Chemotherapy for Thyroid Cancer

Chemotherapy for thyroid cancer uses powerful drugs to destroy cancerous cells. Unlike surgery and radiation therapy, which are localized treatments, chemotherapy is a systemic treatment. This means that the chemo drugs are administered orally or intravenously so that they will enter the bloodstream and then travel throughout the entire body. In doing so, chemo drugs are able to reach cancer cells that have spread to distant locations from their place of origin in the thyroid gland.

Chemotherapy is usually reserved for use when cancer has spread to other organs or other treatments were ineffective. Additionally, because certain chemo drugs can act as radiosensitizers, they are sometimes used to enhance the effectiveness of external beam radiation therapy for thyroid cancer.

Some chemotherapy drugs that may be prescribed for treating thyroid cancer include:

  • Bleomycin
  • Dacarbazine
  • Docetaxel
  • Doxorubicin
  • Paclitaxel
  • Platinum agents

While surgery and radiation therapy are currently the primary forms of treatment for thyroid cancer, the renowned research team at Moffitt Cancer Center continues to explore the potential benefits of chemotherapy for fighting this disease in various stages. For instance, we continue to develop and study the effectiveness of new chemotherapy drugs for slowing or stopping the growth of thyroid tumors by blocking the action of certain growth factor receptors in cancer cells.

Moffitt has a robust portfolio of clinical trials with active protocols for thyroid cancer, providing our patients with opportunities to be among the first to benefit from promising new therapies that are not yet available elsewhere. For our groundbreaking research discoveries, Moffitt has received national recognition, including a Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute, and we continue to improve outcomes and quality of life for our patients.

Chemotherapy for thyroid cancer is available at all Moffitt locations. If you’d like to learn more, we provide consultations with or without referrals. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.