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Study Identifies Benefits of Testing for NTRK Fusions in Thyroid Cancers

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2021

According to findings presented in the journal Cancers, testing for NTRK fusions may establish a diagnosis in patients with thyroid cancer. They may also offer insight on the extent of surgery needed, specify prognosis, and develop personalized treatments. NTRK fusions were associated with the follicular growth pattern of thyroid cancer, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, and a high rate of lymph node metastases, concluded Bela Bendlova, PhD, of the Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, and colleagues.

“We reported that the size of the tumor, positivity for NTRK3 or NTRK1 fusion, the presence of metastases, and late mutation events may provide prognostic information for patient outcomes,” the authors said.

In this study, the authors used a cohort of 989 samples of thyroid cancer. Samples positive for BRAF, HRAS, KRAS, NRAS, RET, RET/PTC, or PAX8/PPARγ mutations were excluded from the analysis. A total of 259 cases, including 126 cases, underwent NTRK testing using next-generation sequencing.

The authors detected NTRK fusions in 57 of 846 samples of papillary thyroid carcinomas (6.7%) and in 2 of 10 poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas. In total, eight types of NTRK fusions were found: ETV6/NTRK3, EML4/NTRK3, RBPMS/NTRK3, SQSTM1/NTRK3, TPM3/NTRK1, IRF2BP2/NTRK1, SQSTM1/NTRK1, and TPR/NTRK1.

NTRK1-rearranged carcinomas demonstrated a higher frequency of multifocality and aggressivity than NTRK3-rearrange carcinomas, the authors noted. Additionally, tumor size, the presence of metastases, positivity for the NTRK3 or NTKR1 fusion, and a late mutation event were determined to be factors potentially affecting a patient’s prognosis.

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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