Both external and internal exposure to ionizing radiation are strong risk factors for the development of thyroid tumors. Until now, the diagnosis of radiation-induced thyroid tumors has been deduced from a network of arguments taken together with the individual history of radiation exposure. Neither the histological features nor the genetic alterations observed in these tumors have been shown to be specific fingerprints of an exposure to radiation. The aim of our work is to define ionizing radiation-related molecular specificities in a series of secondary thyroid tumors developed in the radiation field of patients treated by radiotherapy. To identify molecular markers that could represent a radiation-induction signature, we compared 25K microarray transcriptome profiles of a learning set of 28 thyroid tumors, which comprised 14 follicular thyroid adenomas (FTA) and 14 papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC), either sporadic or consecutive to external radiotherapy in childhood. We identified a signature composed of 322 genes which discriminates radiation-induced tumors (FTA and PTC) from their sporadic counterparts. The robustness of this signature was further confirmed by blind case-by-case classification of an independent set of 29 tumors (16 FTA and 13 PTC). After the histology code break by the clinicians, 26/29 tumors were well classified regarding tumor etiology, 1 was undetermined, and 2 were misclassified. Our results help shed light on radiation-induced thyroid carcinogenesis, since specific molecular pathways are deregulated in radiation-induced tumors.
Catherine Ory, Nicolas Ugolin, Céline Levalois, Ludovic Lacroix, Bernard Caillou, Jean-Michel Bidart, Martin Schlumberger, Ibrahima Diallo, Florent de Vathaire, Paul Hofman, José Santini, Bernard Malfoy and Sylvie Chevillard
Monia Zidane, Jean-Baptiste Cazier, Sylvie Chevillard, Catherine Ory, Martin Schlumberger, Corinne Dupuy, Jean-François Deleuze, Anne Boland, Nadia Haddy, Fabienne Lesueur and Florent de Vathaire
The first study establishing exposure to ionizing radiations (IRs) as a risk factor for differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) was published 70 years ago. Given that radiation exposure causes direct DNA damage, genetic alterations in the different DNA repair mechanisms are assumed to play an important role in long-term IR-induced DNA damage prevention. Individual variations in DNA repair capacity may cause different reactions to damage made by IR exposure. The aim of this review is to recapitulate current knowledge about constitutional genetic polymorphisms found to be significantly associated with DTC occurring after IR exposure. Studies were screened online using electronic databases – only fully available articles, and studies performed among irradiated population or taking radiation exposure as adjustment factors and showing significant results are included. Nine articles were identified. Ten variants in/near to genes in six biological pathways, namely thyroid activity regulations, generic transcription, RET signaling, ATM signaling and DNA repair pathways were found to be associated with radiation-related DTC in these studies. Only seven variants were found to be in interaction with IR exposure in DTC risk. Most of these variants are also associated to sporadic DTC and are not specific to IR-related DTC. In the published studies, no data on children treated with radiotherapy is described. In conclusion, more studies carried out on larger cohorts or on case–control studies with well-documented individual radiation dose estimations are needed to get a comprehensive picture of genetic susceptibility factors involved in radiation-related DTC.