Correlative Sciences

Liquid Biopsy for Thyroid Cancer – Where we are now and where we are heading

For cancer patients, liquid biopsy is a term that is applied when the fluid in blood, saliva, or urine is used identify tumor cells, tumor DNA, or tumor RNA.  Blood is perhaps the most commonly used source and, in the case of thyroid cancer patients, provides an opportunity to compare with the traditional tumor markers used to monitor patients, such as thyroglobulin or calcitonin. There are several perceived clinical benefits of liquid biopsy.  These include roles in early detection of cancer, molecular diagnosis, prognosis, detection of progression or response to treatment, and finally in... Continue reading

Gene expression analysis may help minimize surgery for thyroid nodules

Alexander and colleagues reported the results of a prospective, multicenter study of 3789 patients who underwent fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of thyroid nodules (New England Journal of Medicine, August 23, 2012).   The goal of FNA is to identify patients who have thyroid cancer and require thyroidectomy.  Unfortunately FNA is not always diagnostic, and some nodules are pathologically indeterminate, meaning that cancer can not be excluded.  Currently many of these patients have thyroid surgery, though the majority of patients with indeterminate results on FNA do not have thyroid cancer. ... Continue reading

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