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Hormones (Athens). 2009 Jan-Mar;8(1):23-8.

Genotype-phenotype relationship in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2. Implications for clinical management.

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Endocrine practice, Heidelberg, Germany.


Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2) is an autosomal dominant tumour syndrome caused by germline activating mutations of the RET proto-oncogene. It has a strong penetrance of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and can be associated with bilateral pheochromocytoma and primary hyperparathyroidism (MEN2A) within a single patient or family. Based on the phenotype three distinct clinical forms have been described: (1) classical MEN2A, (2) MEN2B, an association of MTC, pheochromocytoma and mucosal neuroma and (3) familial MTC (FMTC), which is associated with a very low incidence of other endocrinopathies. Each variant of MEN2 results from a different RET gene mutation, with a good genotype-phenotype correlation with regard to aggressiveness of MTC, time of onset of MTC and the presence or absence of other endocrine tumours. Recommendations on the timing of prophylactic thyroidectomy and extent of surgery are based on a classification of RET mutations into three risk levels using the genotype-phenotype correlations. MEN2 provides a unique model for early prevention and cure of cancer and for stratified roles of mutation-based diagnosis of carriers.

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