Recently, a somatic point mutation of the B-RAF gene (V600E) has been identified as the most common genetic event in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), with a prevalence variable among different series. Since discordant data on the clinico-pathologic features of B-RAF mutated PTC are present in the literature, the aim of the present co-operative study was to establish the prevalence of this genetic alteration and to perform a genotype-phenotype correlation in a large cohort of patients with PTC. To this purpose, a series of 260 sporadic PTCs with different histological variants were included in the study. The mutational analysis of the B-RAF gene was performed either by RT-PCR followed by single-stranded conformational polymorphism or by PCR and direct sequencing. Statistical analyses were obtained by means of χ2/ Fisher's exact test and t-test. Overall, a heterozygous T>A transversion at nucleotide 1799 (V600E) was found in 99 out of 260 PTCs (38%). According to the histological type of the tumor, the B-RAFV600E mutation was present in 48.3% of cases of classic PTCs (85 out of 176), in 17.6% (nine out of 51) of follicular variants of PTCs, in 21.7% (five out of 23) in other PTC variants and in none of the ten poorly differentiated tumors. B-RAFV600E was significantly associated with the classic variant of PTC (P = 0.0001) and with an older age at diagnosis (P = 0.01). No statistically significant correlation was found among the presence of B-RAFV600E and gender, tumor node metastasis (TNM), multicentricity of the tumor, stage at diagnosis and outcome. In conclusion, the present study reports the prevalence of B-RAFV600E (38%) in the largest series of sporadic PTCs, including 260 cases from three different Italian referring centers. This prevalence is similar to that calculated by pooling together all data previously reported, 39.6% (759 out of 1914 cases), thus indicating that the prevalence of this genetic event lies around 38-40%. Furthermore, B-RAFV600E was confirmed to be associated with the papillary growth pattern, but not with poorer differentiated PTC variants. A significant association of B-RAF mutation was also found with an older age at diagnosis, the mutation being very rare in childhood and adolescent PTCs. Finally, no correlation was found with a poorer prognosis and a worse outcome after a median follow-up of 72 months.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism