Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) arises from the parafollicular cells of the thyroid and occurs in a sporadic or in an inherited form. We present a case of an aberrant MTC in a patient with a functioning thyroid gland. At surgical dissection, the thyroid was present in its anatomical site with a nodule in the upper one third of the right lobe. A mass was also found in a lateral-cervical position distinct from the thyroid gland. Histological examination showed the mass to be the primary MTC, whereas the thyroid nodule was a follicular adenoma. Analysis of DNA extracted from the MTC, from the adenoma, and from peripheral blood revealed a mutation within exon 16 of the RET proto-oncogene only in the DNA from the tumor. The reported case represents a sporadic MTC in an aberrant localization, probably originating from a developmental abnormality of the primordial C cells. This event might have occurred during the migration and/or differentiation of the C cells and might be related to, or caused by, the mutated RET proto-oncogene.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism