Animal models of medullary thyroid cancer: State of the art and view to the future

Giovanni Vitale, Germano Gaudenzi, Luisa Circelli, Marco F. Manzoni, Andrea Bassi, Niccolò Fioritti, Antongiulio Faggiano, Annamaria Colao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Medullary thyroid carcinoma is a neuroendocrine tumour originating from parafollicular C cells accounting for 5-10% of thyroid cancers. Increased understanding of diseasespecific molecular targets of therapy has led to the regulatory approval of two drugs (vandetanib and cabozantinib) for the treatment of medullary thyroid carcinoma. These drugs increase progression-free survival; however, they are often poorly tolerated and most treatment responses are transient. Animal models are indispensable tools for investigating the pathogenesis, mechanisms for tumour invasion and metastasis and new therapeutic approaches for cancer. Unfortunately, only few models are available for medullary thyroid carcinoma. This review provides an overview of the state of the art of animal models in medullary thyroid carcinoma and highlights future developments in this field, with the aim of addressing salient features and clinical relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R1-R12
JournalEndocrine-Related Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Animal models
  • Chick chorioallantoic membrane
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Mice
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cancer Research


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