Neoadjuvant Treatment of Locally Advanced Thyroid Cancer: A Preliminary Latin American Experience

Neoadjuvant Treatment of Locally Advanced Thyroid Cancer: A Preliminary Latin American Experience

Abstract

Background: Surgical resection is not always achievable in thyroid cancer patients. Neoadjuvant therapy is rarely used, but recent trends favor multikinase inhibitors or selective tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These aim to reduce tumor volume, enabling previously unfeasible surgeries. Patients and Methods: Consecutive patients with locally advanced malignant thyroid tumors who received systemic therapies with a neoadjuvant intention were included in this retrospective multicenter case series conducted in five Latin American referral centers. Primary outcomes were pre- versus post-neoadjuvant response evaluations using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, feasibility of surgery and completeness of resection. Secundary outcomes were mortality and status at last visit. Results: Twenty-seven patients were included in this analysis. Patients with unresectable differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) or poorly differentiated thyroid cancer (PDTC) received sorafenib (n=6) or lenvatinib (n=12), those with medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) were treated with vandetanib (n=5) or selpercatinib (n=1), and those with anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) harboring a BRAF V600E mutation (n=3) received dabrafenib and trametinib. The median patient age was 66 years (range 12-82), and 52% of the patients were female. In patients with PTC and PDTC, the median reduction in the diameter of the primary tumor was 25% (range 0-100%) after a median of 6 months of treatment. Surgical intervention was performed in ten (55%) of the patients. Among these, six patients (60%) achieved R0/R1 resection status. Six patients with MTC had a median reduction in tumor diameter of 24.5% (range 1-49) after a median treatment time of 9.5 months. Only one patient receiving selpercatinib, with a tumoral reduction of 25%, could undergo surgery, resulting in an R2 resection due to extensive mediastinal extension.Three patients with ATC showed a median tumor diameter reduction of 42% (range 6.7-50) after a median treatment time of 2 months. Two patients underwent surgical intervention and achieved R1 and R2 resection, respectively. Conclusions: While neoadjuvant therapy achieved tumoral responses, surgical resection was feasible in 50% of DTC, 33% of ATC, and 16% of MTC patients, with R0/R1 resection in 26% of the cohort, underscoring the need for patient selection and further research in this area.

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