Papillary microcarcinomas of the thyroid gland and immunohistochemical analysis of expression of p53 protein in papillary microcarcinomasReport as inadecuate




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Journal of Translational Medicine

, 4:28

First Online: 05 July 2006Received: 02 March 2006Accepted: 05 July 2006DOI: 10.1186-1479-5876-4-28

Cite this article as: Corapcioglu, D., Sak, S.D., Delibasi, T. et al. J Transl Med 2006 4: 28. doi:10.1186-1479-5876-4-28

Abstract

BackgroundThyroid papillary microcarcinoma TPM is defined according to WHO criteria as a thyroid tumor smaller than 1–1.5 cm. TPMs are encountered in 0.5–35.6 % of autopsies or surgical specimens where carcinoma had been unsuspected. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate patients who had TPMs in terms of clinical findings, histopathological features and immunohistochemical evidence of expression of the tumor suppressor gene p53.

MethodsA total of 44 patients with TPMs less than 1.0 cm in diameter were included in the study. The patients were evaluated clinically and the tumors were evaluated in terms of their histopathological and immunohistochemical features, including expression of p53.

ResultsThe female-male ratio was 2.8-1, and the median age at time of diagnosis was 49 years range 20–71 years. The maximum diameter of the smallest focus was 0.1 mm, and that of the largest was 10 mm microscopically. The mean diameter of all tumors was 5.7 mm. There was no correlation between tumor size and age or gender. Of the TPMs, 72 % were found in the right lobe, 24 % in the left lobe and 4 % in the isthmus. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy provided the diagnosis of TPM in only 43.2 % of the patients. All patients were treated with surgery, with 20 undergoing conservative surgery, i.e. lobectomy or isthmusectomy, and 24 undergoing total thyroidectomy. Frozen section provided the diagnosis of TPM in only 56.8 % of the patients. We found lymphocytic thyroiditis in 13.6% of patients, follicular variants in 11.9%, capsular invasion in 26.8%, lymph node involvement in 11.9%, soft tissue metastases in the neck in 12.1% and multifocality in 31.7 %, and none of these were related to age or gender p > 0.05. No distant metastases were observed during approximately 10 years of follow up. We found p53 positivity in 34.5 % of TPM tumors. However, p53 expression was not statistically related to age or gender.

ConclusionOur findings imply that TPMs may not be entirely innocent since they are associated with signs of poor prognosis such as capsular invasion, multifocal presentation, lymph node involvement and p53 positivity. Therefore, TPMs should be evaluated and followed like classical papillary cancers.

Demet Corapcioglu, Serpil D Sak, Tuncay Delibasi, Vedia Tonyukuk, Nuri Kamel, Ali R Uysal, Savas Kocak, Semih Aydintug and Gurbuz Erdogan contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Demet Corapcioglu - Serpil D Sak - Tuncay Delibasi - Vedia Tonyukuk - Nuri Kamel - Ali R Uysal - Savas Kocak - Semih Ayd

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