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Familial non-medullary thyroid cancer: a critical review

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Published:30th Apr 2021
Author: Capezzone M, Robenshtok E, Cantara S, Castagna MG.
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Ref.:J Endocrinol Invest. 2021 May;44(5):943-950.
Familial non-medullary thyroid cancer: a critical review

Familial non-medullary thyroid carcinoma (FNMTC), mainly of papillary histotype (FPTC), is defined by the presence of the disease in two or more first-degree relatives in the absence of other known familial syndromes. With the increasing incidence of PTC in the recent years, the familial form of the disease has also become more common than previously reported and constitutes nearly 10% of all thyroid cancers. Many aspects of FNMTC are debated, concerning both clinical and genetic aspects. Several studies reported that, in comparison with sporadic PTCs, FPTCs are more aggressive at disease presentation, while other authors reported no differences in the clinical behavior of sporadic and familial PTCs. For this reason, recent guidelines do not recommend screening of family members of patients with diagnosis of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). FNMTC is described as a polygenic disorder associated with multiple low- to moderate-penetrance susceptibility genes and incomplete penetrance. At the moment, the genetic factors contributing to the development of FNMTC remain poorly understood, though many putative genes have been proposed in the recent years.

Purpose: Based on current literature and our experience with FNMTC, in this review, we critically discussed the most relevant controversies, including its definition, the genetic background and some clinical aspects as screening and treatment.

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