Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 07 29;66(7):e27707. Epub 2019 Mar 29.
Genetic Bases of Thyroid Tumors Laboratory, Division of Genetics, Department of Morphology and Genetics, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Background: The incidence of thyroid carcinoma has increased in most populations, including pediatric patients. The increase is almost exclusively due to an increase in the incidence of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). Genetic alterations leading to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway activation are highly prevalent in PTC, with BRAF V600E mutation being the most common event in adult PTC. Although a lower prevalence of BRAF V600E had been reported among pediatric patients, a higher prevalence of BRAF fusion has been identified in both radiation-exposed and sporadic pediatric PTC. However, little is known about the prognostic implications of BRAF fusions in pediatric PTC.
Procedure: In this study, we investigated the prevalence of BRAF alterations (AGK-BRAF fusion and BRAF V600E mutation) in a large set of predominantly sporadic pediatric PTC cases and correlate with clinicopathological features. Somatic AGK-BRAF fusion was investigated by RT-PCR and confirmed by FISH break-apart. The BRAF V600E mutation was screened using Sanger sequencing.
Results: AGK-BRAF fusion, found in 19% of pediatric PTC patients, was associated with distant metastasis and younger age. Conversely, the BRAF V600E, found in 15% of pediatric PTC patients, was correlated with older age and larger tumor size.
Conclusion: Collectively, our results advance knowledge concerning genetic bases of pediatric thyroid carcinoma, with potential implications for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic approaches.