Quantitative detection of peripheral thyroglobulin mRNA has limited clinical value in the follow-up of thyroid cancer patients.
SourceAnnals of Clinical Biochemistry, 40, Pt 1, (2003), pp. 94-9
Article / Letter to editor
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Annals of Clinical Biochemistry
iss. Pt 1
SubjectUMCN 1.4: Immunotherapy, gene therapy and transplantation; UMCN 5.2: Endocrinology and reproduction
BACKGROUND: As recurrences after treatment for differentiated thyroid cancer can occur many years after thyroidectomy, periodic monitoring of serum thyroglobulin (Tg) levels is performed in these patients. However, autoantibodies that can interfere with Tg immunoassays occur in the blood of approximately 25% of these patients. Several earlier reports suggest that measuring Tg mRNA by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) could be of value, especially in patients with Tg autoantibodies. METHODS: Using an earlier described, real-time quantitative Taqman RT-PCR assay, Tg mRNA concentrations were assessed in peripheral blood taken from 58 patients treated for thyroid cancer and from two healthy controls. RESULTS: In all tested samples Tg mRNA could be found. No correlation between serum Tg protein and Tg mRNA could be found. Tg mRNA concentrations did not differ between serum Tg-negative and Tg-positive patients. No differences in the number of patients with high or low Tg/beta-actin ratios were found between the groups of patients without, (131)I uptake on whole-body scan, or patients with thyroid bed uptake, uptake elsewhere in the neck, or distant metastases with or without regional uptake (P = 0.871). CONCLUSIONS: We were not able to confirm earlier positive reports on the clinical value of Tg mRNA measurement for the monitoring of patients treated for thyroid cancer.
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