Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) management requires determination of the sporadic or familial nature of the disease. RET protooncogene mutation analysis in the tumor tissue obtained at surgery and in the peripheral blood identifies somatic vs. germinal mutations. We now report a case of MTC in which a RET somatic mutation at codon 918 was detected in fine-needle aspiration specimens obtained from both the thyroid nodule and two enlarged neck lymph nodes but not in peripheral blood. Therefore, a diagnosis of sporadic MTC was made before surgery. Thus, this approach, by excluding preoperatively multiple endocrine neoplasia disease, permitted immediate thyroidectomy without search for pheochromocytoma. PCR-based genetic analysis in fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens, therefore, preoperatively identifies genetic abnormalities at an early and easily manageable stage and may well contribute to the management strategy of MTC.
A case of metastatic medullary thyroid carcinoma: Early identification before surgery of an RET proto-oncogene somatic mutation in fine-needle aspirate specimens / Diego, Russo; Franco, Arturi; Eusebio, Chiefari; Domenico, Meringolo; Davide, Bianchi; Bartolomeo, Bellanova; Filetti, Sebastiano. - In: THE JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM. - ISSN 0021-972X. - 82:10(1997), pp. 3378-3382. [10.1210/jcem.82.10.4278]