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Kyoungjune Pak, Seong-Jang Kim, In Joo Kim, Bo Hyun Kim, Sang Soo Kim, and Yun Kyung Jeon

The incidence of thyroid cancer in both men and women is increasing faster than that of any other cancer. Although positron emission tomography (PET) using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) has received much attention, the use of FDG PET for the management of thyroid cancer is limited primarily to postoperative follow-up. However, it might have a role in selected, more aggressive pathologies, and so patients at a high risk of distant metastasis may benefit from PET before surgery. As less FDG-avid thyroid cancers may lower the diagnostic accuracy of PET in preoperative assessment, an understanding of FDG avidity is important for the evaluation of thyroid cancer. FDG avidity has been shown to be associated with tumor size, lymph node metastasis, and glucose transporter expression and differentiation. As PET is commonly used in clinical practice, the detection of incidentalomas by PET is increasing. However, incidentalomas detected by PET have a high risk of malignancy. Clinicians handling cytologically indeterminate nodules face a dilemma regarding a procedure for a definitive diagnosis, usually lobectomy. With ‘nondiagnostic (ND)’ fine-needle biopsy (FNA), PET has shown a negative predictive value (NPV) of 100%, which indicates that negative uptake in a ND FNA procedure accurately excludes malignancy. With ‘atypia of undetermined significance’ or ‘follicular neoplasm’, the sensitivity and NPV of PET are 84 and 88%. PET does not provide additional information for the preoperative assessment of thyroid cancer. However, factors associated with FDG positivity are related to a poor prognosis; therefore, FDG PET scans before surgery may facilitate the prediction of the prognosis of differentiated thyroid cancer.

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Seong-Jang Kim, Sang-Woo Lee, Kyoungjune Pak, and Sung-Ryul Shim

We aimed to explore the role of the diagnostic accuracy of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) for the detection of recurrent and/or metastatic diseases in differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients with progressively and/or persistently elevated TgAb levels and negative radioactive iodine whole-body scan (RI-WBS) through a systematic review and meta-analysis. The MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library database, from the earliest available date of indexing through June 30, 2017, were searched for studies evaluating the diagnostic performance of F-18 FDG PET/CT for the detection of recurrent and/or metastatic diseases in DTC patients with progressively and/or persistently elevated TgAb levels and negative RI-WBS. We determined the sensitivities and specificities across studies, calculated positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR+ and LR−). Across 9 studies (515 patients), the pooled sensitivity for F-18 FDG PET/CT was 0.84 (95% CI; 0.77–0.89) a pooled specificity of 0.78 (95% CI; 0.67–0.86). Likelihood ratio (LR) syntheses gave an overall positive likelihood ratio (LR+) of 3.8 (95% CI; 2.5–5.7) and negative likelihood ratio (LR−) of 0.21 (95% CI; 0.14–0.30). The pooled diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) was 18 (95% CI; 10–34). The area (AUC) under the hierarchical summary receiver-operating characteristic (HCROC) curve was 0.88 (95% CI: 0.85–0.90). F-18 FDG PET or PET/CT demonstrated moderate sensitivity and specificity for the detection of recurrent and/or metastatic diseases in DTC patients with progressively and/or persistently elevated TgAb levels and negative RI-WBS.

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Kyungmin Lee, Sang-Hyun Lee, Wooil Kim, Jangwook Lee, Jong-Gil Park, Jang-Seong Kim, Jung Tae Kim, Yea Eun Kang, Minho Shong, Hyo Jin Lee, Jin-Man Kim, Won Gu Kim, Bon Seok Koo, Koon Soon Kim, and Jeong-Ki Min

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a rapidly growing, highly metastatic cancer with limited therapeutic alternatives, thus targeted therapies need to be developed. This study aimed to examine desmoglein 2 (Dsg2) expression in ATC and its biological role and potential as a therapeutic target in ATC. Consequently, Dsg2 was downregulated or aberrantly expressed in ATC tissues. ATC patients with low Dsg2 expression levels also presented with distant metastasis. Dsg2 depletion significantly increased cell migration and invasion, with a relatively limited effect on ATC cell proliferation in vitro and increased distant metastasis in vivo. Dsg2 knockdown induced cell motility through the hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR, c-Met)/Src/Rac1 signaling axis, with no alterations in the expression of EMT-related molecules. Further, specific targeting of c-Met significantly inhibited the motility of shDsg2-depleted ATC cells. Decreased membrane Dsg2 expression increased the metastatic potential of ATC cells. These results indicate that Dsg2 plays an important role in ATC cell migration and invasiveness. Therapies targeting c-Met might be effective among ATC patients with low membrane Dsg2 expression levels, indicating that the analysis of Dsg2 expression potentially provides novel insights into treatment strategies for ATC.