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Marek Dedecjus, Jozef Tazbir, Zbigniew Kaurzel, Andrzej Lewinski, Grzegorz Strozyk and Jan Brzezinski

Although many tumours of head and neck have been successfully embolized, the number of publications on the application of selective embolization of thyroid arteries (SETA) is limited. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the safety, efficacy and possible indications and contraindications for preresective or palliative SETA in thyroid cancer. The study group comprised 20 patients with thyroid tumours: 7 cases of advanced inoperable anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) and 13 cases of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). All the patients underwent SETA of the superior and/or inferior thyroid arteries. After SETA, selective angiographies of thyroid arteries were performed to ensure that the targeted arteries had been completely occluded. In all the cases, SETA decreased the blood flow through the thyroid. Preresective SETA limited bleeding during surgery and decreased operating time. We observed a massive increase of thyroglobulin (Tg) concentrations in cases of DTC that started 36–48 h after SETA and did not occur in cases of ATC. Although SETA had no influence on the mortality of ATC patients, they reported improvements in swallowing, breathing and decrease of the pain. Concluding, SETA is minimally invasive and safe method limiting blood flow through thyroid tumours. In DTC patients, SETA causes ischaemic necrosis of the gland which results in important increases in serum concentrations of Tg. Therefore, thyroidectomy should be performed during the first 36 h after preresective embolization. Moreover, SETA may become an attractive option of palliative treatment for ATC patients with intractable bleeding, pain or signs of tracheal and oesophageal compression.

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Mimi I Hu, Rossella Elisei, Marek Dedecjus, Aron Popovtzer, Maralyn Druce, Ellen Kapiteijn, Furio Pacini, Laura Locati, Jolanta Krajewska, Richard Weiss and Robert F Gagel

Vandetanib is an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved for treatment of advanced symptomatic or progressive medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). The current study (Nbib1496313) evaluated the benefit–risk of two starting doses of vandetanib in patients with symptomatic or progressive MTC. Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive vandetanib 150 or 300 mg daily and followed for a maximum of 14 months (Part A), with the option to then enter an open-label phase (Part B) investigating vandetanib 100, 150, 200 and 300 mg daily doses. Efficacy was assessed in Part A, and safety and tolerability during Parts A and B up to 2 years post randomization. Eighty-one patients were randomized in Part A and 61 patients entered Part B, of whom 37 (60.7%) received 2 years of treatment. Overall, 25% of patients experienced an objective response (OR) at 14 months (OR rate, 0.29 (95% CI, 0.176–0.445) for 300 mg, and 0.20 (95% CI, 0.105–0.348) for 150 mg; one-sided P value approximately 0.43). The most common adverse events (AEs) included diarrhea, hypocalcemia, asthenia, QTc prolongation, hypokalemia and keratopathy, all at generally higher incidence with 300 vs 150 mg (Part A). Part B safety and tolerability was consistent with Part A. OR was observed with both vandetanib doses; the 300 mg dose showed a more favorable trend vs 150 mg as initial dose. Thus, for most patients, 300 mg vandetanib is the most appropriate starting dose; dose reductions to manage AEs and lower initial doses for patients with particular comorbidities can be considered.