Medical Therapy for Thyroid Cancer

At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, your cancer doctor will work closely with endocrinologists, surgeons, nuclear medicine doctors, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists to develop a personalized plan to treat your thyroid cancer. This kind of treatment is called multidisciplinary care.

Your team will also include nurses, technicians and social workers who will make sure you get the care you need.

Medical Therapy Options

Most patients have surgery to remove the thyroid gland and any lymph nodes that have cancer. Patients whose thyroid cancer is not to be cured by surgery or radioactive iodine should see a medical oncologist. A medical oncologist will use chemotherapy, as well as targeted biologic agents to treat your thyroid cancer.

Medical therapy can include:

  • Radioactive iodine, diagnostic tests that use radioactive iodine include state-of-the-art tumor dosimetry.
  • Thyrogen (recombinant TSH)-stimulated diagnostic testing and treatment to avoid hypothyroidism.
  • Targeted chemotherapies and clinical trials for advanced or aggressive thyroid cancer
  • Bone densitometry to help doctors evaluate hyperparathyroid.
  • CLIA, approved molecular diagnostic testing.
  • Ultrasound to keep track of thyroid growth
  • Dedicated hospital rooms used only for radioactive iodine treatment
If you have had surgery, your endocrinologist will personalize your treatment to kill cancer cells after surgery.
You might also have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials that study the newest medications and other cancer treatments.