Thyroid Expert Babak Larian, MD, FACS, Discusses New Drug Treatment that Shows Promise in Treating Thyroid Cancer Patients

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Director of the CENTER for Advanced Head & Neck Surgery in Los Angeles, thyroid surgery specialist Dr. Babak Larian explains in new article that he is hopeful that a new medical development will be an effective treatment for patients with the disease.

Babak Larian MD
It is very easy for thyroid cancer patients to become disheartened if they are not responding to radiation therapy or surgical treatments.

A recent article suggests that there is an innovative drug treatment that could potentially help patients with thyroid cancer who are not responding to radiation or surgery. The drug is called Nexavar and was recently studied by Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Nexavar is currently FDA-approved for the treatment of kidney and liver cancer, and researchers are confident that it will soon be FDA-approved in thyroid cancer treatment as well. With years of experience treating patients with thyroid cancer, head and neck surgeon Dr. Babak Larian was impressed by the results of the study and hopes the new treatment will be available to all patients.

“It is very easy for thyroid cancer patients to become disheartened if they are not responding to radiation therapy or surgical treatments. These promising medical advancements would provide much-needed hope to thyroid cancer patients who are not responsive to other forms of treatment,” explained Dr. Larian.

The study of Nexavar included over 400 thyroid cancer patients, none of whom were responding to radiation or surgery. Half of the patients were given Nexavar and half were given a placebo. At the end of the study, the patients who received Nexavar saw a significant slowing in the progression of their cancer for an average of 10 months. Those who received the placebo saw their cancer slow for only about 5 months. The implications of this study give researchers hope that there will be alternative treatment methods for thyroid cancer patients who are not responding to traditional methods.

“Over the last two decades, the occurrences of thyroid cancer have risen steadily. Thankfully, patients are getting diagnosed earlier which makes it easier to treat. Unfortunately, some patients do not see improvements in their cancer after undergoing thyroid surgery and radiation therapy. Slowing down the growth of the cancer would be an incredible development that could benefit many patients,” stated Dr. Larian.

Approximately 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year. Thyroid cancer starts as small nodules that can develop into malignant tumors. At the CENTER for Advanced Head & Neck Surgery in Los Angeles, Dr. Larian performs minimally invasive thyroidectomy on qualified patients in order to remove the partial or entire thyroid gland. The minimally invasive thyroidectomy allows Dr. Larian to remove the affected areas with a small incision, resulting in less pain, less scarring, and a shorter recovery time.

“At the CENTER, we are committed to providing patients with the most advanced level of care available. In almost all cases, thyroid surgery is the best treatment for thyroid cancer. However, for patients who do not respond to surgery, it is comforting to know that a new drug treatment has the potential to slow down cancer growth and give patients a renewed sense of hope,” said Dr. Larian.

Babak Larian, MD, FACS, is a highly regarded Head & Neck Surgeon who places an emphasis on providing his patients with the best treatments available. Dr. Larian has a highly specialized knowledge in the performance of minimally invasive thyroid procedures and strives to stay at the cutting-edge of medicine. Upon completion of his medical degree at the prestigious University of California—Irvine Medical School, Dr. Larian completed a six-year residency program in otolaryngology at UCLA. Dr. Larian currently holds the acclaimed position of Chief of Head & Neck Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

For additional information regarding Dr. Larian and the treatment of thyroid disorders, please contact the CENTER for Advanced Head & Neck Surgery in Los Angeles by calling (310) 461-0300. Further information may be acquired by visiting

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