BACKGROUND: Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy. Some advanced disease is, or becomes, resistant to radioactive iodine therapy (refractory disease); this holds poor prognosis of 10% 10-year overall survival. Whilst Sorafenib and Lenvatinib are now licenced for the treatment of progressive iodine refractory thyroid cancer, these treatments require continuing treatment and can be associated with significant toxicity. Evidence from a pilot study has demonstrated feasibility of Selumetinib to allow the reintroduction of I-131 therapy; this larger, multicentre study is required to demonstrate the broader clinical impact of this approach before progression to a confirmatory trial.
METHODS: SEL-I-METRY is a UK, single-arm, multi-centre, two-stage phase II trial. Participants with locally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer with at least one measureable lesion and iodine refractory disease will be recruited from eight NHS Hospitals and treated with four-weeks of oral Selumetinib and assessed for sufficient I-123 uptake (defined as any uptake in a lesion with no previous uptake or 30% or greater increase in uptake). Those with sufficient uptake will be treated with I-131 and followed for clinical outcomes. Radiation absorbed doses will be predicted from I-123 SPECT/CT and verified from scans following the therapy. Sixty patients will be recruited to assess the primary objective of whether the treatment schedule leads to increased progression-free survival compared to historical control data.
DISCUSSION: The SEL-I-METRY trial will investigate the effect of Selumetinib followed by I-131 therapy on progression-free survival in radioiodine refractory patients with differentiated thyroid cancer showing increased radioiodine uptake following initial treatment with Selumetinib. In addition, information on toxicity and dosimetry will be collected. This study presents an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the role of lesional dosimetry in molecular radiotherapy, leading to greater personalisation of therapy. To date this has been a neglected area of research. The findings of this trial will be useful to healthcare professionals and patients alike to determine whether further study of this agent is warranted. It is hoped that the development of the infrastructure to deliver a multicentre trial involving molecular radiotherapy dosimetry will lead to further trials in this field.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: SEL-I-METRY is registered under ISRCTN17468602 , 02/12/2015.