Molecular pathology of differentiated thyroid cancer

A. Greco, M. G. Borrello, C. Miranda, D. Degl'Innocenti, M. A. Pieroiti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy; it accounts for approximately 1% of all new case of cancer each year, and its incidence has increased significantly over the last few decades. The majority of thyroid tumors originate from follicular epithelial cells. Among them, papillary (PTC) and follicular carcinomas (FTC) represent the most common forms of differentiated thyroid cancer and account for approximately 80% and 15% of all cases, respectively. Specific genetic lesions are associated to each thyroid tumor histotype: BRAF mutations and RET/PTC and TRK oncogenes have been detected in PTC, whereas FTC is characterized by PAX8/PPARγ rearrangements and RAS mutations. In this review we summarize studies on the molecular biology of the differentiated thyroid tumors, with particular interest in the associated genetic lesions and their role in thyroid carcinogenesis. We also report recent findings on gene expression and miRNA profiles of PTC and FTC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-454
Number of pages15
JournalQuarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • BRAF
  • Gene expression
  • RET
  • Thyroid carcinoma
  • TRK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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