RET@Thirty: Three Decades of Remarkable Progress


Endocrine-Related Cancer RET at Thirty special collection banner


The RET@Thirty collection aims to celebrate and explore the astonishing accumulation of knowledge about RET since its discovery in 1993. In a series of mini reviews, scientists and clinicians involved in the discovery of the gene and subsequent expansion of our understanding of the role of RET, will look at the current science and its impact on clinical management of patients with endocrine and other manifestations of RET mutations.

These mini reviews aim to address the many multifaceted aspects of RET and its transforming impact on clinical practice in endocrinology, surgery, oncology and other medical specialties.

Molecular aspects of RET will be discussed in 3 separate contributions covering its structure, signalling and biology with the aim of highlighting the current stage of scientific knowledge and potential roles of RET in human biology.

Clinical implications of RET mutations will be the subject of several contributions addressing indications for genetic testing and interpretation of its results, cellular mechanisms of RET dysfunction in cancer cells and the diverse roles of RET in pituitary gland and nonendocrine tissue. Diagnosis and therapeutic implications of genotype / phenotype correlations in patients with MEN2 syndrome and their impact on timing and extent of thyroid, adrenal and parathyroid surgery will be reviewed. Patient’s perspectives on living with RET mutation will be explored in mini review written together by patients and their doctors.

Novel cancer therapies targeting RET point and fusions mutations will be addressed by 2 separate mini reviews alongside special article on mechanisms of resistance to these treatments, its diagnosis and prevention.

This collection is open for the submission of original research articles that complement the topic. If you would like to submit your article to be considered for publication in RET@Thirty, please email us with your proposed title and submission date to


Collection Editors


Photograph of Tom Kurzawinski

Tom Kurzawinski, Great Ormond Street Hospitals for Sick Children, London, UK

Tom R Kurzawinski is a Consultant Endocrine Surgeon with a unique expertise in treating children and adults with endocrine conditions affecting thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands. He is a Head of Endocrine Surgery at the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Honorary Consultant Surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospitals for Sick Children and Honorary Associated Professor at University College in London, UK. He is also a Director of Ultrafast Hormones, which aim is to improve outcomes for endocrine surgery through innovative research.

Tom has established the Centre for Endocrine Surgery at UCLH and GOSH and is a keen promotor of innovative technologies. He is an author of many articles in peer reviewed medical journals, book chapters and frequent contributor to national and international Guidelines. His research interests are varied and include, among others, clinical and molecular aspects of RET mutations, novel functional imaging for Primary Hyperaldosteronism and development of new Point of Care devices able to measure calcium and PTH in a drop of blood quickly and accurately.


Photograph of Neil McDonald

Neil McDonald, The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK

Neil McDonald is a Principal Group Leader heading the Signalling and Structural Biology Laboratory at The Francis Crick Institute. He is also a Professor of Structural Biology in the School of Natural Sciences at Birkbeck College, London. He studied for his PhD at Birkbeck College and did his postdoctoral work at Columbia University as a Markey Scholar. He returned to the UK to establish a Structural Biology Laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London that became the London Research Institute of Cancer Research UK. In 2016 he moved to join the Francis Crick Institute in a merger with the National Institute of Medical Research.

His discovery-based research program aims to understand the control mechanisms for protein kinases in human disease, specifically investigating neurotrophic receptors and polarity kinase assemblies. His laboratory has pursued an interdisciplinary approach combining biophysical and biochemical methods, chemical biology and structural biology to study a variety of macromolecular signalling complexes. In parallel, Neil has pursued translational opportunities by contributing to two successful academic drug discovery programs. One funded by Cancer Research UK gave a lead series against a target for basal cell carcinoma partnered with VarianBio, while a second programme supported by the Wellcome Trust generated a lead compound protective against blood pressure collapse from sepsis.


Photograph of Kate Newbold

Kate Newbold, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK

Dr Kate Newbold is a consultant clinical oncologist at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London, UK. She specialises in the medical management of thyroid and head & neck cancers with expertise in radioiodine, external beam radiotherapy and systemic therapies including cytotoxic, targeted and immuno-therapies. She leads the Thyroid Cancer Unit which has a large, advanced disease practice receiving referrals from around the UK and internationally.

She is a Reader at the Institute of Cancer Research and has particular research interests in molecular profiling of thyroid cancer and circulating tumour DNA, novel systemic therapies for advanced thyroid cancers and dosimetric approaches to treatment with radioiodine.

Dr Newbold is a member of the UK National Cancer Research Institute Thyroid cancer committee; member and co-Chair of protocol committee of International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG). She has been an active committee member for multiple national and international guidelines for the management of thyroid cancer including ATA, EORTC, ESMO, ETA and BTA.