Recent advances in the biology and therapy of medullary thyroid carcinoma

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10 Scopus citations


Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a relatively uncommon yet prognostically significant thyroid cancer. Several recent advances in the biology and current or potential treatment of MTC are notable. These include a new understanding of the developmental biology of the thyroid C cell, which heretofore was thought to develop from the neural crest. RET, encoded by the most common driver gene in MTC, has been shown to be a dual function kinase, thus expanding its potential substrate repertoire. Promising new therapeutic developments are occurring; many have recently progressed to clinical development. There are new insights into RET inhibitor therapy for MTC. New strategies are being developed to inhibit the RAS proteins, which are potential therapeutic targets in MTC. Potential emerging immunotherapies for MTC are discussed. However, gaps in our knowledge of the basic biology of the C cell, its transformation to MTC, and the mechanisms of resistance to therapy impede progress; further research in these areas would have a substantial impact on the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2184
StatePublished - 2017


  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • RAS inhibitors
  • RET
  • RET inhibitors
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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