Family history of cancer and risk of sporadic differentiated thyroid carcinoma

Authors

  • Li Xu PhD,

    1. Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Guojun Li MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    2. Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Qingyi Wei MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Adel K. El-Naggar MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Erich M. Sturgis MD, MPH

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    2. Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    • Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Unit 1445, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030
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    • Fax: 713-794-4662


  • We thank Margaret Lung, Kathyrn Patterson, Liliana Mugartegui, and Jenny Vo for their help with subject recruitment and Stephanie Deming for manuscript editing.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Thyroid cancer incidence in the United States, particularly in women, has increased dramatically since the 1980s. Although the causes of thyroid cancer in most patients remain largely unknown, evidence suggests the existence of an inherited predisposition to development of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). Therefore, the authors explored the association between sporadic DTC and family history of cancer.

METHODS:

In a retrospective hospital-based case-control study of prospectively recruited subjects who completed the study questionnaire upon enrollment, unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as estimates of the DTC risk associated with first-degree family history of cancer.

RESULTS:

The study included 288 patients with sporadic DTC and 591 cancer-free controls. Family history of thyroid cancer in first-degree relatives was associated with increased DTC risk (adjusted OR, 4.1; 95% CI, 1.7-9.9). All DTC cases in patients with a first-degree family history of thyroid cancer were cases of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) (adjusted OR, 4.6; 95% CI, 1.9-11.1). Notably, the risk of PTC was highest in subjects with a family history of thyroid cancer in siblings (OR, 7.4; 95% CI, 1.8-30.4). In addition, multifocal primary tumor was more common among PTC patients with first-degree family history of thyroid cancer than among PTC patients with no first-degree family history of thyroid cancer (68.8% vs 35.5%, P = .01).

CONCLUSIONS:

The study suggests that family history of thyroid cancer in first-degree relatives, particularly in siblings, is associated with an increased risk of sporadic PTC. Cancer 2012;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.

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