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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is caused by specific autosomal dominant gain-of-function mutations in the RET proto-oncogene. Genotype-phenotype correlations exist that help predict the presence of other associated endocrine neoplasms as well as the timing of thyroid cancer development. MTC represents a promising model for targeted cancer therapy, as the oncogenic event responsible for initiating malignancy has been well characterized. The RET proto-oncogene has become the target for molecularly designed drug therapy. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting activated RET are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of patients with MTC. This review will provide a brief overview of MTC and the associated RET oncogenic mutations, and will summarize the therapies designed to strategically interfere with the pathologic activation of the RET oncogene.
    Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 05/2008; 8(4):625-32. DOI:10.1586/14737140.8.4.625 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the utility of BRAF mutation testing of thyroid fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) specimens for preoperative risk stratification in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). We assessed the T1799A BRAF mutation status in thyroid FNAB specimens obtained from 190 patients before thyroidectomy for PTC and its association with clinicopathologic characteristics of the tumor revealed postoperatively. We observed a significant association of BRAF mutation in preoperative FNAB specimens with poorer clinicopathologic outcomes of PTC. In comparison with the wild-type allele, BRAF mutation strongly predicted extrathyroidal extension (23% v 11%; P = .039), thyroid capsular invasion (29% v 16%; P = .045), and lymph node metastasis (38% v 18%; P = .002). During a median follow-up of 3 years (range, 0.6 to 10 years), PTC persistence/recurrence was seen in 36% of BRAF mutation-positive patients versus 12% of BRAF mutation-negative patients, with an odds ratio of 4.16 (95% CI, 1.70 to 10.17; P = .002). The positive and negative predictive values for preoperative FNAB-detected BRAF mutation to predict PTC persistence/recurrence were 36% and 88% for overall PTC and 34% and 92% for conventional PTC, respectively. Preoperative BRAF mutation testing of FNAB specimens provides a novel tool to preoperatively identify PTC patients at higher risk for extensive disease (extrathyroidal extension and lymph node metastases) and those who are more likely to manifest disease persistence/recurrence. BRAF mutation, as a powerful risk prognostic marker, may therefore be useful in appropriately tailoring the initial surgical extent for patients with PTC.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 06/2009; 27(18):2977-82. DOI:10.1200/JCO.2008.20.1426 · 18.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inherited and sporadic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is an uncommon and challenging malignancy. The American Thyroid association (ATA) chose to create specific MTC Clinical Guidelines that would bring together and update the diverse MTC literature and combine it with evidence-based medicine and the knowledge and experience of a panel of expert clinicians. Relevant articles were identified using a systematic PubMed search and supplemented with additional published materials. Evidence-based recommendations were created and then categorized using criteria adapted from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Clinical topics addressed in this scholarly dialog included: initial diagnosis and therapy of preclinical disease (including RET oncogene testing and the timing of prophylactic thyroidectomy), initial diagnosis and therapy of clinically apparent disease (including preoperative testing and imaging, extent of surgery, and handling of devascularized parathyroid glands), initial evaluation and treatment of postoperative patients (including the role of completion thyroidectomy), management of persistent or recurrent MTC (including the role of tumor marker doubling times, and treatment of patients with distant metastases and hormonally active metastases), long-term follow-up and management (including the frequency of follow-up and imaging), and directions for future research. One hundred twenty-two evidence-based recommendations were created to assist in the clinical care of MTC patients and to share what we believe is current, rational, and optimal medical practice.
    Thyroid: official journal of the American Thyroid Association 07/2009; 19(6):565-612. DOI:10.1089/thy.2008.0403 · 3.84 Impact Factor
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