The usual tool for trying to detect recurrence while following patients with papillary thyroid cancer after surgery has been the serum thyroglobulin assay. However, management of papillary thyroid cancer has become more conservative, involving lobectomy and isthmusectomy on the affected side rather than total gland resection. The benefit of the conservative approach is to avoid complications while maintaining an overall survival rate equivalent to the more extensive approach.
The investigators measured 754 miRNAs in serum samples of 11 patients with papillary thyroid cancer both before and 30 days after surgical thyroidectomy. They re-evaluated major candidate miRNAs using absolute quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis in an independent cohort of 44 other patients with papillary thyroid cancer or benign nodules or 20 healthy controls, Dr. Rosignolo said at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.
The 2 miRNAs most significantly associated with thyroid tumors were then assessed in matched serum samples (before and 30 days, and 1 to 2 years after surgery) from the 20 PTC patients with complete follow-up datasets and results correlated with American Thyroid Association (ATA) responses to therapy.