Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 179, Issue 1, pp 9–15 | Cite as

Anaplastic thyroid cancer, tumorigenesis and therapy

  • J. P. O’NeillEmail author
  • D. Power
  • C. Condron
  • D. Bouchier-Hayes
  • M. Walsh
Review Article



Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a fatal endocrine malignancy. Current therapy fails to significantly improve survival. Recent insights into thyroid tumorigenesis, post-malignant dedifferentiation and mode of metastatic activity offer new therapeutic strategies.


An extensive literature search of Medline and Pubmed was conducted to include all published reports on ATC. Secondary articles were identified from key paper reference listings.


Significant progress, in the last 5 years, has been made outlining thyroid tumorigenesis and the progression to anaplasia. Continued identification and development of drug therapies is required to counter specific molecular targets responsible for the post-malignant dedifferentiation process and ultimately the fatal neoplastic phenotype.


Anaplastic thyroid cancer Undifferentiation Post-malignant dedifferentiation Oncogene Radiotherapy Surgery Chemotherapy 



There was no financial incentive or input into this article.

Conflict of interest statement

There are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. O’Neill
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. Power
    • 2
  • C. Condron
    • 3
  • D. Bouchier-Hayes
    • 3
  • M. Walsh
    • 1
  1. 1.The Department of OtolaryngologyThe Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Beaumont HospitalDublin 9Ireland
  2. 2.Department of OncologyMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.The Department of SurgeryThe Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Beaumont HospitalDublinIreland

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