Background: Thyroid dysfunction is a common adverse event associated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), but its underlying pathophysiology is unclear. Cabozantinib is a novel TKI currently Food and Drug Administration approved for advanced medullary thyroid cancer and tested in clinical trials on solid tumors including prostate, liver, bladder, breast, and ovarian cancer. Methods: We analyzed the thyroid function of patients enrolled in two phase 2 clinical trials using cabozantinib at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Two cases of thyroiditis associated with cabozantinib therapy are presented in detail, and a systematic review of the literature on TKI-associated thyroid dysfunction is also discussed. Results: Between September 2012 and September 2013, 33 patients were treated with cabozantinib, and follow-up thyroid function tests were available for 31 (20 males, 11 females; age 59±1 years). Thyroid dysfunction was recorded in the majority of patients (93.1%), with a predominance of subclinical hypothyroidism. Two cases showed a biphasic pattern of thyroid dysfunction characterized by a transient thyrotoxicosis followed by hypothyroidism. Color Doppler demonstrated an increase in vascularization during the thyrotoxic phase, but no uptake was visualized on nuclear medicine imaging. A systematic review of the literature resulted in the identification of 40 original manuscripts, of which 13 were case series and 6 were case reports describing TKI-associated thyroid dysfunction. Conclusion: TKI therapy often results in clinically significant thyroid dysfunction. Cabozantinib treatment commonly results in thyroid dysfunction varying from subclinical hypothyroidism to symptomatic thyrotoxicosis. Early detection and characterization of cabozantinib-associated thyroid dysfunction and close follow-up are essential to provide adequate management of this common adverse event.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism