Treatment of advanced medullary thyroid carcinoma with a combination of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and dacarbazine

Li‐Teh ‐T Wu, Steven D. Averbuch, Douglas W. Ball, Andree De Bustros, Stephen B. Baylin, William P. McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Background. Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a neoplasm of the parafollicular C cells of the thyroid gland, which belongs to the diffuse neuroendocrine system. This cancer usually behaves in a relatively indolent manner for most patients. However, approximately 20% of patients have a more aggressive course that requires effective management. There are few reported clinical trials of chemotherapy for MTC. From the literature, the most active agent appears to be doxorubicin, with response rates of 30% reported. On the basis of the activity of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and dacarbazine (CVD) in other advanced neuroendocrine neoplasms, the authors tested the combination in patients with advanced MTC. Methods. Seven patients with advanced MTC were treated with cyclophosphamide (750 mg/m2), vincristine (1.4 mg/m2), and dacarbazine (600 mg/m2 daily for 2 days in each cycle) every 3 weeks. Assessments of measurable tumor and serum calcitonin and carcinoembryonic antigen were made before treatment and followed up until progressive disease was documented. Results. Two patients had partial tumor and biochemical responses for a duration of 14 and 29 months, respectively. One patient had a partial biochemical response and stable tumor measurements for 9 months, and another patient had stable tumor size and markers for 14 months. Three patients had progressive disease. Diarrhea and flushing improved in two patients who had partial biochemical responses. Conclusion. Our experience suggests that CVD chemotherapy has moderate activity and is well tolerated in patients with advanced MTC. Additional prospective studies of this regimen for MTC are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-436
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1994


  • calcitonin
  • carcinoembryonic antigen
  • cyclophosphamide
  • dacarbazine
  • medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • neuroendocrine cancer
  • vincristine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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