Mitogen-inducible gene-6 expression correlates with survival and is an independent predictor of recurrence in BRAFV600E positive papillary thyroid cancers

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Abstract

Background

Mitogen-inducible gene-6 (Mig-6) is an immediate early response gene that negatively regulates signaling. EGFR overexpression and activating mutations in MAPK signaling effectors are common events in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). The purpose of this study was to determine if Mig-6 expression is associated with EGFR expression or surgical outcomes in PTC.

Methods

We determined Mig-6 transcript levels from a microarray in 19 patients with PTC who underwent thyroidectomy. We established a maximally selected cutoff to discriminate Kaplan-Meier survival estimates. For cross-validation, we performed quantitative RT-PCR on resected well-differentiated PTC from an additional 106 patients.

Results

Mig-6 and EGFR mRNA levels correlated directly (P < .0001). Mig-6 expression above the cutoff of 1.10 (2⁁-dCt[Mig6-GUS]) was associated with greater survival (P = .008). When this cutoff was applied in the cross-validation, high Mig-6 expression was associated with longer survival (P = .03) and disease-free survival (P = .07). Furthermore, high Mig-6 expression was independently predictive of greater disease-free survival in BRAFV600E-positive PTC.

Conclusion

High Mig-6 expression in PTC is associated with favorable outcomes. Mig-6 is a novel tumor suppressor that may be a candidate for targeted cancer therapeutics in patients with PTC refractory to conventional therapy.

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