, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 126-133
Date: 08 Jul 2011

Molecular Analysis of Thyroid Tumors

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Abstract

Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy, and its incidence is rising in the USA and other countries. Papillary and follicular thyroid carcinomas are the two most common types of thyroid cancer. Non-overlapping genetic alterations, including BRAF and RAS point mutations, and RET/PTC and PAX8/PPARγ rearrangements, are found in more than 70% of papillary and follicular thyroid carcinomas. These represent the most common genetic alterations in thyroid cancer, as well as molecular markers of diagnostic and prognostic significance. The use of these and other emerging molecular markers will likely improve the diagnosis of malignancy in thyroid nodules as well as facilitate more individualized operative and postoperative management. Herein, we provide a brief overview of the common genetic alterations in papillary and follicular thyroid carcinoma and discuss the diagnostic and prognostic significance thereof.