MassARRAY-based simultaneous detection of hotspot somatic mutations and recurrent fusion genes in papillary thyroid carcinoma: the PTC-MA assay

Chiara Pesenti, Marina Muzza, Carla Colombo, Maria Carla Proverbio, Claudia Farè, Stefano Ferrero, Monica Miozzo, Laura Fugazzola, Silvia Tabano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


PURPOSE: We exploited the MassARRAY (MA) genotyping platform to develop the "PTC-MA assay", which allows the simultaneous detection of 13 hotspot mutations, in the BRAF, KRAS, NRAS, HRAS, TERT, AKT1, PIK3CA, and EIF1AX genes, and six recurrent genetic rearrangements, involving the RET and TRK genes in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).

METHODS: The assay was developed using DNA and cDNA from 12 frozen and 11 formalin-fixed paraffin embedded samples from 23 PTC cases, together with positive and negative controls.

RESULTS: The PTC-MA assay displays high sensitivity towards point mutations and gene rearrangements, detecting their presence at frequencies as low as 5%. Moreover, this technique allows quantification of the mutated alleles identified at each tested locus.

CONCLUSIONS: The PTC-MA assay is a novel MA test, which is able to detect fusion genes generated by genomic rearrangements concomitantly with the analysis of hotspot point mutations, thus allowing the evaluation of key diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic markers of PTC in a single experiment without any informatics analysis. As the assay is sensitive, robust, easily achievable, and affordable, it is suitable for the diagnostic practice. Finally, the PTC-MA assay can be easily implemented and updated by adding novel genetic markers, according to clinical requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018



  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alleles
  • DNA, Neoplasm/genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Fusion/genetics
  • Gene Rearrangement/genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation/genetics
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Point Mutation/genetics
  • Thyroid Cancer, Papillary/genetics
  • Thyroid Neoplasms/genetics
  • Young Adult

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