Distinguishing thyroid follicular adenoma from minimally invasive or encapsulated angioinvasive carcinoma can be diagnostically challenging. In some cases, tumors are distorted, fragmented, or stripped of their capsule, and a definitive diagnosis becomes nearly impossible. In other cases, the foci of capsular and/or vascular invasion are subtle, thus making the diagnosis of carcinoma difficult. We developed a microdissection genotyping assay for assessing a panel of tumor-suppressor genes for loss of heterozygosity mutations. The frequency of allelic loss (FAL) in follicular-derived neoplasms correlates with the histologic aggressiveness of the tumor. Furthermore, we calculated the amount of genetic heterogeneity within each tumor, as a second important measure of a tumor's ability for clonal expansion and a surrogate marker for its malignant potential. The follicular adenomas had a low FAL (average 9%) and low intratumoral heterogeneity (5% variability). The minimally invasive and encapsulated angioinvasive carcinomas had an intermediate FAL (average 30%) and intermediate intratumoral heterogeneity (10% variability). The widely invasive carcinomas had a high FAL (average 53%) and high intratumoral heterogeneity (24% variability). Although a larger retrospective study is needed to correlate genotyping studies with patient outcome and prognosis, our results indicate that performing a mutational genotyping assay can stratify tumors into the histologically well-defined categories of adenomas, minimally invasive/angioinvasive carcinomas, and widely invasive follicular carcinomas.
- Follicular carcinoma
- Loss of heterozygosity
- Minimally invasive follicular carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine