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J Clin Invest. 1992 May;89(5):1517-22.

Ret oncogene activation in human thyroid neoplasms is restricted to the papillary cancer subtype.

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  • 1Centro di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia, Sperimentale del CNR, Facolt√† di Medicina e Chirurgia, Universit√† di Napoli, Italy.


We have recently reported the activation of a new oncogene in human papillary thyroid carcinomas. This oncogene, papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), is a novel rearranged version of the ret tyrosine-kinase protooncogene. Thyroid neoplasms include a broad spectrum of malignant tumors, ranging from well-differentiated tumors to undifferentiated anaplastic carcinomas. To determine the frequency of ret oncogene activation, we analyzed 286 cases of human thyroid tumors of diverse histologic types. We found the presence of an activated form of the ret oncogene in 33 (19%) of 177 papillary carcinomas. By contrast, none of the other 109 thyroid tumors, which included 37 follicular, 15 anaplastic, and 18 medullary carcinomas, and 34 benign lesions, showed ret activation.

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