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PLoS Curr. 2013 Feb 11;5. pii: ecurrents.eogt.e557cbb5c7e4f66568ce582a373057e7. doi: 10.1371/currents.eogt.e557cbb5c7e4f66568ce582a373057e7.

Use of the afirma® gene expression classifier for preoperative identification of benign thyroid nodules with indeterminate fine needle aspiration cytopathology.

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1
Professor of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Abstract

Ruling out malignancy in thyroid nodules historically depended on thyroid resection and histopathological evaluation until fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy was introduced into the United States in the 1970's. Thyroid FNA biopsy identified a majority of thyroid nodules as benign, obviating the need for surgery in over half of the patients. However, 15%-30% of thyroid FNAs have indeterminate cytology that still requires operation, even though most of these operated nodules prove to be benign post-operatively. In order to predict which cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules are benign and to potentially avoid surgery on these nodules, a recently described commercially available Gene Expression Classifier (GEC) test (Afirma®, Veracyte, Inc., South San Francisco, CA) has been developed that can be run on the FNA sample. This paper reviews the published literature and technology assessments/guidelines by independent parties and professional groups regarding the clinical utility as well as the analytic and clinical validity of the Afirma GEC.

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