Novel Sequencing Tools to Play Important Role in Understanding Form of Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Released: 19-Sep-2012 9:00 AM EDT
Embargo expired: 22-Sep-2012 10:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: American Thyroid Association
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Citations 82nd ATA Annual Meeting

Newswise — Falls Church, Virginia. Sep. 22, 2012 –Next-generation sequencing analyses of the follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma may elucidate the biological underpinnings and clinical behavior of an increasingly common disease, according to data presented at the 82nd ATA Annual Meeting in Québec City, Québec, Canada.

Papillary thyroid carcinoma, most common type of thyroid cancer, is the fastest growing cancer type in the United States and many other countries. The increase in incidence is largely attribute to a rise in the number of cases of follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. The follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma is believed to behave in a clinical manner similar to usual or classical papillary cancer, but can be aggressive.RAS mutations are present in approximately 40% of follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinomas, but little else is know about other mutations associated with the disease.

“A lack of understanding of molecular drivers of the follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma greatly limits the ability to investigate reasons behind its increased incidence and hampers the development of more individualized management of patients,” said Elizabeth Pearce, MD, of the Boston Medical Center and Program Co-Chair of the ATA annual meeting. “These new data suggest that novel genetic tools may shed new light in this important research area.”

A team of researchers led by Lindsey Kelly, MD, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, analyzed 501 samples of papillary thyroid carcinoma using a panel of next-generation sequencing tools. They found that 73% were positive for known mutations and 27% were negative for known mutations. The majority of the latter were determined to be follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Further analyses of follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma tumors revealed TPM3/NTRK1 fusion with a novel breakpoint, as well as several promising SNVs and SVs. These findings may allow better characterization of the biology and clinical behavior of follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma.

About the ATA Annual Meeting 

The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association will be held Sept. 19-23, in Québec City, Québec, Canada. This four-day creative and innovative scientific program, chaired by Elizabeth Pearce, MD, Boston Medical Center, and Douglas Forrest, PhD, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, carefully balances clinical and basic science sessions on the latest advances in thyroidology. The ATA meeting is designed to offer continuing education for endocrinologists, internists, surgeons, basic scientists, nuclear medicine scientists, pathologists, endocrine fellows and nurses, physician assistants and other health care professionals. Visit www.thyroid.org for more information.

About the ATA 

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 with over 1,600 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 89th anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology and Clinical Thyroidology for Patients; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs through www.thyroid.org; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease. Visit www.thyroid.org for more information.


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