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Med Sci Monit. 2011 Sep;17(9):BR257-65.

Eph-A2 and Eph-A4 expression in human benign and malignant thyroid lesions: an immunohistochemical study.

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1
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ephrin receptors (Ephs) are frequently overexpressed in a wide variety of human malignant tumors, being associated with tumor growth, invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical significance of Eph-A2 and Eph-A4 expression in human benign and malignant thyroid lesions.

MATERIAL/METHODS:

Eph-A2 and Eph-A4 protein expression was assessed immunohistochemically on paraffin-embedded thyroid tissues from 131 patients with benign and malignant lesions.

RESULTS:

Eph-A2 was significantly overexpressed in malignant compared to benign thyroid lesions (p<0.001). Papillary carcinoma cases presented significantly increased Eph-A2 expression compared to those with hyperplasia nodules (p<0.001). Eph-A4 expression was not differentiated between cases with malignant or benign thyroid lesions. Papillary carcinoma cases presented significantly increased Eph-A4 expression compared to those with hyperplasia nodules (p=0.006). In the subgroup of malignant thyroid lesions, Eph-A2 and Eph-A4 expression was not associated with TNM stage, capsular, lymphatic or vascular invasion.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present data suggest that Eph-A2, but not Eph-A4, overexpression may be associated with the malignant transformation of thyroid neoplasia. Further studies conducted on cohorts including a higher proportion of patients with advanced nodal and metastatic disease are recommended to draw definite conclusions on the clinical significance of Eph proteins in thyroid neoplasia.

PMID:
21873938
PMCID:
PMC3560523
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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