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Am J Clin Pathol. 2006 Mar;125(3):399-406.

Coexistent anaplastic and differentiated thyroid carcinoma: an immunohistochemical study.

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Central Laboratory for Clinical Investigation, Miyazaki University Hospital, Japan.


The aim of the present study was to clarify the underlying molecules that might contribute to the highly aggressive behavior of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. We selected 5 cases of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma that had a differentiated area to determine differences in the molecules of undifferentiated and differentiated cancer cells. We immunohistochemically examined the localization of nuclear antigen (Ki-67), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), p53, apoptotic protease-activating factor-1 (Apaf-1), CD26, galectin-3, E-cadherin, and CD147. We found increased Ki-67, PCNA, and p53 labeling indices; decreased levels of Apaf-1, CD26, galectin-3, and E-cadherin; and overexpression of CD147 in the undifferentiated area compared with the differentiated area. These findings indicate high proliferative properties, suppression of apoptosis, disruption of cell-cell interaction, and induction of matrix metalloproteinases in the undifferentiated areas. Thus the molecules examined might be useful for evaluating the aggressive nature of this tumor and the prognosis.

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