Molecular pathogenesis of thyroid cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


A number of molecular abnormalities have been described in association with the progression from normal thyroid tissue to benign adenomas to well-differentiated and finally anaplastic epithelial thyroid cancer. These include upregulation of proliferative factors, such as growth hormones and oncogenes, downregulation of apoptotic and cell-cycle inhibitory factors, such as tumor suppressors, disruption of normal cell-to-cell interactions, and cellular immortalization. The progression model for thyroid carcinoma has not been proven, but evidence suggests that an evolutionary molecular process is involved, especially in the development of follicular thyroid cancers for which there are distinct intermediate phenotypes. We present a comprehensive evaluation of factors involved in thyroid tumorigenesis and attempt to describe preliminary attributes of a progression model. The organization of this model should also provide a template for the incorporation of new information as it is derived from large-scale genomic studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-90
Number of pages22
JournalSurgical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • Growth hormones
  • Oncogenes
  • Telomerase
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Tumor suppressor genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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