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J Med Assoc Thai. 2006 Sep;89 Suppl 3:S5-12.

RET proto-oncogene expression of papillary thyroid carcinomas in Thai patients.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok 10330, Thailand. trcskl@md2.md.chula.ac.th



Ret proto-oncogene activation has been found in papillary thyroid carcinoma with different frequencies according to geographic location. The rate of expression ranges from 0-100 percent in the literature. This gene expression has also been studied in many Asian countries but it has never been studied in Thailand.


To study the frequency of the RET expression and their roles in predicting prognosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma among Thai patients treated at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.


One hundred and one cases of papillary carcinomas were studied with immunohistochemistry for RET antibodies. All slides with routine staining were reviewed to classify cell variants and record other prognostic parameters such as size, multicentricity, extrathyroid invasion. The clinical data such as age and sex were also included for analyses.


Forty-seven of the total 101 cases (46.5%) showed positive RET protein staining. The mean age among patients with RET negative neoplasms was 43.9 years compared with 39.8 years in RET positive group (p = 0.16). The average size of the tumors without RET expression was 2.5 cm, slightly larger than the RET positive tumors (2.1 cm)(p = 0.26). Extrathyroid invasion of the RET-positive tumors was found to be 33.2 percent while the RET negative neoplasms had 38.8 percent of this feature (p = 1). According to AMES score, the RET positive cases had only 11 percent of high-risk tumors, whereas the RET negative group comprised 23.1 percent of high-risk malignancies (p = 0.20). There was no significant difference in RET expression among cell variants (p = 1).


The study of 101 papillary thyroid carcinomas at the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital disclosed high frequency of RET expression (46.5%) and this is the only data among Thai patients that has ever been documented in the literature. Although, the gene expression in the tumor tends to be associated with good prognostic features but it was not distinct enough to be statistically significant.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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