Research Advances in Thyroid Cancer Presented at American Thyroid Association Annual Meeting

September 19, 2016 — During the upcoming 86th Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association (ATA), September 21-25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado, many of the poster presentations will report on research advances related to various forms of thyroid cancer, including the samples described below.

In the poster entitled “Liquid Biopsy of CFDNA as a Predictor of Survival in Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma Patients with Somatic RET M918T Mutations,” GJ Cote and colleagues from MD Anderson Cancer Center and the School of Health Professions, Houston, TX, describe a study to assess the utility of liquid biopsy technology instead of tumor biopsy to detect a mutation present in about 40% of sporadic medullary thyroid carcinomas (sMTC) that can be used to guide patient care. Detection of the mutation in plasma-derived tumor DNA samples was 32% concordant with direct tumor analysis. Elevated expression of the mutated gene in cell-free DNA was strongly associated with a higher risk of death.

F. Basolo and colleagues at University of Pisa and UO Anatomia Paologica, Pisa, Italy analyzed the differential gene expression profiles of follicular variants of papillary thyroid carcinoma. In their poster, “Digital mRNAs Counting in “Non-Invasive Follicular Thyroid Neoplasms with Papillary-like Nuclear Features” (NIFT-P) Identifies Two Different Expression Profiles,” they present data showing that the new diagnostic entity known as NIFT-P could be further divided into two groups based on gene expression profile. One group has a gene expression profile similar to benign follicular tumors, and the other has a profile similar to follicular variants of PTC and could be a precursor of invasive or infiltrative carcinomas.

In “Simultaneous Inhibition of P13K Signaling and HDAC2 Induces Differentiation in Thyroid Cancer Cells and Suppresses Tumorigenesis,” S. Kotian and coauthors from the National Cancer Institute and CCR Collaborative Bioinformatics Resource of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, and the Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria, report on their analysis of the first-in-class compound CUDC-907. The compound inhibits both the PI3K signaling pathway and histone deacetylases (HDAC), which represent two key regulators of cell growth, differentiation, and survival, and have been implicated in thyroid cancer. The researchers evaluated the effects of the drug on the expression of cell differentiation markers in thyroid cancer cell lines and on tumor growth and metastasis in a metastatic mouse model of thyroid cancer.

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 The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international membership medical society with over 1,700 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 93rd anniversary, the ATA delivers its mission — of being devoted to thyroid biology and to the prevention and treatment of thyroid disease through excellence in research, clinical care, education, and public health — through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded professional journals, Thyroid, Clinical Thyroidology, and VideoEndocrinology; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer. The ATA promotes thyroid awareness and information through its online Clinical Thyroidology for the Public and extensive, authoritative explanations of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer in both English and Spanish. The ATA website serves as the clinical resource for patients and the public who look for reliable information on the Internet.  Every fifth year, the American Thyroid Association joins with the Latin American Thyroid Society, the European Thyroid Association, and the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association to co-sponsor the International Thyroid Congress (ITC).