Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improving diagnosis of thyroid nodules

Date:
September 7, 2012
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
Thyroid nodules are thought to be present in about half of all people, but very few of these are cancerous. New research presents a set of diagnostic biomarkers which are able to distinguish between malignant and benign thyroid nodules.

Thyroid nodules are thought to be present in about half of all people, but very few of these are cancerous. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Cancer presents a set of diagnostic biomarkers which are able to distinguish between malignant and benign thyroid nodules.

Thyroid nodules are first assessed using fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology. But about a third of results come back as indeterminate and require a diagnostic thyroidectomy. Of these, only about 20% turn out to be malignant. Obviously that 20% require further treatment (usually a full thyroidectomy) but the other 80% have had unnecessary, but currently unavoidable, surgery. If only there was a better way.

Researchers from University of Pisa and Pisa University Hospital, Italy led by Dr. Chiara Mazzanti, have addressed this problem using a Bayesian Artificial Neural Network model to examine gene expression levels from over 90 different FNA. They found eight biomarkers each capable alone, or in combination, to distinguish between malignant and benign samples. In a test group the gene activity set (KIT, CDH1, LSM7, C21orf4, DDI2, TC1, Hs.296031 and BRAF) was able to correctly identify malignant and benign tumours 89% of the time.

Dr Sara Tomei, explained, "Almost half of all the malignant samples (but none of the benign samples) carried the V600E mutation in the gene BRAF. We would recommend that a sample with unclear cytology which contains this mutation be treated as malignant. The gene with the highest predictive power was KIT. KIT activity is turned down in thyroid cancer, so BRAF-normal samples, with low levels of KIT, should also be treated as suspected cancer."

Following on from this, the team suggests that patients' samples with BRAF-normal, but indeterminate KIT activity, be tested against the entire gene activity test. Any remaining ambiguous results can then be tested with the current diagnostic thyroidectomy. Following this stepwise approach, they suggest, could potentially reduce the numbers of people with benign nodules being treated with radical surgery by almost 50%, yet still identify the people who require thyroidectomies to treat their cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sara Tomei, Ivo Marchetti, Katia Zavaglia, Francesca Lessi, Alessandro Apollo, Paolo Aretini, Giancarlo Di Coscio, Generoso Bevilacqua and Chiara Mazzanti. A molecular computational model improves the preoperative diagnosis of thyroid nodules. BMC Cancer, 2012; (in press)

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Improving diagnosis of thyroid nodules." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906203353.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2012, September 7). Improving diagnosis of thyroid nodules. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906203353.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Improving diagnosis of thyroid nodules." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906203353.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins