Tumor Suppressor Gene Allelic Loss Profiles of the Variants of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma

Jennifer L. Hunt, Melissa Fowler, Deren Lomago, Laura Niehouse, Eizaburo Sasatomi, Patricia Swalsky, Sydney Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTCa) is a relatively common, indolent tumor that usually has an excellent prognosis. While the diagnosis of conventional PTCa is relatively straightforward, encapsulated tumors with follicular growth pattern and unusual or incomplete cytologic features of papillary carcinoma can be diagnostically challenging. Encapsulated, noninvasive tumors are particularly controversial as the differential diagnosis includes a nonneoplastic nodule, a benign follicular adenoma, and papillary carcinoma. In this study, we performed molecular genotyping to identify loss of heterozygosity of tumor suppressor genes in conventional PTCa and in several different morphologic variants, including follicular variant, tall cell variant, and oncocytic variant. Our data demonstrate that conventional PTCas have the lowest frequency of allelic loss (7%), as compared with follicular, oncocytic, and tall cell variants (19%, 34%, and 20%, respectively). Frequency of allelic loss increased with increasing size of the tumors, but did not correlate with age, gender, extrathyroidal extension, or lymph node metastases. Though it is unlikely that these results will enable the distinction between different variants of papillary carcinoma, the finding of significant rates of allelic loss in the variants of PTCa provides additional evidence of malignancy and may be useful in distinguishing encapsulated tumors from nonneoplastic or benign nodules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalDiagnostic Molecular Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Allelic loss
  • Loss of heterozygosity
  • Papillary carcinoma
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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