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American Journal of Surgical Pathology:
Original Articles

RET/PTC Activation in Hyalinizing Trabecular Tumors of the Thyroid

Papotti, Mauro M.D.; Volante, Marco M.D.; Giuliano, Ada Ph.D.; Fassina, Ambrogio M.D.; Fusco, Alfredo M.D.; Bussolati, Gianni M.D., F.R.C.Path.; Santoro, Massimo M.D.; Chiappetta, Gennaro Ph.D.

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Abstract

Hyalinizing trabecular tumor (HTT) of the thyroid is a neoplasm of follicular derivation with a histogenesis that is still the subject of debate. Morphologic affinities between HTT and papillary carcinoma, including nuclear pseudoinclusions and grooves, suggest that these tumors may be of similar origin. The authors investigated the relationship between these two types of tumors by assessing HTT for the presence of rearrangements of the proto-oncogene rearranged during transfection (RET) that, in thyroid tumors, are specific for papillary carcinoma. A series of 14 HTTs, including two cases associated with classic papillary carcinoma, was studied by means of immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. Seven follicular adenomas with focal hyalinized trabecular areas served as control cases. Three of the 14 HTT cases under consideration displayed rearrangements of RET generating the RET/papillary thyroid carcinoma type 1 (PTC1) oncogene. In another case, RET expression was detected focally by immunohistochemistry alone. Finally, in one mixed HTT–papillary carcinoma sample, RET/PTC1 expression was detected, but only in the papillary component. None of the control follicular adenomas contained rearrangements of RET/PTC. These findings demonstrate that a comparable percentage (28.6%) of HTTs and papillary carcinomas exhibit the same RET proto-oncogene alterations. Thus, HTT may represent the “hyalinizing trabecular” variant of papillary carcinoma rather than a separate entity.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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