Over six years ago my husband was diagnosed with non-differentiated thyroid cancer. For cancer treatment he had his thyroid removed, received radioactive iodine, and external beam radiation. After five cancer-free years the thyroid cancer came back in his left lung. He received radioactive iodine, and external beam radiation (both at very high levels) and we thought we were in the clear. Two weeks ago we discovered that it is back in the same spot on his lung. His doctor said he has never seen thyroid cancer resist radiation before. He claims that radiation will no longer help and says we have to look at other treatments. Removing the tumor is not an option due to size and location.
My question is there any of you have this type of experience with radiation NOT working? Also, if you can share your experiences with "other treatment options" with me that would be very helpful.
I-131 frequently does not work. External radiation can be helpful, but is not always curative and is not commonly used for thyroid cancer lung mets (but in some cases is very effective). Would consider travelling to a center such as MD Anderson (Houston) or Memorial Sloan Kettering (NY) where they have a great deal of experience in treating refractory thyroid cancer. There are some methods of restoring I-131 uptake in metastasis that are very new and there are chemotherapy agents showing good efficacy.
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