Background: Medullary thyroid carcinoma is a neuroendocrine tumor belonging form a malignant growth of the thyroid parafollicular C-cells, representing from 1 to 10% of all thyroid cancer. The biochemical activity of medullary thyroid carcinoma includes the production of calcitonin and carcinoembryogenic antigen, which are sensitive tumor markers, facilitating the diagnosis, follow-up and prognostication. The diagnosis is reached through the identification of high basal calcitonin serum level or after pentagastrin stimulation test. Medullary thyroid carcinoma is able to produce other relevant biomarkers as procalcitonin, carcinoembryionic antigen and chromogranin A. In Literature are described few cases of medullary thyroid carcinoma without elevation of serum calcitonin, an extremely rare event. The aim of this study was to analyse the presentation, the main features and therapeutic management of medullary thyroid carcinoma associated with negative serum calcitonin levels. Methods: Using the PubMed database, a systematic review of the current Literature was carried out, up to February 2018. Finally, nineteen articles met our inclusion criteria and were selected according to the modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Results: Fourty-nine patients with definitive pathology confirming medullary thyroid carcinoma and with calcitonin serum level in the normal range were identified (24 female, 24 male and not reported gender in 1 case). Mean age was 51.7 years. Serum calcitonin levels were reported for 20 patients with a mean value of 8.66 pg/mL and a range of 0.8-38 pg/mL. Despite the low or undetectable calcitonin serum level, at immunochemistry in almost the half of the cases reported by the Authors, the tumors presented diffuse or focal positivity for calcitonin and carcinoembryionic antigen, while was reported a chromogranin A positivity in 41 of the 43 tested patients. Conclusions: Calcitonin negative medullary thyroid carcinoma is an extremely rare pathology. The diagnosis and the surveillance is often challenging and delayed, due to the lack of elevation of serum markers as calcitonin and carcinoembryionic antigen. Further studies are needed, to better define options for management of non secretory medullary thyroid carcinoma and to identify new and reliable biomarkers associated to diagnosis and relapse of this medical dilemma.

Calcitonin negative Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma: A challenging diagnosis or a medical dilemma?

Gambardella C.
;
Conzo G.;Docimo G.
2019

Abstract

Background: Medullary thyroid carcinoma is a neuroendocrine tumor belonging form a malignant growth of the thyroid parafollicular C-cells, representing from 1 to 10% of all thyroid cancer. The biochemical activity of medullary thyroid carcinoma includes the production of calcitonin and carcinoembryogenic antigen, which are sensitive tumor markers, facilitating the diagnosis, follow-up and prognostication. The diagnosis is reached through the identification of high basal calcitonin serum level or after pentagastrin stimulation test. Medullary thyroid carcinoma is able to produce other relevant biomarkers as procalcitonin, carcinoembryionic antigen and chromogranin A. In Literature are described few cases of medullary thyroid carcinoma without elevation of serum calcitonin, an extremely rare event. The aim of this study was to analyse the presentation, the main features and therapeutic management of medullary thyroid carcinoma associated with negative serum calcitonin levels. Methods: Using the PubMed database, a systematic review of the current Literature was carried out, up to February 2018. Finally, nineteen articles met our inclusion criteria and were selected according to the modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Results: Fourty-nine patients with definitive pathology confirming medullary thyroid carcinoma and with calcitonin serum level in the normal range were identified (24 female, 24 male and not reported gender in 1 case). Mean age was 51.7 years. Serum calcitonin levels were reported for 20 patients with a mean value of 8.66 pg/mL and a range of 0.8-38 pg/mL. Despite the low or undetectable calcitonin serum level, at immunochemistry in almost the half of the cases reported by the Authors, the tumors presented diffuse or focal positivity for calcitonin and carcinoembryionic antigen, while was reported a chromogranin A positivity in 41 of the 43 tested patients. Conclusions: Calcitonin negative medullary thyroid carcinoma is an extremely rare pathology. The diagnosis and the surveillance is often challenging and delayed, due to the lack of elevation of serum markers as calcitonin and carcinoembryionic antigen. Further studies are needed, to better define options for management of non secretory medullary thyroid carcinoma and to identify new and reliable biomarkers associated to diagnosis and relapse of this medical dilemma.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/422135
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