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MD Anderson Cancer Center

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Facilitating Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Specialized Treatment
(FAST) A Comprehensive Care Program Focused on Rapid Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment


The mission of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.

At The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, we have cared for and treated hundreds of patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer. Our combined expertise and access to emerging therapies offer the best hope of effective treatment.


MD Anderson's Facilitating Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Specialized Treatment Team

FAST is a collaboration of renowned thyroid cancer experts in oncologic endocrinology, medical oncology, head and neck surgery and radiation therapy. We are dedicated to offering an appointment within 1 to 3 business days, confirming the diagnosis and developing a treatment plan within 7 business days of your first appointment.
Other MD Anderson experts may see ATC patients as part of the comprehensive treatment plan.

MD Anderson FAST team leaders:

  • Maria E. Cabanillas, M.D., FACE, Oncologic Endocrinologist
  • Naifa L. Busaidy, M.D., FACP, Oncologic Endocrinologist
  • Ramona Dadu, MD, Oncologic Endocrinologist
  • G. Brandon Gunn, M.D., Radiation Oncologist
  • Stephen Y. Lai, M.D., Ph.D., Head and Neck Surgeon
  • Renata Ferrarotto, MD, Head and Neck Medical Oncologist
  • Charles Lu, M.D., Head and Neck Medical Oncologist
  • William N. William Jr., M.D., Head and Neck Medical Oncologist
  • Michelle D. Williams, M.D., Pathologist 
  • Marieberta Vidal, M.D., Palliative Care Medicine

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a very rare and aggressive disease that requires accurate diagnosis and immediate treatment. There are only 500 new anaplastic thyroid cancer cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. Most doctors will never see a case, and up to 30% of patients with ATC are misdiagnosed.

FAST provides coordinated outpatient evaluation and care, including:
* Multidisciplinary visits with: Endocrine Neoplasia & Hormonal Disorders, Radiation Oncology, Head & Neck Surgery, Head & Neck Medical Oncology, and Supportive Care
* Confirmation of the diagnosis by an expert thyroid cancer pathologist
* Development of an individualized treatment plan
* Consideration of clinical trials

Clinical Trials
For many patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer, the most effective treatment may be a clinical trial. The FAST team will help you find an appropriate clinical trial. Please refer to our FAST webpage at: information/care-centers-and-clinics/care- centers/endocrine/fast-program

Available Clinical Trials

Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer – No Previous Treatment

RTOG0912: A Randomized Phase II Study of Concurrent Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Paclitaxel and Pazopanib (NSC 737754)/Placebo, for the Treatment of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
Principal Investigator: G. Brandon Gunn, M.D.

Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer – BRAF Mutation Specific

2013-0918: A Phase II, Open-label, Study in Subjects with BRAF V600E-Mutated Rare Cancers with Several Histologies to Investigate the Clinical Efficacy and Safety of the Combination Therapy of Dabrafenib and Trametinib
Principal Investigator: Vivek Subbiah, M.D.

2012-0119: An Open-Label, Phase II Study of Vemurafenib in Patients with BRAF V600 Mutation-Positive Cancers
Principal Investigator: Vivek Subbiah, M.D.

2012-0153: A Phase I Dose-Escalation Study of the BRAF Inhibitor Vemurafenib (Zelboraf®) in Combination with an mTOR Inhibitor, Everolimus (Afinitor®) or Temsirolimus (Torisel®), in Subjects with Advanced Cancer

Principal Investigator: Vivek Subbiah, M.D.

Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer – Other

2015-0129: An Open Label Phase II Study of Tipifarnib in Advanced Non-Hematological Malignancies with HRAS Mutations
Principal Investigator: Maria E. Cabanillas, M.D.

2015-0239: An Open-Label, Multicohort, Phase II Study of MPDL3280a in Advanced Solid Tumors
Principal Investigator: David S. Hong, M.D.

2013-0882: A Phase I/II Trial of Ipilimumab (Immunotherapy) and Hypofractionated Stereotactic Radiation Therapy in Patients with Advanced Solid Malignancies.
Principal Investigator: James Welsh, M.D.

Country Topics

Dr. Laura Moss
Velindre Hospital, Velindre Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff, CF14 2TL