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Galectin-3 and CD44v6 as Markers for Preoperative Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer by RT-PCR

Šamija, Ivan PhD; Mateša, Neven MD, PhD; Lukač, Josip PhD; Kusić, Zvonko MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PDM.0b013e31821a59f1
Original Articles
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The aim of the study was to determine the diagnostic value of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of galectin-3 and CD44v6 as markers for preoperative diagnosis of malignancy in lesions of the thyroid. RT-PCR analysis of galectin-3 and CD44v6 expression was performed on RNA isolated from fine-needle aspirates of thyroid lesions from 428 patients. The results were evaluated against the postoperative histopathological diagnosis or definitive cytological diagnosis in cases of nodular goiter and Hashimoto thyroiditis. A total of 57 (13%) samples were inadequate for RT-PCR. Galectin-3 and CD44v6 were positive in 167 (45%) and 158 (43%) out of 371 adequate samples, respectively. Galectin-3 and CD44v6 were positive in 56 (86%) and 54 (83%) out of 65 papillary carcinomas, in 16 (29%) and 18 (32%) out of 56 Hashimoto's thyroiditis, in 61 (34%) and 52 (29%) out of 181 nodular goiters, in 23 (43%) and 23 (43%) out of 53 follicular adenomas, in 3 (100%) and 3 (100%) out of 3 follicular carcinomas, and in 8 (62%) and 8 (62%) out of 13 Hurthle cell adenomas, respectively. Specificity, sensitivity, and positive and negative predictive values in discriminating between malignant and benign thyroid nodules were 64, 87, and 35 and 96% for galectin-3; 67, 84, and 36 and 95% for CD44v6; and 79, 82, and 47 and 95% for the analysis of both markers (considered positive only if both galectin-3 and CD44v6 were positive), respectively. Owing to relatively low specificity, the clinical value of galectin-3 and CD44v6 analysis by RT-PCR as a marker for preoperative diagnosis of malignancy in thyroid lesions is limited.

Department of Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital “Sestre milosrdnice”, Zagreb, Croatia

This work was supported by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (research grants 0134-1342428-2427 and 134-1342428-2430).

Reprints: Ivan Samija, PhD, Department of Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital “Sestre milosrdnice”, Vinogradska cesta 29, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia (e-mail: isamija@kbsm.hr).

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.