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Authors Alhefdhi A, Burke JF, Redlich A, Kunnimalaiyaan M, Chen H
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Journal J. Surg. Res. Volume: 185 Issue: 1 Pages: 212-6
Publish Date 2013 Nov
PubMed ID 23816245
PMC ID 3805832

Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a neuroendocrine tumor that arises from the calcitonin-secreting parafollicular cells of the thyroid gland. Leflunomide (LFN) is a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, and its active metabolite teriflunomide has been identified as a potential anticancer drug. In this study we investigated the ability of LFN to similarly act as an anticancer drug by examining the effects of LFN treatment on MTC cells.Human MTC-TT cells were treated with LFN (25-150 ╬╝mol/L) and Western blotting was performed to measure levels of neuroendocrine markers. MTT assays were used to assess the effect of LFN treatment on cellular proliferation.LFN treatment downregulated neuroendocrine markers ASCL1 and chromogranin A. Importantly, LFN significantly inhibited the growth of MTC cells in a dose-dependent manner.Treatment with LFN decreased neuroendocrine tumor marker expression and reduced the cell proliferation in MTC cells. As the safety of LFN in human beings is well established, a clinical trial using this drug to treat patients with advanced MTC may be warranted.

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