SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
At total of 258 patients with thyroid nodules that on biopsy had lesions “suspicious for a follicular neoplasm” and then had their entire thyroid removed. They recorded ultrasound features of the suspicious nodule and tested the tissue samples for BRAF and NRAS. About 35% of the nodules were cancerous. Of 8 nodules that had a BRAF mutation, all were cancer. Of 31 nodules that had NRAS mutations, 22 were cancer (70%). No nodules had both mutations. Patients that had 2 malignant-type features on ultrasound had cancer. Adding positive ultrasound features to mutation positivity for a nodule increased the prediction for cancer.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS STUDY?
This study shows that combining ultrasound features and limited molecular marker testing with BRAF and NRAS could help in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Further studies are needed to confirm these finding but this may lead to a less expensive way to evaluate whether a nodule needs to be removed by surgery or can be monitored without surgery.
— Ronald Kuppersmith, MD
ATA THYROID BROCHURE LINKS
Thyroid Cancer: http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-cancer/
Thyroid Nodules: http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-nodules/