Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma: Behavior, biology, and therapeutic approaches

Kenneth B. Ain

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC), although exceedingly rare, is the most aggressive solid tumor known. Early studies on the effects of different therapies may be biased by the inclusion of responsive 'small cell' ATC patients, which are now known to be mostly lymphoma patients. Local control of disease with surgery and/or external beam radiotherapy (XRT) is of fundamental importance to enhance survival. Ultimately, nearly all ATC patients die from their disease, which is widely metastatic. Development of effective systemic chemotherapy agents would provide the best chance for long-term survival of patients. Early preliminary data suggest that paclitaxel may be helpful, although no agent has yet been identified to result in dramatic improvements in survival. Select patients may benefit from aggressive multimodal therapy, although it is important to provide appropriate palliative care when desired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-726
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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