancerCenter, University of Pennsylvania,Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Given the molecular pathophysiology of thyroid cancer and the spectrum of kinases inhibited by sorafenib, including Raf kinase, vascular endothelial growth factor receptors, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and RET tyrosine kinases, we conducted an open-label phase II trial to determine the efficacy of sorafenib in patients with advanced thyroid carcinoma.


Eligible patients with metastatic, iodine-refractory thyroid carcinoma received sorafenib 400 mg orally twice daily. Responses were measured radiographically every 2 to 3 months. The study end points included response rate, progression-free survival (PFS), and best response by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors.


Thirty patients were entered onto the study and treated for a minimum of 16 weeks. Seven patients (23%; 95% CI, 0.10 to 0.42) had a partial response lasting 18+ to 84 weeks. Sixteen patients (53%; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.72) had stable disease lasting 14 to 89+ weeks. Seventeen (95%) of 19 patients for whom serial thyroglobulin levels were available showed a marked and rapid response in thyroglobulin levels with a mean decrease of 70%. The median PFS was 79 weeks. Toxicity was consistent with other sorafenib trials, although a single patient died of liver failure that was likely treatment related.


Sorafenib has clinically relevant antitumor activity in patients with metastatic, iodine-refractory thyroid carcinoma, with an overall clinical benefit rate (partial response + stable disease) of 77%, median PFS of 79 weeks, and an overall acceptable safety profile. These results represent a significant advance over chemotherapy in both response rate and PFS and support further investigation of this agent in these patients.

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