A Brief Review on The Molecular Basis of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma

Document Type : Review Article



Approximately 5-10% of all thyroid cancers are medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTC). MTC is mainly sporadic in nature, but 20-30% of cases are hereditary. Genetic testing for hereditary MTC is very important for the patient and his family, but the patients must be receiving appropriate genetic counseling. About 98% of patients with hereditary MTC have germline mutations in exons 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 and intron 16 of the REarrangement during transfection (RET) proto-oncogene, but the etiology of the more frequent sporadic form of MTC (sMTC) is not well understood. Recently, it has been reported that apparently sporadic MTC may involve point mutations in BRAF and RAS genes, with an overall prevalence of almost 10%. Also alteration and abnormal expression of miRNA has been described in MTC. In this review, we attempted to mention some mutations and molecular changes in sporadic and hereditary MTC pathogenesis.