KIF5B/RETRearrangement in a Carcinoma of the Thyroid Gland: A Case Report of a Fatal Disease

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Abstract

Background:

The diffuse sclerosing variant of papillary thyroid cancer (DSV-PTC) is a rare variant of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) with different clinicopathological features compared with conventional PTC.

Case:

An advanced DSV-PTC was diagnosed in a 39-year-old man. The radioiodine posttherapeutic whole-body-scan showed only an uptake in the central neck, whereas the computerized tomography showed multiple latero-cervical and mediastinum lymph node metastases, a single and spiculated lung lesion and multiple bilateral cerebellum metastases. The patient died after 6 months from the initial diagnosis. The histological revision of the thyroid tumor confirmed the diagnosis of DSV-PTC, and its molecular analysis revealed a KIF5B/RET rearrangement that, until now, was described only in a minority of lung adenocarcinoma. Other 18 cases of DSV-PTC were then studied for the presence of KIF5B/RET rearrangement, but all of them were negative.

Conclusions:

This was a case of DSV-PTC positive for KIF5B/RET rearrangement, but considering that this alteration has been described only in lung adenocarcinoma and that the clinical course was more typical of lung carcinoma, we cannot completely rule out the possibility that this was a metastatic lesion from a lung tumor mimicking a DSV-PTC. As an alternative, we can also hypothesize that this was a case of fusion of two tumoral tissues deriving from a DSV-PTC and a metastasis of a KIF5B/RET positive lung adenocarcinoma. The question of whether the molecular findings, particularly when specifically reported only in some subtypes of human tumors, can overcome the morphological diagnosis is a matter of discussion.

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