Combination therapy may be more effective at treating thyroid cancer than chemo alone

According to research presented at this year's International Thyroid Congress, combination therapies may be superior to chemotherapy alone in the overall survival rates of thyroid cancer patients, Endocrine Today reports.

The study examined how the addition of the vascular-disrupting agent fosbretabulin - which is also known as CA4P - to carboplatin and paclitaxel, traditional chemotherapy drugs, effects patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer. Researchers randomly assigned 55 patients to weekly fosbretabulin plus chemotherapy on the second day of treatment for three weeks, and 25 patients to chemotherapy alone for the same time.

According to the results, in patients 60 years old and younger, median overall survival was 10.9 months with combination therapy versus 3.1 months with chemotherapy alone. This represented a 29 percent reduction in mortality risk with combination therapy.

In addition, 48 percent of patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer, who were treated with combination therapy, were alive at six months compared with 37 percent of patients treated with chemotherapy alone. At one year, the number of patients alive was nearly doubled with combination therapy.

Thyroid cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.