How to Treat Thyroid Cancer With Lenvatinib

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a natural remedy called Lenvatinib for the treatment of patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This treatment is a combination of two drugs, iodine and Botox. It is not known exactly how it works or if it works in all cases but, according to some studies, Lenvatinib at appears to improve survival and quality of life in patients diagnosed with lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and other forms of the disease. So far, three clinical trials have reported good results using Lenvatinib as an adjunctive therapy.

One of the first trials, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, found that patients with lymphomas and Hodgkin’s disease who took Lenvatinib had a statistically significant improvement in their disease as compared to those who did not receive the supplement.

The improvements were particularly noteworthy in those with poor prognosis, according to the journal Clinical Therapy. “If this effect can be seen in a trial, it may be a game changer for the field,” says Dr. Samir Melki, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Lymphomas and Hodgkin’s disease are not ideal candidates for conventional therapy, which can be quite costly.”

Another study by the University of Wisconsin applied a placebo and found no difference between those given Lenvatinib and those given a placebo. “We saw very similar results with both of them,” said Dr. Edward Kretsch, who directs the university’s Department of Oncology.

Patients taking Lenvatinib are not yet available in the U.S., so the only way to obtain the supplement would be through injections. However, says Kretsch, “It’s possible that eventually they will become available to the general public, although there are currently no plans to do so.” So what exactly does Lenvatinib do? And is it a miracle cure for thyroid conditions, like hypothyroidism?

How Lenvatinib works

To understand how Lenvatinib works, it’s important to understand how the thyroid produces hormones. When people with hypothyroidism go thyroid, a part of the thyroid gland called the tubular glands produce a hormone called T4. That’s actually a type of vitamin but since it’s made in the body it’s classified as a hormone. The problem is that some people produce too much of the hormone or can produce it at all. These people can develop chronic goiter, which is a condition where thyroid cells grow and divide far faster than normal.

In these cases, the body stops producing T4 and the thyroid cells stop growing. These thyroid cancer patients can go years without seeing a sign of improvement, even though the cancer cells are still multiplying. When the patient receives radioactive iodine, or LEEP, the radiation kills off those thyroid cells that are producing the abnormal growth. The rest of the cells grow and multiply normally and within a few months, most people with this condition have gone away of their own accord.

This form of treatment to treat thyroid cancer with Lenvatinib is fairly new and it’s unclear how effective it will be in treating very aggressive cancers. So far, only one patient has had significant results and the long-term follow up isn’t encouraging.

There are other forms of treatment including surgical removal of the thyroid, and in rare cases surgery might be enough to kill the cancer. It’s important to note that none of these treatments has been shown to cure this type of disease. Instead, they’re designed to control it, to make it easier for the person to cope with this devastating disease.

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