Diagnostic approach, genetic screening and prognostic factors of medullary thyroid carcinoma

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Abstract

Medullary thyroid carcinoma is the least frequent thyroid neoplasm; it originates in thyroid parafollicular cells (calcitonin secreting C cells). In 80% of cases it is sporadic, in the remaining 20% it is familial, associated or not to other endocrinopathies as pheochromocytoma and hyperparathyroidism (MEN 2A, MEN 2B, and isolated familial medullary thyroid carcinoma). Preclinical diagnosis in relatives of affected subjects (preferably at pediatric age) is essential for successful therapy and is performed with genetic and biochemical screening tests. The genetic screening is based on DNA analysis (RET proto-oncogene mutations) of the patient, and if positive of all first degree relatives, to separate sporadic (somatic mutations) from familial (germline mutations) forms. The biochemical screening is based on calcitonin determination and its increase after pentagastrin stimulation, (a peculiar characteristic of medullary thyroid carcinoma, the first biochemical disorder in a subject at risk) and is mainly used in genetically silent familial medullary thyroid carcinoma. The principal negative prognostic factors of medullar thyroid carcinoma and the debate concerning the use of calcitonin determination in the diagnosis of the "cold" thyroid nodule have been analyzed.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)257-266
Numero di pagine10
RivistaRAYS
Volume25
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2000

Keywords

  • Algorithms
  • Calcitonin
  • Carcinoma
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Thyroid Neoplasms
  • Tumor Markers, Biological

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