FDA Approves Anti-VEGF Agent Lenvatinib for Progressive Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved lenvatinib (Lenvima) to treat patients with progressive, differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) whose disease progressed despite receiving radioactive iodine therapy (radioactive iodine refractory disease). Lenvima is a kinase inhibitor, which works by blocking certain proteins from helping cancer cells grow and divide.

The most common type of thyroid cancer, DTC is a cancerous growth of the thyroid gland which is located in the neck and helps regulate the body’s metabolism. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 62,980 Americans were diagnosed with thyroid cancer and 1,890 died from the disease in 2014.

Lenvima’s efficacy was demonstrated in 392 participants with progressive, radioactive iodine-refractory DTC who were randomly assigned to receive either Lenvima or a placebo. Study results showed Lenvima-treated participants lived a median of 18.3 months without their disease progressing (progression-free survival), compared to a median of 3.6 months for participants who received a placebo. Additionally, 65 percent of participants treated with Lenvima saw a reduction in tumor size, compared to the two percent of participants who received a placebo. A majority of participants randomly assigned to receive the placebo were treated with Lenvima upon disease progression.

Source: Practice Update