Thyroid Cancer pp 865-869 | Cite as

Cytology and Pathology of Medullary Thyroid Cancer



First defined in the 1950s, medullary carcinoma of the thyroid is a tumor derived from the non-follicular C cell in the gland. The origin of this tumor was first proposed in the mid-1960s by ED Williams, who postulated (based on a few cases) that this unusual thyroid tumor, medullary carcinoma, might indeed be derived from non-follicular thyroid cells, i.e., the C cells, and that a new hormone might be produced by these cells in the thyroid. If so, he theorized that medullary carcinoma could produce calcitonin, and this could become a diagnostic and prognostic marker for this neoplasm. Most importantly the precursor lesion known as C-cell hyperplasia was identified.


Cytology Pathology Medullary thyroid cancer 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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