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Keywords:

  • PTC;
  • low-risk thyroid carcinoma;
  • recurrence;
  • BRAF mutation;
  • predictive

Pelttari H, Schalin-Jäntti C, Arola J, Löyttyniemi E, Knuutila S, Välimäki MJ. BRAF V600E mutation does not predict recurrence after long-term follow-up in TNM stage I or II papillary thyroid carcinoma patients. APMIS 2012; 120: 380–6.

The BRAF V600E mutation may serve as a marker of disease recurrence in well-differentiated papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Our aim was to study if TNM stage I or II PTC patients, with and without recurrence after long-term follow-up would differ in BRAF status. BRAF status was retrospectively determined in tumour tissue from a cohort of low-risk PTC patients (n = 461) with and without recurrence after 16 years of follow-up. Initial treatment was total thyroidectomy (TTE) and radioiodine remnant ablation (RRA). Forty-six patients (9.9%) experienced disease recurrence. BRAF mutation was positive in 66% (17/26) of patients with and 68% (17/25) without recurrence (p = NS). Fifty per cent of BRAF positive and 53% of BRAF negative patients experienced disease recurrence (p = NS). Time to recurrence was 52 (range 18–144) and 36 (range 16–71) months, respectively (p = NS). Primary tumour size, nodal metastasis and local infiltration at presentation did not differ between BRAF positive and negative patients (2.0 vs 2.2 cm, 21% vs 35% and 6% vs 12%, respectively, all p = NS). Taken together, BRAF V600E is common in Finnish patients with low-risk PTC but does not predict recurrence after long-term follow-up after initial treatment with TTE and RRA.