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Andreas Machens Medical Faculty, Department of General, Visceral and Vascular Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

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Kerstin Lorenz Medical Faculty, Department of General, Visceral and Vascular Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

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Frank Weber Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Section of Endocrine Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Henning Dralle Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Section of Endocrine Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Andreas Machens Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

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Kerstin Lorenz Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

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Frank Weber Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Division of Endocrine Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Henning Dralle Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany
Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Division of Endocrine Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Thyroid cancer is the only nonreproductive cancer with striking female predominance, although men with thyroid cancer develop more aggressive disease. This study aimed to quantify sex-specific differences in medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) spread after controlling for primary thyroid tumor size. Included in this retrospective analysis were all patients with unilateral solitary MTC who underwent initial neck surgery at a tertiary referral center. A total of 565 patients, 255 men and 310 women, were identified, of whom 467 had sporadic and 98 hereditary MTC. When stratified by sex, and after correction for multiple testing, men had higher preoperative basal calcitonin levels (medians of 655 vs 181 pg/mL; P < 0.001), more frequent extrathyroid extension (25 vs 9%; P < 0.001) and node metastasis (53 vs 27%; P < 0.001) with more involved nodes (medians of 2 vs 0 nodes; P < 0.001) than women but achieved less often biochemical cure (53 vs 74%; P < 0.001). Although absent in patients with very small (≤5 mm) thyroid tumors, sex disparities were immediately apparent in patients with 5.1–40 mm (node metastasis and biochemical cure) and 10.1–40 mm (extrathyroid extension) large thyroid tumors but were lost in patients with thyroid tumors >40 mm as women caught up. Sex disparities were strongest for node metastasis with a 27–41% (overall 24.0%) point difference, followed by biochemical cure with a −15–35% (overall −20.3%) point difference and extrathyroid extension with a 17–24% (14.2% overall) point difference. These findings indicate that the male predominance in MTC aggressiveness is largely biologically driven, warranting further research.

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Bogusz Trojanowicz AG Experimentelle and Chirurgische Onkologie, Allgemein-, Kinderchirurgie, Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für
AG Experimentelle and Chirurgische Onkologie, Allgemein-, Kinderchirurgie, Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für

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Lars Brodauf AG Experimentelle and Chirurgische Onkologie, Allgemein-, Kinderchirurgie, Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für

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Carsten Sekulla AG Experimentelle and Chirurgische Onkologie, Allgemein-, Kinderchirurgie, Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für

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Kerstin Lorenz AG Experimentelle and Chirurgische Onkologie, Allgemein-, Kinderchirurgie, Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für

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Rainer Finke AG Experimentelle and Chirurgische Onkologie, Allgemein-, Kinderchirurgie, Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für

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Henning Dralle AG Experimentelle and Chirurgische Onkologie, Allgemein-, Kinderchirurgie, Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für

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Cuong Hoang-Vu AG Experimentelle and Chirurgische Onkologie, Allgemein-, Kinderchirurgie, Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für

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AUF1/heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein D is an adenylate–uridylate-rich elements (AREs) -binding protein, which regulates the mRNA stability of many genes related to growth regulation, such as proto-oncogenes, growth factors, cytokines, and cell cycle-regulatory genes. Several studies demonstrated AUF1 involvement in the processes of apoptosis, tumorigenesis, and development by its interactions with ARE-bearing mRNAs. We report here that AUF1 may be involved in thyroid carcinoma progression. Investigations on thyroid tissues revealed that cytoplasmic expression of AUF1 in malignant tissues was increased when compared with benign thyroid tissues. In thyroid carcinoma cell lines, AUF1 was mostly detectable in the nucleus; however, in dividing cells, its increased production was also observed in the cytoplasm. We found AUF1 in complexes with ARE-bearing mRNAs, previously described to be crucial for proliferation and cell cycle of thyroid carcinoma. Total or exon-selective knockdown of AUF1 led to growth inhibition accompanied by induction of cell cycle inhibitors and decreased levels of cell cycle promoters. Our data demonstrate the existence of a complex network between AUF1 and mRNAs encoding proteins related to cell proliferation. AUF1 may control the balance between stabilizing and destabilizing effects, both of which are exerted on cell cycle machinery in thyroid carcinoma. Although we cannot exclude participation of other factors, thyroid carcinoma may recruit cytoplasmic AUF1 to disturb the stability of mRNAs encoding cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, leading to uncontrolled growth and progression of tumor cells. Thus, AUF1 may be considered as a new, additional marker for thyroid carcinoma.

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Andreas Machens Medical Faculty, Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany

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Kerstin Lorenz Medical Faculty, Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany

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Frank Weber Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Division of Endocrine Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Tim Brandenburg Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Dagmar Führer-Sakel Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Henning Dralle Medical Faculty, Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany
Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Division of Endocrine Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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The age-specific development of the three constituent components of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2) is incompletely characterized for many of the >30 causative rearranged during transfection (RET) mutations, which this genetic association study aimed to specify. Included in the study were 683 carriers of heterogeneous RET germline mutations: 53 carriers with 1 highest-risk mutation (codon 918); 240 carriers with 8 different high-risk mutations (codon 634); 176 carriers with 16 different intermediate-risk mutations (codon 609, 611, 618, 620, or 630); and 214 carriers with 6 different low-risk mutations (codon 768, 790, 804, or 891).There was a strong genotype-specific development of MEN 2 constituent components, with distinct age gradients from C cell disease to node negative medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), from node negative to node positive MTC, from node positive MTC to pheochromocytoma, and from pheochromocytoma to primary hyperparathyroidism. Primary hyperparathyroidism was not observed among the 53 MEN 2B patients who carried highest-risk mutations (age range: 0.5–50 years), of whom no more than 12 (23%) and 3 (6%) carriers were older than age 30 years and 35 years, respectively. The age-specific development of MTC differed significantly between the four RET risk categories, whereas the age-specific development of pheochromocytoma differed significantly only between the two strongest RET risk categories. No significant differences were noted in the development of primary hyperparathyroidism. These findings delineate age-specific disease manifestation corridors for the three constituent components of MEN 2 by RET genotype. These corridors are useful for initial risk assessment and organ-specific surveillance of newly identified RET carriers going forward.

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