Aims: The molecular alterations underlying follicular Hürthle cell carcinomas (FHCCs) are largely unknown. In an attempt to clarify this issue, we analysed a series of Hürthle cell tumours for the presence of RET/PTC and PAX8/PPARG rearrangements and BRAF, HRAS and NRAS mutations. Methods and results: We investigated a series of 20 follicular Hürthle cell tumours [17 FHCCs and three follicular Hürthle cell adenomas (FHCAs)]. RET/PTC rearrangements were found in 33% of FHCAs and in 38% of FHCCs. All RET/PTC-positive FHCCs had a solid pattern of growth. PAX8/PPARG rearrangement was present in 27% of the FHCCs which displayed, in most cases, a follicular architecture. NRAS mutation was detected in one FHCC. An FHCC with a solid/microfollicular growth pattern scored positive for both RET/PTC and PAX8/PPARG rearrangement. Conclusions: Our study has shown a significant association between RET/PTC rearrangements and FHCCs with a solid growth pattern, thus raising the possibility of using tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment of patients with FHCCs, which are often refractory to radioiodine treatment.

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Department of Clinical Genetics

de Vries, M., Celestino, R., Castro, P., Eloy, C., Máximo, V., van der Wal, J. E., … Soares, P. (2012). RET/PTC rearrangement is prevalent in follicular Hürthle cell carcinomas. Histopathology, 61(5), 833–843. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2559.2012.04276.x