RET/PTC Rearrangement Occurring in Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma

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RET/PTC rearrangements are initiating events in the development of a significant proportion of papillary thyroid carcinomas. Activated RET/PTC mutations are thought to be restricted to thyroid disease, but this study proposes that these events may also occur in nonthyroid tumors. A total of 57 nonthyroid papillary tumors were examined for RET/PTC rearrangements using interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization, Taqman reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and immunohistochemistry. Taqman single nucle-otide polymorphism detection was used to analyze for expression of mutated BRAF T1799A. In all, 20% (3/15) of primary peritoneal carcinoma had detectable RET/PTC1 rearrangements by all 3 methodologies. A further case of similar histotype had an alternate RET/PTC rearrangement. No RET/PTC 1 rearrangements were detected in the remaining tumor cohort. All 57 tumors were homozygous for wild-type BRAF. The results indicate that RET/PTC rearrangements occur in a small subset of nonthyroid papillary tumors. These rearrangements may not be directly implicated in tumor growth; rather representing “passenger” mutations reflecting RET instability in secondary tumor subclones.

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