Hidenori Inohara is a recipient of the Osaka Cancer Foundation Cancer Research Scholarship Program.
Expression of galectin-3 in fine-needle aspirates as a diagnostic marker differentiating benign from malignant thyroid neoplasms
Article first published online: 19 NOV 2000
Copyright © 1999 American Cancer Society
Volume 85, Issue 11, pages 2475–2484, 1 June 1999
How to Cite
Inohara, H., Honjo, Y., Yoshii, T., Akahani, S., Yoshida, J.-i., Hattori, K., Okamoto, S., Sawada, T., Raz, A. and Kubo, T. (1999), Expression of galectin-3 in fine-needle aspirates as a diagnostic marker differentiating benign from malignant thyroid neoplasms. Cancer, 85: 2475–2484. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0142(19990601)85:11<2475::AID-CNCR25>3.0.CO;2-1
- Issue published online: 19 NOV 2000
- Article first published online: 19 NOV 2000
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 FEB 1999
- Manuscript Revised: 11 JAN 1999
- Manuscript Received: 11 AUG 1998
- Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture. Grant Number: 09771350
- National Cancer Institute. Grant Number: R01CA46120
- fine-needle aspiration
Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside-binding protein that has been reported to be expressed preferentially in thyroid malignancies. The current study was designed to substantiate this finding further and to establish a presurgical diagnostic modality of differentiating between benign and malignant thyroid neoplasms by analyzing galectin-3 expression in fine-needle aspirates.
The expression of galectin-3 was examined immunohistochemically in total of 172 specimens: 45 primary and 20 metastatic papillary carcinomas, 8 primary and 2 metastatic follicular carcinomas, 5 primary and 3 metastatic anaplastic carcinomas, 3 primary medullary carcinomas, 25 follicular adenomas, 3 goiters, and 58 adjacent normal thyroid tissue. Alternatively, epithelial cells were isolated from the fine- needle aspirates of 14 thyroid nodules and subjected to immunoblotting analysis of galectin-3.
Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that all thyroid malignancies of follicular cell origin (including papillary, follicular, and anaplastic carcinomas) showed high and diffuse expression of galectin-3, whereas one of the three medullary carcinomas of parafollicular cell origin displayed weaker and focal expression of galectin-3. In contrast, neither benign thyroid adenomas, goiters, nor normal thyroid tissues expressed galectin-3. Immunoblot analysis of the isolated epithelial cells detected galectin-3 in nine thyroid nodules that were proven histologically to be malignant ( eight papillary carcinomas and one follicular carcinoma) after surgical intervention, whereas galectin-3 was not detected in five nodules proven to be benign follicular adenomas.
Galectin-3 serves as a marker of thyroid malignancy of follicular cell origin. Analysis of galectin-3 expression in fine-needle aspirates enhances the differential diagnostic accuracy between benign and malignant thyroid neoplasms. Cancer 1999;85:2475–84. © 1999 American Cancer Society.