Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Presence of gene mutation helps guide thyroid cancer treatment

07.09.2007
A specific gene mutation may be useful in predicting the level of aggression of thyroid cancer and help guide treatment options and follow-up care, according to new study findings.

The mutation, called BRAF V600E, is a genetic alteration in the BRAF oncogene, a modified gene believed to cause cancer. The new research is reported in the September issue of the “Annals of Surgery.”

Past studies have shown that the mutation frequently occurs in the most common type of thyroid cancer, conventional papillary thyroid cancer or PTC, but this is the largest study to classify thyroid cancer by cell structure subtype and to show that the mutation is significantly associated with cancer recurrence after treatment, according to the research team.

The findings come at an important time as both the incidence of thyroid cancer and the number of patients who die from the disease is increasing in the United States. More than 33,000 new cases of thyroid cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2007, according to the National Cancer Institute.

... more about:
»BRAF »PTC »Thyroid »conventional »follicular

Most patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer have small, localized PTC but may receive aggressive treatment because their risk of recurrence and death cannot be reliably predicted prior to surgery, the study authors noted.

“There is a pressing need to identify a reliable preoperative approach for stratifying patients according to risk of thyroid cancer recurrence and death,” said lead author Electron Kebebew, MD, who is an assistant professor of surgery and endocrine surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco and a research scientist with the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“This study shows that a particular mutation is a reliable indicator, and testing for the mutation may be useful for selecting initial therapy, determining the need for and extent of surgery, as well as the need for ongoing monitoring and follow-up care,” he emphasized.

In the study, the researchers examined tumor samples from 314 patients with thyroid cancer (245 with conventional PTC, 73 with follicular thyroid cancer and 29 with the follicular variant of PTC) to determine the presence of BRAF V600E and its association with factors such as tumor size, tumor stage, and patient outcome.

They found the mutation in 51 percent of patients with conventional PTC, in 1 percent of patients with follicular thyroid cancer, and in 24.1 percent of patients with follicular variant PTC.

In conventional PTC and follicular variant PTC, the mutation was significantly associated with older age, larger tumor size, and recurrent and persistent disease. These patients also showed a trend toward a higher rate of cancer formation in the lymph node due to metastasis (the transfer of tumor cells from one organ or part of the body to another organ or part) and higher stage cancer.

In patients with conventional PTC, the mutation was associated with older age, lymph node and other metastasis, and was an independent risk factor for recurrent and persistent disease. Median follow-up time of all patients in this study was six years.

Kebebew explained that identification of the mutation in patients with thyroid cancer could be very useful in a variety of ways. For example, patients with the mutation may be candidates for a more aggressive approach to surgery, such as removing the central lymph node along with the diseased thyroid, to avoid the possibility of metastasis following surgery. BRAF V600E testing could also be useful for deciding between low- or high-dose radioiodine ablation therapy.

“Advances in molecular biology techniques have improved our understanding of the genetic changes in cells that lead to the formation of cancer and have provided opportunities for identifying disease biomarkers like this mutation,” added Kebebew. “It is critical to continue the drive to discover reliable biomarkers so we can better identify, treat and cure cancer.”

The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Cancer Society Research Scholars Grant, Hellman Family Grant, the University of California Cancer Research Committee and the National Institutes of Health.

Study co-investigators were Julie Weng, BS; Juergen Bauer, MD; Gustavo Ranvier, MD; Orlo Clark, MD; Quan-Yang Duh, MD; Daniel Shibru, MD; Boris Bastian, MD, and Ann Griffin, PhD, all of UCSF.

UCSF is a leading university that advances health worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the life sciences and health professions, and providing complex patient care.

Vanessa deGier | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu

Further reports about: BRAF PTC Thyroid conventional follicular

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>