Investigational New Drugs

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 183–188 | Cite as

A phase II trial of doxorubicin and interferon alpha 2b in advanced, non-medullary thyroid cancer

  • Athanassios Argiris
  • Sanjiv S. Agarwala
  • Michalis V. Karamouzis
  • Lynn A. Burmeister
  • Sally E. Carty


Background: The combination of doxorubicin and interferon alpha is supported by preclinical data. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of this combination in patients with advanced thyroid cancer. Patients and methods: Patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, radioiodine- refractory thyroid cancer, excluding medullary carcinoma, were treated with interferon alpha-2b 12 million units/m2 subcutaneously on days 1–5 and doxorubicin 40 mg/m2 intravenously, on day 3, every 28 days. Results: 17 patients, 15 with well differentiated and 2 with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, were enrolled; median age was 69 years. Three patients had received radiation plus low dose doxorubicin previously. In 16 patients assessable for response, 1 patient (6%), who had follicular carcinoma, achieved a partial response and 10 patients (62.5%) stable disease as best response. Median time to progression was 5.9 months and median overall survival 26.4 months. In 14 evaluable patients, 5 (36%) had a thyroglobulin response (30% or more reduction in serum levels). Grade 3/4 neutropenia occurred in 76% of patients and neutropenic fever in 24%. Other grade 3/4 adverse events included fatigue (41%), rigors (18%), fever (6%), nausea/vomiting (29%), anorexia (29%), stomatitis (24%), vision disturbances (18%), neuropathy (18%), and hyponatremia (6%). One patient developed heart failure. Conclusions: Doxorubicin and interferon alpha was associated with considerable toxicities but modest antitumor activity in patients with advanced, non-medullary thyroid cancer.


Thyroid cancer Doxorubicin Interferon alpha 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athanassios Argiris
    • 1
  • Sanjiv S. Agarwala
    • 2
  • Michalis V. Karamouzis
    • 1
  • Lynn A. Burmeister
    • 3
  • Sally E. Carty
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.St. Luke’s Health SystemBethlehemUSA
  3. 3.University of Minnesota Medical CenterMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of SurgeryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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