The role of genetic factors in the pathogenesis of thyroid neoplasms
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This paper summarizes the current knowledge on the role of genetic factors in the development of thyroid neoplasms. The introduction of the methods and concepts of molecular genetics (as, e.g. recombinant DNA technology) have elucidated etiopathogenesis of the majority of thyroid tumours and, in the future, can make the diagnosis easier. Mutations of genes involved in the control of cellular growth and/or differentiation (ras, c-myc, RET, met) affect the development of thyroid neoplasms. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) may suggest the presence of tumor suppressor genes and has been reported in thyroid follicular carcinomas. Activation of tyrosine kinase, whether by specific oncogene amplification or by rearrangement, appears to be highly specific for the transformation of thyroid follicular cells into papillary tumours. Cytogenetic studies have shown frequent clonal abnormalities in thyroid follicular adenomas and carcinomas.
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T.Ferenc, Zakad Tyreologii Instytut Endokrynologii AM, ul. Sterlinga 5, 91-425 Lodz, Poland