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Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia

On-line version ISSN 1677-9487


PUXEDDU, Efisio  and  MORETTI, Sonia. Clinical prognosis in BRAF-mutated PTC. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab [online]. 2007, vol.51, n.5, pp.736-747. ISSN 1677-9487.

BRAF mutation has recently emerged as a potential prognostic marker for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) due to several studies suggesting that it may condition the development of tumors with aggressive behavior. A study of the phenotypes of thyroid follicular cell lines and transgenic mice characterized by targeted expression of BRAF mutation indicates that, at variance with RET/PTC rearrangement, it induces or facilitates genomic instability and higher invasiveness and eventually deeper tumor de-differentiation and more significant suppression of apoptosis. An analysis of differential gene expression of PTCs harboring BRAF mutation versus PTCs characterized by other genetic alterations shows an important impairment of the expression of genes related to intra-thyroidal iodine metabolism machinery, up-regulation of Glut-1 mRNA, methylation-induced gene silencing of tumor suppressor genes and up-regulation of pro-angiogenetic proteins such as VEGF. Correlation of BRAF mutation with PTC clinico-pathological features yields controversial results, with several studies showing the association with unfavourable clinico-pathological qualities, while others do not confirm the findings. This review will summarize the studies in favor of or in contrast with a role of BRAF mutation as a prognostic marker in PTC. We will also indicate what information we still need in order to routinely introduce this indicator in clinical practice.

Keywords : BRAF mutation; Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Prognostic stratification; Prognostic marker; Iodine metabolism; 131I ablative treatment.

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