Anaplastic thyroid cancer

What is the prognosis for individuals with anaplastic thyroid cancer?

Due to the aggressive nature of this cancer and the lack of effective treatment options, the prognosis for individuals with ATC is often poor. The overall 5-year survival rate is reportedly less than 10% and most patients do not live longer than a few months after diagnosis. Those with a unilateral tumor, a tumor size less than 5 cm, and no lymph node involvement or metastases generally have a better prognosis. The most common site of distant metastasis is the lung, followed by the bone and brain.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might anaplastic thyroid cancer be treated?

Treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer is mostly palliative. In some cases, surgery with radiation and chemotherapy may prolong survival. However, this type of cancer generally cannot be cured by surgery. Surgery to place a tube in the throat to help with breathing (tracheostomy) or in the stomach to help with eating (gastrostomy) may be needed during treatment. For some patients, enrolling in a clinical trial may be an option. There is no effective treatment for metastatic anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association (ThyCa) PO Box 1545
New York, NY, 10159-1545,
Phone: 877-588-7904 (toll-free) Url:

Note, these links are external searches against the National Laboratory of Medicine's drug database. You may need to adjust the search if there are no results found.

Drug Name Generic Name
Tafinlar(R) Capsules A Nd Mekinist(R) Tablets dabrafenib and trametinib
Lenvima lenvatinib
Thyrogen® Thyrotropin alpha

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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