Multikinase inhibitors in the treatment of thyroid cancer: specific role of lenvatinib

Biologics. 2014 Apr 10;8:129-39. doi: 10.2147/BTT.S39381. eCollection 2014.


Thyroid cancers are the most frequent neoplasms of the endocrine system and in the initial stages their prognosis is excellent. However, few therapeutic options are available for advanced or metastatic disease. In the last decade, a better understanding of the molecular events involved in the tumorigenesis of thyroid cancers has led to development of new targeted agents for the management of advanced and refractory disease. Multikinase inhibitors that are able to block pathways involved in the proliferation, invasion, and neoangiogenesis of thyroid cancer have been the most widely studied. After an international effort to identify and recruit sufficient patients, four placebo-controlled studies of multikinase inhibitors have been completed. These trials have led to the approval of the first agents with activity in advanced medullary thyroid cancers, which will probably change the landscape of treatment for iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer in the near future. The purpose of this paper is to review the development of targeted agents for thyroid malignancy, with a special focus on lenvatinib, a multikinase inhibitor.

Keywords: lenvatinib; multikinase inhibitors; targeted therapies; thyroid cancer; tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Review