We studied the expression of calcitonin (CT) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in 18 patients with medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) in the neoplastic (primary or metastatic) tissue by immunohistochemistry and in the plasma by radioim-munoassay. CT immunoreactivity was found in 100% of the primary and metastatic MTC, CGRP was expressed in 66% of the primary tumors and in 73% of the metastases. Both the number of positive cells and the degree of staining were always higher for CT than for CGRP staining. While plasma CT concentrations were always increased in patients with metastases, 3 patients with metastases had undetectable plasma CGRP levels. A positive correlation was found between plasma CT and CGRP levels. These data indicate that CGRP is frequently expressed in MTC sections and that plasma CGRP measurement is an additional marker for MTC, although has no advantage with respect to CT measurements in monitoring the progression of the disease.
- medullary thyroid cancer
- tumor markers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism