Medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTCs) are rare neoplasms comprising 2-10% of all thyroid malignnancies. More than 75% are sporadic tumors and the remainder is familial and MEN2 related. Both sporadic and syndromic MTCs frequently show mutations in the RET proto-oncogene. It has been noted that some MTC cases present an indolent, and some an aggressive clinical course. Ki-67 expression is generally low, with documented exceptions, whereas high expression of Bcl-2 has been reported in majority of the cases. Some studies have shown that Ki-67 and Bcl-2 expressions have prognostic value, as well as RET mutational status. We analyzed 20 unrelated MTC cases for Ki-67, Bcl-2 expression and RET mutations and tested their intercorrelations, correlations to the morphologic features and stage of the tumors, as well as their influence on survival. In 13 of the 20 analyzed cases we found 23 sequence changes distributed in exons 8, 10-13 and 16. There were 11 different missense mutations, single nucleotide deletion with frameshift, and 8 different synonymous mutations. Only 4 of the sequence changes have been previously published. Twelve patients (60%) had tumors expressing one or more missense mutations or single nucleotide deletion and 7 of them (35%) had at least one damaging or possibly damaging RET mutation. Most of the tumors had low Ki-67 expression (mean 6.48% of cells) and high Bcl-2 expression (mean 68.3%). Significantly better survival was observed in cases with low Ki-67 (< 6.5%; p < 0.05), high Bcl-2 expression (> 68.3%; p < 0.01) and younger age at diagnosis (< 51 years; p < 0.05).
Magdalena Mileva, Bojana Stoilovska, Anamarija Jovanovska, Ana Ugrinska, Gordana Petrushevska, Slavica Kostadinova-Kunovska, Daniela Miladinova and Venjamin Majstorov
Ultrasound guided fine-needle aspiration (FNA) is a standard procedure for thyroid nodules management and selecting patients for surgical treatment. Atypia of undetermined significance (AUS) or follicular lesion of undetermined significance (FLUS), as stated by The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology, is a diagnostic category with an implied malignancy risk of 5–15%. The aim of our study was to review cytology and histopathology reports, as well as clinical and ultrasound data, for thyroid nodules reported as AUS/FLUS, in order to evaluate the malignancy rate and to assess factors associated with malignant outcome.
Patients and methods
A total of 112 AUS/FLUS thyroid nodules in 105 patients were evaluated, of which 85 (75.9%) were referred to surgery, 21 (18.8%) were followed-up by repeat FNA and 6 nodules (5.3%) were clinically observed. Each was categorized in two final diagnostic groups - benign or malignant, which were further compared to clinical data of patients and ultrasonographic features of the nodules.
Final diagnosis of malignancy was reached in 35 cases (31.2%) and 77 (68.8%) had benign lesions. The most frequent type of cancer was papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) - 58.1% PTC and 25.8% had follicular variant of PTC. Patients’ younger age, smaller nodule size, hypoechoic nodule and presence of calcifications were shown to be statistically significant risk factors for malignancy.
The rate of malignancy for the AUS/FLUS diagnostic category in our study was higher than estimated by the Bethesda System. Clinical and ultrasound factors should be considered when decision for patient treatment is being made.