Article Abstract

Is new American Thyroid Association risk classification for hereditary medullary thyroid carcinoma applicable to Chinese patients? A single-center study

Authors: Xiwei Zhang, Dangui Yan, Junyi Wang, Hanfeng Wan, Yongxia Zhang, Yabing Zhang, Yuqin He, Wensheng Liu, Bin Zhang


Objective: The American Thyroid Association (ATA) proposed a new risk classification for hereditary medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in 2015. This study aimed to assess whether the new guidelines are suitable for the Chinese population, and reported our experience on prophylactic thyroidectomy.
Methods: A total of 73 patients from 22 families were screened as rearranged during transfection (RET) mutation carriers from 2010 to 2016 in Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science; the medical history for each patient was collected. Based on the initial treatment, we identified the risk factors for poor prognosis by univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Then, 4 RET mutation carriers were enrolled for prophylactic thyroidectomy, and their pathological data and follow-up outcomes were recorded.
Results: In univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses, age at initial surgery and risk classification were significant risk factors for stage III/IV hereditary MTC at initial diagnosis. The likelihood was increased by 11.6% per year of age at initial surgery [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.040–1.198; P=0.002). It was 7.888 times more likely to have III/IV stage disease for ATA highest risk patients, compared to ATA moderate risk individuals (95% CI, 1.607–38.717; P=0.003). Postoperative pathological results showed all 4 multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN2A) patients had C-cell hyperplasia (CCH); multifocal malignancies were detected in 3 of them. All 4 patients were cured biochemically, and none developed permanent hypoparathyroidism.
Conclusions: In Chinese individuals, hereditary MTC aggressiveness is in line with the new ATA risk classification. Germline RET gene mutation carriers should undergo prophylactic thyroidectomy according to basal serum calcitonin levels.

Keywords: Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC); rearranged during transfection (RET); genotype-phenotype correlation; multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2); prophylactic thyroidectomy