Diffuse sclerosing variant (DSV) of papillary thyroid carcinomais a rare form of thyroid cancer that demonstrates more aggressive histopathology than classical papillary thyroid carcinoma (c-PTC); however, if this leads to worse survival is debated. Many DSVs are driven by fusion events which are of recent clinical importance due to the advent of targeted RET inhibitors. A systematic search and meta-analysis of the literature was performed to compare outcomes of disease-specific mortality (DSM), metastatic and recurrent disease and the incidence of fusion events between DSV and c-PTC to July 2022. The Newcastle–Ottawa Quality Assessment studies was used to assess quality. An odds ratio (OR) was utilised to measure outcomes with 95% CIs. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis guideline was followed. Seventeen studies were included with 874 DSV patients compared to 76,013 c-PTC patients. DSV patients had worse DSM (OR=2.50, 95% CI 1.39–4.51) and presented with a higher rate of metastatic lymph nodes (OR = 5.85, 95% CI 2.73–12.53) and more distant metastases (OR = 3.83, 95% CI 2.17–6.77). DSV patients had higher odds of recurrent disease (OR = 3.23, 95% CI 2.00–5.23) and overall distant metastasis (OR = 2.70, 95% CI 1.74–4.17). Rates of RET fusion alterations for DSV ranged from 25 to 83%. DSV has a worse prognosis than c-PTC with higher rates of recurrent disease and distant metastasis. The high prevalence of RET fusions offers the potential to improve outcomes for patients with DSV.
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Henry Crayton, Katherine Wu, David Leong, Nazim Bhimani, Matti Gild, and Anthony Glover
Matti L Gild, Iñigo Landa, Mabel Ryder, Ronald A Ghossein, Jeffrey A Knauf, and James A Fagin
Inhibitors of RET, a tyrosine kinase receptor encoded by a gene that is frequently mutated in medullary thyroid cancer, have emerged as promising novel therapies for the disease. Rapalogs and other mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors are effective agents in patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, which share lineage properties with medullary thyroid carcinomas. The objective of this study was to investigate the contribution of mTOR activity to RET-induced signaling and cell growth and to establish whether growth suppression is enhanced by co-targeting RET and mTOR kinase activities. Treatment of the RET mutant cell lines TT, TPC-1, and MZ-CRC-1 with AST487, a RET kinase inhibitor, suppressed growth and showed profound and sustained inhibition of mTOR signaling, which was recapitulated by siRNA-mediated RET knockdown. Inhibition of mTOR with INK128, a dual mTORC1 and mTORC2 kinase inhibitor, also resulted in marked growth suppression to levels similar to those seen with RET blockade. Moreover, combined treatment with AST487 and INK128 at low concentrations suppressed growth and induced apoptosis. These data establish mTOR as a key mediator of RET-mediated cell growth in thyroid cancer cells and provide a rationale for combinatorial treatments in thyroid cancers with oncogenic RET mutations.
Venessa H M Tsang, Matti Gild, Anthony Glover, Roderick Clifton-Bligh, and Bruce G Robinson
COVID-19 has modified the way we practice medicine. For thyroid cancer, there have been several significant impacts. First, the diagnosis has been delayed due to social isolation, reduced access to investigations and staff redeployment. Secondly, treatment planning has needed to take into account the risk to patients and/or staff of nosocomial transmission of the virus. Finally, there are some specific concerns with respect to interactions between the virus, its treatments and cancer. This mini-review aims to address each of these impacts and to provide some guidance and confidence to our patients and colleagues during this challenging time.