Patients battling aggressive thyroid cancer have been thrown a lifeline by a revolutionary new Thyroid Cancer Treatment drug which halts the disease from progressing.Thousands of Britons are diagnosed with thyroid cancer every year. BBC sports presenter Clare Balding successfully beat the disease in 2011, but about 15 per cent of sufferers have an advanced form that becomes resistant to treatment.Existing drugs can extend the period patients live without their disease progressing by just three months. Now a new Thyroid Cancer Treatment called lenvatinib can increase this by a further 15 months on average, according to a study in the New England Journal Of Medicine.The once-a-day pill, Lenvima, will be added to the Cancer Drugs Fund in England later this month. It is already available to patients in Scotland.
Dr Kate Newbold, a specialist in thyroid cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in West London, said: ‘Lenvatinib gives patients 15 months of better-quality life, helps improve their symptoms and, in two-thirds of patients, it can cause their tumour to shrink, and reduce the risk of new symptoms arising.‘That’s very exciting. This is a slow-growing cancer, but once it becomes resistant to Thyroid Cancer Treatment it becomes more aggressive. Until a few years ago we had no treatment options other than those to control pain. Typically, life expectancy at this point is just three to five years.’Lenvatinib is a targeted cancer therapy, blocking the pathways that allow normal thyroid cells to turn into cancerous cells. It also blocks blood vessels which develop to feed those cells, stopping the cancer from spreading.Judith Taylor, from the British Thyroid Foundation, welcomed the news.
‘The development of new targeted therapies such as lenvatinib gives us all a renewed sense of optimism and I look forward to patients in the UK being able to benefit from this new Thyroid Cancer Treatment,’ she said.Builder Barrie Mitchell, 52, from Sheffield, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer ten years ago and had surgery. However, the cancer later returned and spread to his pelvis – and doctors told him there was nothing they could do. Patients battling aggressive thyroid cancer have been thrown a lifeline by a revolutionary new Thyroid Cancer Treatment drug (file picture) which halts the disease from progressingThe father of three said: ‘I was given 18 months to live and so I thought, “Well, I’d better enjoy myself.” Then I was put on the lenvatinib trial and felt an improvement within a week.‘Suddenly the tumour started shrinking, and it still hasn’t got any bigger. I’ve been around to see the birth of my grandson Logan, and I plan to make it to my wife’s 50th birthday next year.’Gary Hendler, of Thyroid Cancer Treatment manufacturer Eisai, said: ‘We’re proud that Lenvima was developed in the UK, will be manufactured in the UK, and has been launched first in the UK.’