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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 480-485

Genetic alterations in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma

1 Department of Endocrine Surgery, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Endocrine Surgery, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Pathology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Amit Agarwal
Department of Endocrine Surgery, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow - 226 014, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_321_19

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Introduction: Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is rare but fatal thyroid cancer responsible for majority of thyroid cancer related mortality. ATC may originate de novo or from preexisting differentiated thyroid cancer. Complex interaction between different gene mutation has been suggested to be the main causative factor for origin of ATC in both pathways. Mostly affected pathways are MAP kinase and PI3CA kinase. Hence, we decided to study the frequent alterations in both the pathways in ATC patients. Methodology: Clinico-pathological data of 34 ATC patients were collected retrospectively and Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) blocks were taken out for genetic analysis. DNA and RANA were isolated from FFPE tissues. BRAF V600E mutations were screened by RFLP PCR method and confirmed by sequencing. RAS, PI3CA and p53 mutations were checked by sequencing. RET/PTC translocations were screened by Real Time PCR. Results: A total of 34 patients were studied: Mean age 58.6+ 11.6 years with F:M- 1.8:1, 60% had history of goiter. Most common presenting symptom was rapidly growing thyroid mass followed by dyspnea, dysphasia and hoarseness of voice. Extent of disease was local, locoregional and metastatic in 32%, 35% and 33% respectively. 57.6% were euthyroid, 20.5 % were hyperthyroid while functional status were not available in 11.7%. FNAC was suggestive of ATC only in 52.9% cases. 15 (44%) were operated. BRAF V600E mutations were observed in 10/34 (29.4%). Interestingly, all three ATC patients with DTC components had previous history of goiter with rapid increase in size and BRAF V600E mutation, while BRAF was positive only in 7/31 (22.5%) of patients with no DTC component. Mean survival of 3.5 months in BRAF positive cases in comparison to 5.5 months in BRAF negative ATC. RAS mutations were found to be positive in 5.8%, and none had RET-PTC/PI3CA mutations. P53 mutation was positive in 7 patients. 3 patients presented with history of rapid increase in size of previous goiter while rest 4 patients presented with rapidly increasing thyroid swelling of 1 to 3 months. At presentation 2 patients has disease localized to thyroid, 4 has loco-regional disease and one patient presented with metastasis. 5 out of these 7 patients were operated (Total thyroidectomy:3, thyroidectomy with neck dissection:2). Mean survival was 4 months (1-6 months). Conclusion: BRAF V600E was the commonest mutation followed by p53 of the 5 genes tested and BRAF was more common in patients with previous history of longstanding goiter or differentiated thyroid cancer. This provides an indirect evidence of neoplastic transformation of PTC to ATC.

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