Purpose: Patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma often have two or more distinct papillary tumors at thyroidectomy. Whether these multifocal papillary lesions are clonally related or whether they arise independently is unknown as previous studies have shown conflicting results. Molecular analysis of microsatellite alterations and X-chromosome inactivation status in separate tumors from the same patient can be used to define the genetic relationships among the multiple coexisting tumors. Experimental Design: We examined 64 separate tumors from 22 female patients who underwent thyroidectomy for thyroid carcinoma. All patients had multiple and separate papillary carcinomas (range, two to six). Genomic DNA samples were prepared from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections using laser-capture microdissection. Loss of heterozygosity assays for three microsatellite polymorphic markers for putative tumor suppressor genes on chromosomes 3p25 (D3S1597), 9p21 (D9S161), and 18p11.22-p11 (D18S53) were done. In addition, X-chromosome inactivation analysis was done on the tumors from all patients. Results: Twenty of 22 (91%) cases showed allelic loss in one or more of the papillary lesions in at least one of the three polymorphic markers analyzed. Concordant allelic loss patterns between coexisting papillary tumors were seen in 20 of 23 (87%) cases. A concordant pattern of nonrandom X-chromosome inactivation in the multiple coexisting papillary lesions was seen in all informative cases. Conclusion: Our data suggest that the multifocal tumors in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma often arise from the same clone. Thus, intrathryoid metastasis may play an important role in the spread of papillary thyroid carcinoma, a finding that has important therapeutic, diagnostic, and prognostic implications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research