High prevalence of exon 8 G533C mutation in apparently sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma in Greece

Authors


Correspondence: Helen-Leda Sarika, D.E.A., 7 Nireos Str, P. Phaliron, Athens 17561, Greece. Tel.: 0030 210 98 15 222; Fax: 0030 210 98 15 222;E-mail: ledasarika@gmail.com

Summary

Objective

Genetic screening for ret mutation has become routine practice in the evaluation of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Approximately 25% of these tumours are familial, and they occur as components of the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 syndromes (MEN 2A and 2B) or familial MTC. In familial cases, the majority of mutations are found in exons 10, 11, 13, 14 or 15 of the ret gene. A rare mutation involving exon 8 (G533C) has recently been reported in familial cases of MTC in Brazil and Greece; some of these cases were originally thought to be sporadic. The aim of this study was to re-evaluate a series of sporadic cases of MTC, with negative family history, and screen them for germline mutations in exon 8.

Design and patients

Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral lymphocytes in 129 unrelated individuals who had previously been characterized as ‘sporadic’ based on the negative family history and negative screening for ret gene mutations. Samples were analysed in Applied Biosystems 7500 real-time PCR and confirmed by sequencing.

Measurements and results

The G533C exon 8 mutation was identified in 10 of 129 patients with sporadic MTC. Asymptomatic gene carriers were subsequently identified in other family members.

Conclusion

In our study, we found that 7·75% patients with apparently sporadic MTC do carry G533C mutation involving exon 8 of ret. We feel that there is now a need to include exon 8 mutation screening in all patients diagnosed as sporadic MTC, in Greece.

Ancillary