Parafollicular C-cell-derived medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) comprises 3% to 4% of all thyroid cancers. While cytotoxic treatments have been shown to have limited efficacy, targeted molecular therapies that inhibit rearranged during transfection (RET) and other tyrosine kinase receptors that are mainly involved in angiogenesis have shown great promise in the treatment of metastatic or locally advanced MTC. Multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as vandetanib, which is already approved for the treatment of progressive MTC, and cabozantinib have shown distinct advantages with regard to rates of disease response and control. However, these types of tyrosine kinase inhibitor compounds are able to concurrently block several types of targets, which limits the understanding of RET as a specific target. Moreover, important resistances to tyrosine kinase inhibitors can occur, which limit the long-term efficacy of these treatments. Deregulated cellular signaling pathways and genetic alterations in MTC, particularly the activation of the RAS/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) cascades and RET crosstalk signaling, are now emerging as novel and potentially promising therapeutic treatments for aggressive MTC. © 2013 Serena Giunti et al.
Giunti, S., Antonelli, A., Amorosi, A., & Santarpia, L. (2013). Cellular signaling pathway alterations and potential targeted therapies for medullary thyroid carcinoma. International Journal of Endocrinology. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/803171