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Differentiated Thyroid Cancer: Molecular Profiling for NTRK Gene Fusions in Assessing Risk for Recurrence

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, August 30, 2021

According to research on intratumoral heterogeneity, or diversity within a tumor, presented in the Journal of Personalized Medicine, the presence of NTRK fusions may be associated with a high risk for recurrence of differentiated thyroid cancer. Molecular testing suggests a possible relationship between tumor genotype and peculiar phenotype.

“Nowadays, the cancer diagnosis should be assessed by a complex of information regarding clinical, pathological, molecular, and protein expression data of a specific neoplastic proliferation and its surrounding microenvironment,” concluded Giovanni Tuccari, MD, of the University of Messina, Italy, and colleagues. “Such an integrated system has been defined as ‘tissunomics.’”

Because intratumoral heterogeneity affects tumor progression and response to treatment, molecular profiling coupled with genetic alteration analysis may be valuable in identifying disease pathogenesis. Molecular testing revealed an association between the presence of NTRK fusions and a high risk for disease recurrence in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer. This biomolecular mutation was found to be associated with the cPTC/TCV-PTC/FVPTC histotype.

In addition, according to the study authors, the identification of morphology present in differentiated thyroid cancer may unlock the ability to choose a variety of neoplastic portions to be evaluated for molecular heterogeneity, since tumor genotype is thought to be associated with a peculiar phenotype. This may lead to the stratification and targeted treatment of neoplastic subpopulations at different risk levels for metastasis or recurrence. It may also contribute to shorter follow-up for these patients.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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