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  • Author: P Berti x
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F Cetani, E Pardi, C Banti, P Collecchi, P Viacava, S Borsari, G Fanelli, A G Naccarato, F Saponaro, P Berti, P Miccoli, A Pinchera and C Marcocci

Aberrant accumulation of β-catenin has been found in various types of human tumors. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether Wnt/β-catenin signaling is activated in parathyroid carcinomas and adenomas. We studied 154 parathyroid tumors (18 carcinomas (13 with distant metastases), six atypical adenomas, and 130 adenomas). Three normal parathyroid tissues were used as control. Direct sequencing of exon 3 of the CTNNB1 gene showed absence of stabilizing mutations in all the tumors. Immunostaining of β-catenin was performed in all carcinomas and in 66 adenomas (including three atypical). Normal parathyroid showed a homogeneous distinct outer cell membrane staining in the majority of cells and no nuclear staining. A weak cytoplasmic staining was observed in one case. All tumors showed negative nuclear staining. With the exception of one carcinoma, which had a negative membrane staining, all other samples showed a membrane staining which was similar to that of the normal parathyroid. β-Catenin expression was heterogeneous with a range of positive cells between 5 and 80%, independently of tumor type. Our results suggest that the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is not involved in the development of parathyroid carcinomas and adenomas.

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E Fiore, T Rago, M A Provenzale, M Scutari, C Ugolini, F Basolo, G Di Coscio, P Berti, L Grasso, R Elisei, A Pinchera and P Vitti

Higher TSH values, even within normal ranges, have been associated with a greater risk of thyroid malignancy. The relationship between TSH and papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) has been analyzed in 10 178 patients submitted to fine needle aspiration of thyroid nodules with a cytology of PTC (n=497) or benign thyroid nodular disease (BTND, n=9681). In 942 patients, submitted to surgery (521 from BTND and 421 from PTC), the histological diagnosis confirmed an elevated specificity (99.6%) and sensitivity (98.1%) of cytology. TSH levels were significantly higher in PTC than in BTND both in the cytological and histological series and also in patients with a clinical diagnosis of multinodular goiter (MNG) and single/isolate nodule (S/I). A significant age-dependent development of thyroid autonomy (TSH <0.4 μU/ml) was observed in patients with benign thyroid disease, but not in those with PTC, diagnosed both on cytology and histology. In patients with MNG, the frequency of thyroid autonomy was higher and the risk of PTC was lower compared to those with S/I. In all patients, the presence of thyroid auto-antibodies (TAb) was associated with a significant increase of TSH. However, both in TAb positive and TAb negative patients TSH levels were significantly higher in PTC than in BTND. Our data confirm a direct relationship between TSH levels and risk of PTC in patients with nodular thyroid diseases. Thyroid autonomy conceivably protects against the risk of PTC, while thyroid autoimmunity does not play a significant role.