Retinoic acid redifferentiation therapy for thyroid cancer

Published on Thursday, 16 August 2018


For the treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer, surgery, radioiodide therapy, and thyrotropin-suppressive thyroxine application represent established therapeutic measures of proven efficiency, affording a good prognosis for this disease.

However, in up to 30% of the cases, dedifferentiation is observed, giving rise to tumors that are refractory to conventional treatment. Eventually, this may lead to the most malignant human tumor, anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, with a life expectancy of only a few months after diagnosis.

Among novel approaches for the treatment of dedifferentiated thyroid carcinomas, retinoic acid redifferentiation therapy was evaluated in several in vitro and in vivo studies.

Cell culture experiments in thyroid carcinoma lines show that RA treatment affects thyroid specific functions (type I 5'-deiodinase, sodium/iodide-symporter), cell-cell or cell-matrix interaction (intercellular adhesion molecule-1, E-cadherin), differentiation markers (alkaline phosphatase, CD97), growth, and tumorigenicity.

The observed changes, which involve multiple parameters that characterize a mature, functional thyrocyte, may be interpreted as partial redifferentiation.

In clinical pilot studies, about 40% of the patients responded to RA application with an increased radioiodide uptake.

In an evaluation of 20 RA-treated patients with well-documented data sets, 8 exhibited a decrease (4) or stabilization (4) in tumor size and/or in serum thyroglobulin levels in addition to enhanced radioiodide transport.

This indicates that these patients with a long history of unresponsiveness to other treatment may have experienced an actual therapeutic benefit.

These data suggest that RA redifferentiation therapy, considering especially its comparatively mild side effects, may soon represent an alternative therapeutic approach to otherwise untreatable thyroid tumors.


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See also:

- All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - All-Trans Retinoic Acid, Analogues and/or Derivatives);

- Solution of retinoids in vitamin E in the Di Bella Method biological multitherapy;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Alpha tocopheryl acetate/Vitamin E);

- The Di Bella Method (A Variable Part - Selenium methonine, 40 μg capsules, twice a day);

- Vitamin D (analogues and/or derivatives) and cancer;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Dihydrotachysterol, Alfacalcidol, synthetic Vitamin D3);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Cyclophosphamide and/or Hydroxyurea tablets, one or two per day);

- The Di Bella Method DBM improved survival objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 23 tumours of the head and neck;

- The Synergism of Somatostatin, Melatonin, Vitamins Prolactin and Estrogen Inhibitors Increased Survival, Objective Response and Performance Status In 297 Cases of Breast Cancer;

- Complete objective response, stable for 5 years, with the Di Bella Method, of multiple-metastatic carcinoma of the breast;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonin, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma;

- Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (grade IV – WHO 2007): a case of complete objective response achieved by means of the concomitant administration of Somatostatin and Octreotide – Retinoids – Vitamin E – Vitamin D3 – Vitamin C – Melatonin – D2 R agonists (Di Bella Method – DBM) associated with Temozolomide;

- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Long-Lasting Remission with Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Somatostatin, Bromocriptine, Retinoids, Melatonin, and ACTH;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with low performance status;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in chemotherapy-pretreated patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and low performance status;

- Observations on the Report of a case of pulmonary adenocarcinoma with lymph node, hepatic and osseus metastasis;

- Neuroblastoma: Complete objective response to biological treatment;

- Oesophageal squamocellular carcinoma: a complete and objective response;

- Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: clinical records on 17 patients treated with Di Bella's Method;

- The Di Bella Method Increases by the 30% the survival rate for Pancreas tumors and for this reason should be proposed as first line therapy for this type of cancer;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) in the treatment of prostate cancer: a preliminary retrospective study of 16 patients and a review of the literature.