Newswise — The American Thyroid Association (ATA) has awarded 85 thyroid research grants totaling over $2.2 million since the inception of the Research Fund. In addition, the ATA rigorously manages the selection of research projects and distribution of over $1.8 million generously donated to the ATA specifically for research grants from ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. (ThyCa) and Bite Me Cancer. For information on other research grants underway and funded by the ATA, see

The ATA has awarded a 2016 ThyCa Research Grant to Trevor Angell, MD, Instructor in the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, for his project entitled "Assessment of Circulation Immune Suppressor Cells for Predicating Treatment Response in Follicular Cell Derived Thyroid Carcinoma." The goal of this prospective study is to determine whether changes in the levels of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) in the peripheral blood of patients with thyroid cancer before and after therapy can serve as a predictive biomarker for response to treatment. MDSCs are a type of immune cell that prevents the body's anti-tumor immune cells from doing their job and destroying cancer. Dr. Angell has proposed that MDSCs, which are rare in healthy individuals but tend to accumulate when cancer is present, can be used for personalized risk assessment and to monitor an individual's response to treatment in patients with papillary or anaplastic thyroid cancer. The ability to use changes in MDSC levels as a biomarker for disease progression and therapeutic drug response would give clinicians valuable information to guide treatment decisions.

Dr. Angell says, “After initial diagnosis and treatment for thyroid cancer, many patients worry about the possibility of residual cancer, cancer recurrence, or progression of their disease. Thanks to scientific investigators and organizations such as the American Thyroid Association, there have been tremendous advances in predicting the course of thyroid cancer, but there continue to be many cases with uncertainty. Novel method to provide individualized risk assessment would help clinicians and patients better understand and treat thyroid cancer. We are excited to investigate MDSC measurement as a promising biomarker for cancer behavior, and gratefully acknowledge both the ATA and ThyCa for providing essential research grants and being passionate advocates for scientific exploration, innovation, and improved patient care.”

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. has provided funding in support of 60 special research grants totaling $1,680,000 focused on thyroid cancer and medullary thyroid cancer since 2003. ThyCa supported three research grants in 2016 and three renewing grants; and plans are underway for similar support in 2017. ThyCa is a member of the ATA Alliance for Patient Education. Find out more at

Bite Me Cancer (BMC) is our newest grant funder supporting five thyroid cancer grants since 2014 for a total of $143,750. BMC will be supporting a new thyroid cancer grant in 2016 and one renewing grant. BMC is a member of the ATA Alliance for Patient Education. Find out more at


The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international individual membership organization for over 1,700 clinicians and researchers from 43 countries around the world, representing a broad diversity of medical disciplines. It also serves the public, patients and their family through education and awareness efforts Celebrating its 94th anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology, VideoEndocrinology and Clinical Thyroidology for the Public; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease.More information about ATA is found at