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Tung Hoang, Quy Nguyen Ngoc, Jeonghee Lee, Eun Kyung Lee, Yul Hwangbo, and Jeongseon Kim

The cumulative effect of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on thyroid cancer has been adequately defined in individuals of European ancestry; however, similar evidence in the Korean population is limited. This study aimed to investigate the influence of modifiable factors and the polygenic risk score (PRS) and their interactive and combined effects on thyroid cancer. Using data from the Cancer Screenee Cohort, this study included 759 thyroid cancer cases and 759 age- and sex-matched controls. We examined the effects of tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, and regular exercise habits, body mass index (BMI), and the PRS of 6 SNPs on thyroid cancer. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations were obtained using a conditional logistic regression model. The results indicated that family history, obesity, and the unweighted and weighted PRS were independently associated with susceptibility to thyroid cancer, with ORs (95% CIs) of 2.96 (1.63-5.36), 1.72 (1.20-2.48), 1.46 (1.10-1.93), and 1.56 (1.19-2.03), respectively, whereas the effect of smoking, drinking, and regular exercise was not significant. The contribution of the PRS remained after stratifying participants with healthy behaviours, such as nonsmokers/nondrinkers, and regular exercise. Although the PRS did not significantly contribute to the risk for thyroid cancer when participants were stratified according to BMI, BMI and the PRS had a cumulative effect on thyroid cancer risk. The combined effect of genetic polymorphisms on predisposition to thyroid cancer may differ based on tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, regular exercise behaviours and cumulative BMI. Larger population-based studies are needed to validate these findings.

Open access

Sung Gwe Ahn, Chang Ik Yoon, Jae Hoon Lee, Hye Sun Lee, So Eun Park, Yoon Jin Cha, Chihwan Cha, Soong June Bae, Kyung-A Lee, and Joon Jeong

On the basis of TP53 mutations and standardized uptake values (SUVs) from 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG-PET), we sought to enhance our knowledge of the biology underlying low progesterone receptor (PR) expression in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)-negative tumors. This study included 272 patients surgically treated for ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer and who had undergone TP53 gene sequencing. Of these, 229 patients also underwent 18F-FDG PET or PET/CT. Mutational analysis of exons 5–9 of the TP53 gene was conducted using PCR amplification and direct sequencing. The SUVs were measured using 18F-FDG-PET scan images. Twenty-eight (10.3%) tumors had a somatic TP53 mutation. The TP53 mutation rate was significantly higher in low-PR tumors than in high-PR tumors (17.1% vs 7.9%, P = 0.039). Low-PR tumors had significantly higher median SUVs than high-PR tumors (P = 0.046). The multivariable analysis revealed that SUV and age remained independent variables associated with low PR expression. An adverse impact of low PR expression on recurrence-free survival was observed in the multivariable Cox regression hazard model. We provide clinical evidence that genetic alteration of the TP53 gene and dysregulated glucose metabolism partly involve low PR expression in ER-positive and HER2-negative breast cancer.

Free access

Gahee Park, Tae Hyuk Kim, Hae-Ock Lee, Jung Ah Lim, Jae-Kyung Won, Hye Sook Min, Kyu Eun Lee, Do Joon Park, Young Joo Park, and Woong-Yang Park

The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene is frequently rearranged in various types of cancer and is highly responsive to targeted therapeutics. We developed a system to detect rearrangement of ALK in a large group of Korean thyroid cancer patients. We screened 474 malignant or benign thyroid tumor cases to identify ALK fusions. Expression and translocation of the ALK gene were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and digital multiplexed gene expression (DMGE) analysis in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. Four cases of rearrangement of ALK were detected by IHC, and these cases were validated with FISH on 189 samples. On the other hand, DMGE analysis using Nanostring detected three out of four IHC-positive cases. Two rearrangements of ALK were striatin (STRN)–ALK fusions, which were identified by 5′ RACE analysis. Rearrangements of ALK were found exclusively in v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (BRAF) WT papillary carcinomas. Given the wide availability and accuracy of IHC for detecting ectopic expression of ALK in the thyroid, we suggest that IHC-based screening can be a practical method for identifying patients with ALK rearrangements in differentiated thyroid cancer.

Free access

Seog Yun Park, Yuh-S Jung, Chang Hwan Ryu, Chang Yoon Lee, You Jin Lee, Eun Kyung Lee, Seok-Ki Kim, Tae Sung Kim, Tae Hyun Kim, Jeyun Jang, Daeyoon Park, Seung Myung Dong, Jae-Goo Kang, Jin Soo Lee, and Junsun Ryu

We undertook this study to estimate an accurate incidence and spread patterns of occult papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) in patients with a preoperative diagnosis of solitary PTC by using whole-specimen mapping of all specimens after a total thyroidectomy. Enrolled prospectively in this whole-thyroid mapping study are 82 consecutive patients who underwent a total thyroidectomy under a preoperative diagnosis of solitary PTC. All thyroidectomy specimens were serially sectioned in 2 mm thickness and whole-thyroid mapping was carried out for additional foci of occult PTC. The frequencies of occult lesions detected in the whole and contralateral lobe were determined, and clinicopathologic factors associated with multifocality were assessed. Whole-thyroid mapping revealed 66 occult PTC lesions missed by preoperative ultrasound in 37 (45.1%) of the 82 patients. The great majority (92.5%) of the occult PTC was smaller than 3 mm in size and 25 patients (30.5%) had contralateral lesions. We found that the male sex was an independent predictor of multifocality (odds ratio (OR), 3.00; 95% CI, 1.11–8.14), adjusting for preoperative findings. Analysis with pathologic parameters showed that the male sex (OR, 5.03; 95% CI, 1.68–15.08) and extrathyroidal extensions (OR, 3.03; 95% CI, 1.03–8.95) were associated with multifocal PTC. However, none of the clinicopathologic factors evaluated predicted contralateral PTC. Our study demonstrates the diagnostic limitations of ultrasound for the detection of multifocal PTC and the need to consider the possibility of occult lesions in the management of solitary PTC, especially in male patients.