J Korean Thyroid Assoc.  2015 May;8(1):26-35. 10.11106/cet.2015.8.1.26.

New Strategies for Combined Radioiodine Therapy in Refractory Thyroid Cancer

  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. mdosw@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


The prognosis of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is excellent, which is mainly due to the high therapeutic efficacy of radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy as well as indolent nature of thyroid cancer itself. Although most patients with DTC are well treated with RAI therapy, a certain number of patients have been suffered from refractoriness to RAI therapy. To overcome refractoriness, many alternative treatments have been investigated, and they could be classified based on the mechanisms of action; redifferentiation drug and molecular targeted drug. Not only redifferentiated drugs but also molecular targeted drugs could induce differentiation of thyroid cancer cells. Consequently, alternative treatments allowing tumor cells of RAI avidity followed by RAI therapy could utilize a synergistic effect of both therapies. Combined RAI therapy is expected to improve therapeutic effects and prognoses of RAI refractory thyroid cancers.


Radioiodine; Refractory thyroid cancer; Redifferentiation therapy; Molecular targeted therapy
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