The small number of pediatric patients with progressive thyroid cancer that does not respond to radioactive iodine therapy have new options for treatment. These cutting-edge therapies are offered in the Advanced Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Therapeutics Clinic, a collaboration between Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).
The Advanced Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Therapeutics Clinic is run by two leading thyroid cancer experts: Andrew Bauer, MD, pediatric endocrinologist at CHOP and Marcia Brose, MD, PhD, adult oncologist specializing in advanced thyroid cancer at HUP. Together, they evaluate and treat pediatric thyroid cancer patients with progressive, treatment resistant (refractory) disease who may benefit from newly available targeted and systemic chemotherapies.
Why choose our clinic
There are no other pediatric hospitals in the United States with an established, collaborative clinic staffed by nationally renowned experts in the management of refractory thyroid cancer in children and adolescents.
At other centers, treatment of the 1-2 percent of all pediatric thyroid cancer patients who don’t respond to frontline therapies is handled on an individual basis, rather than through a clinic with experience in the care of this unique patient population. Drs. Bauer and Brose see multiple patients each month with refractory/progressive pediatric thyroid cancer. This volume is critical to the understanding of how to use these targeted therapies.
What to expect for your child’s initial visit
Prior to your visit, you’ll be asked to provide the team with your child’s medical records and imaging so this information can be reviewed before you arrive for your appointment.
Your visit will be held in the Oncology Clinic on the 2nd floor of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Drs. Bauer and Brose will both be present. Clinic visits are held on the [first?] Thursday of each month.
During the visit your child’s history will be reviewed. Then, Drs. Bauer and Brose will discuss options for treatment. Together, you and the medical team will decide on a plan for your child.
In many cases, your child will return for clinic visits every 1-2 months until they are considered to be stable, and then every 3-6 months for radiologic imaging.
The response to targeted therapies is assessed by:
- Measuring changes on X-ray (anatomic changes)
- Whether there are more or less lesions and if the lesions are decreasing or increasing in size.
If one drug does not work, or stops working, the team will recommend a new option. Patients who qualify for a clinical trial have the option to be enrolled in one of the many thyroid cancer protocols available through the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
To schedule an appointment for your child, contact the Pediatric Thyroid Center at 215-590-3174. To refer a patient, call 215-590-5129. You can also contact the Pediatric Thyroid Center online.