MEK inhibition induces therapeutic iodine uptake in a murine model of anaplastic thyroid cancer.

El Mokh, Oussama; Taelmann, Vincent; Radojewski, Piotr; Rölli, Matthias Andreas; Stooss, Amandine; Dumont, Rebecca A; Dettmer, Matthias; Phillips, Wayne; Walter, Martin Alexander; Charles, Roch-Philippe (2019). MEK inhibition induces therapeutic iodine uptake in a murine model of anaplastic thyroid cancer. Journal of nuclear medicine, 60(7), pp. 917-923. Society of Nuclear Medicine 10.2967/jnumed.118.216721

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Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is refractory to radioiodine therapy in part due to impaired iodine metabolism. We targeted the MAPK and PI3'K pathways with the intent to induce radioiodine uptake for radioiodine treatment of ATC. Human ATC cells were used to evaluate the ability of pharmacological inhibition of the mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathways to induce radioiodine uptake. Thyrocyte-specific double mutant BRAFV600E PIK3CAH1047R mice were treated with a MEK inhibitor followed by radioiodine treatment and tumor burden was monitored by ultrasound imaging. ATC cell lines showed an increase in sodium-iodine symporter transcription when treated with a MEK or BRAFV600E inhibitor alone and in combination with PI3'K inhibitor. This translated into a dose-dependent elevation of iodine uptake following treatment with a MEK inhibitor alone and in combination with a PI3'K inhibitor. In vivo, MEK inhibition but not BRAF nor PI3'K inhibition upregulated sodium-iodine symporter transcription. This translated into a stable reduction of tumor burden when mice were treated with a MEK inhibitor prior to radioiodine administration. This study confirms the ability of MEK inhibition to induce iodine uptake in in vitro and in vivo models of ATC. The approach of using a MEK inhibitor before radioiodine treatment could readily be translated into clinical practice and provide a much-needed therapeutic option for patients with ATC.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Faculty Institutions > NCCR TransCure
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Clinic of Nuclear Medicine
09 Interdisciplinary Units > Microscopy Imaging Center (MIC)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

El Mokh, Oussama, Radojewski, Piotr, Rölli, Matthias Andreas, Stooss, Amandine, Dettmer, Matthias, Walter, Martin Alexander, Charles, Roch-Philippe


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Society of Nuclear Medicine


[65] NCCR TransCure ; [145] Roch-Philippe Charles




Roch-Philippe Charles

Date Deposited:

28 Dec 2018 15:38

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:21

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Differentiation Drug resistance Endocrine Molecular Biology NIS Oncology: Head and neck Radionuclide Therapy Targeted therapy




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