Objectives: Minichromosome maintenance protein 2 (Mcm-2) is essential for DNA replication and serves as a useful biomarker of cell-cycle state in human tissue samples. Ki-67 is an established proliferation marker. Because Mcm-2 expression has not previously been assessed in thyroid tissue, the aim of this study was to assess the expression of both proteins in a range of thyroid lesions to determine their potential value as preoperative markers of thyroid malignancy.
Methods: Mcm-2 and Ki-67 protein expression were assessed by immunohistochemistry in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded thyroid tissues from 128 patients with histologic diagnoses of papillary carcinoma (n = 38), follicular carcinoma (n = 22), follicular adenoma (n = 33), and dominant nodules of multinodular goitre (n = 35).
Results: Mcm-2 and Ki-67-labeling indices (LIs) were both higher in follicular and papillary carcinomas than in follicular adenomas or dominant nodules. The Ki-67 LI discriminated better between follicular carcinomas and follicular adenomas (P < .0001) than Mcm-2 (P = .0273). However, the Mcm-2 and Ki-67 LIs overlapped widely between the four histologic groups, and the expression of these proteins was also noted to be heterogenous within these lesions.
Conclusion: Neither Mcm-2 or Ki-67 can currently be reliably applied as preoperative markers to distinguish benign from malignant thyroid lesions.