Medicinal research reviews 2017 06 0637(6) 1299-1317 doi 10.1002/med.21448
Thyroid carcinomas (TCs), the most common endocrine tumors, represent the eighth most common cancer diagnosed worldwide in both women and men. To treat these malignancies, several drugs are now available and a number of novel ones have been enrolling in clinical trials, addressing both oncogenic pathways in cancer cells and angiogenic pathways in tumor endothelial cells. However, their use is not devoid of serious toxicities and their efficacy is limited, being dependent on carcinoma typology and the occurrence of acquired resistance. Accordingly, it is time to recast therapeutic strategies against these types of tumors to get to newer and fully effective drugs. In this perspective, latest findings demonstrate that cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a challenging target to strike. They possess core traits of self-renewal and differentiation, being resistant to the effects of chemotherapy and radiation and playing a key role in mediating metastasis. Therefore, basic molecular elements sustaining both development of thyroid cancer stem cells and their residence in the stemness condition represent a set of innovative and still unexplored targets to address. In this review, a thorough literature survey has been accomplished, to take stock of mechanisms governing thyroid carcinomas and to point out both their currently available treatments and the novel forthcoming ones. Pubmed, Scifinder and ClinicalTrials.gov were exploited as research applications and registry database, respectively. Original articles, reviews, and editorials published within the last ten years, as well as open clinical investigations in the field, were analyzed to suggest new exciting therapeutic opportunities for people affected by TCs.