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1.  Nonalpine Thyroid Angiosarcoma in a Patient with Hashimoto Thyroiditis 
Thyroid angiosarcoma is an uncommon thyroid carcinoma and its incidence is the highest in the European Alpine regions. Thyroid angiosarcoma is also a very aggressive tumor that can rapidly spread to the cervical lymph nodes, lungs, and brain or can metastasize to the duodenum, small boewl, and large bowel. Although it is histologically well defined, clear-cut separation between the angiosarcoma and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma is difficult. A 49-year-old Caucasian female patient, born and resident in Southern Italy (Calabria), in an iodine-sufficient area, was admitted to the Surgery Department because she presented with a painless mass in the anterior region of neck enlarged rapidly in the last three months. After total thyroidectomy and right cervical lymphadenectomy, postoperative histological examination revealed the presence of a thyroid angiosarcoma with positive staining for CD31 and for both Factor VIII-related antigen and Vimentin and only partially positive for staining pancytokeratin and presence of metastasis in cervical, supraclavicular, mediastinal and paratracheal lymph nodes. The patient started adjuvant chemotherapy and she was treated for 6 cycles with Doxorubicin, Dacarbazine, Ifosfamide, and Mesna (MAID). After 22 months from surgery, the patient is still alive without both local and systemic recurrence of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3855954  PMID: 24349811
2.  Oral acantholytic squamous cell carcinoma shares clinical and histological features with angiosarcoma 
Head & Face Medicine  2008;4:17.
acantholytic squamous cell carcinomas (ASCC) and intraoral angiosarcoma share similar histopathological features. Aim of this study was to find marker for a clear distinction.
Four oral acantholytic squamous cell carcinomas and one intraoral angiosarcoma are used to compare the eruptive intraoral growth-pattern, age-peak, unfavourable prognosis and slit-like intratumorous spaces in common histological staining as identical clinical and histopathological features. Immunohistochemical staining for pancytokeratin, cytokeratin, collagen type IV, γ2-chain of laminin-5, endothelial differentiation marker CD31 and CD34, F VIII-associated antigen, Ki 67-antigen, β-catenin, E-cadherin, α-smooth-muscle-actin and Fli-1 were done.
Cytokeratin-immunoreactive cells can be identified in both lesions. The large vascularization of ASCC complicates the interpretation of vascular differential markers being characteristic for angiosarcoma. Loss of cell-cell-adhesion, monitored by loss of E-cadherin and β-catenin membrane-staining, are indetified as reasons for massive expression of invasion-factor ln-5 in ASCC and considered responsible for unfavourable prognosis of ASCC. Expression of Fli-1 in angiosarcoma and cellular immunoreaction for ln-5 in ASCC are worked out as distinguishing features of both entities.
Fli-1 in angiosarcoma and ln-5 in ASCC are distinguishing features.
PMCID: PMC2515303  PMID: 18671846
3.  Factor VIII as a marker of endothelial cells in follicular carcinoma of the thyroid. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1983;36(9):1050-1054.
Factor VIII-related antigen is a recognised marker of endothelial cells. A brief immunocytochemical study of its distribution in follicular carcinoma of the thyroid and its value in the recognition of vascular invasion by this tumour has been carried out. Ten cases of follicular carcinoma of the thyroid were studied. In each strong endothelial staining was found in the majority of vessels in the adjacent normal thyroid. Lymphatic endothelium was negative. In eight of the 10 cases the staining of vessels within the tumour was absent or very weak. Staining was also absent in the majority of vessels completely occluded by tumour, but was present in the endothelium of vessels only partly occluded by tumour. It is concluded that factor VIII-related antigen staining has only limited value in the recognition of vascular invasion in follicular carcinoma. The absence of vascular staining in the tumour leads us to suggest that inhibition of factor VIII production by the tumour could be a possible mechanism which facilitates vascular invasion and metastasis.
PMCID: PMC498468  PMID: 6411773
4.  QPRT: a potential marker for follicular thyroid carcinoma including minimal invasive variant; a gene expression, RNA and immunohistochemical study 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:93.
The differential diagnosis between follicular thyroid adenoma and minimal invasive follicular thyroid carcinoma is often difficult for several reasons. One major aspect is the lack of typical cytological criteria in well differentiated specimens. New marker molecules, shown by poly- or monoclonal antibodies proved helpful.
We performed global gene expression analysis of 12 follicular thyroid tumours (4 follicular adenomas, 4 minimal invasive follicular carcinomas and 4 widely invasive follicular carcinomas), followed by immunohistochemical staining of 149 cases. The specificity of the antibody was validated by western blot analysis
In gene expression analysis QPRT was detected as differently expressed between follicular thyroid adenoma and follicular thyroid carcinoma. QPRT protein could be detected by immunohistochemistry in 65% of follicular thyroid carcinomas including minimal invasive variant and only 22% of follicular adenomas.
Consequently, QPRT is a potential new marker for the immunohistochemical screening of follicular thyroid nodules.
PMCID: PMC2667537  PMID: 19321014
5.  Composite hemangioendothelioma arising from the kidney: case report with review of the literature 
Reported herein is a medical curiosities vascular tumor primary arising from the kidney and exhibiting unique histopathological features. A 32-year-old woman underwent a total nephrectomy of right kidney because of a mass localized in the inferior pole. Distinct from other vascular lesions, on histology the tumor had a peculiar composite pattern, consisting of benign and malignant vascular components, which were haphazardly intermixed without any definite margins. The malignant component was composed of epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (45%) and angiosarcoma (50%) with moderate differentiation. Immunohistochemically, the oval to cuboidal to spindle tumor cells expressed only endothelial markers (CD31, CD34 and factor VIII-related antigen). And the angiosarcomatous component was characterized by the presence of a greater proliferation index Ki-67. Unlike other epithelial tumors, smooth muscle actin (SMA), cytokeratin, EMA and S-100 were all negative in the epithelioid tumor cells. These findings led to the diagnosis of a low-grade vascular neoplasm with morphological features consistent with so-called composite hemangioendothelioma (CHE). At 11 month follow up the patient was alive, without evidence of tumor recurrence. CHE is an extremely rare vascular neoplasm, with borderline malignant potential, which mostly occurs in distal extremity of the limbs at the cutaneous level and, only 30 cases have been previously described until now. To our knowledge, this is the first report of CHE arising from the kidney and widens the spectrum of primary vascular tumors arising in the kidney.
PMCID: PMC3759503  PMID: 24040461
Composite hemangioendothelioma; hemangioendothelioma; rare tumors; kidne
6.  Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Variants 
Head and Neck Pathology  2011;5(1):51-56.
Papillary thyroid carcinomas are the most common thyroid cancers and constitute more than 70% of thyroid malignancies. The most common etiologic factor is radiation, but genetic susceptibility and other factors also contribute to the development of papillary thyroid carcinoma. The most common variants include conventional, follicular variant and tall cell variant. However, many other uncommon variants have been described including oncocytic, columnar cell, diffuse sclerosing and solid forms. Immunohistochemical staining with TTF-1 and thyroglobulin is very useful in confirming the diagnosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma especially in metastatic sites. Markers such as HBME-1 and CITED1 can assist in separating some difficult cases of follicular variants of papillary thyroid carcinomas from follicular adenomas. Molecular studies have shown that the BRAF V600E mutation is found mainly in papillary and anaplastic thyroid carcinomas. Other molecular markers such as HMGA2 and insulin-like growth factor II mRNA binding protein 3 have been used recently as molecular tests to separate papillary thyroid carcinoma and its variants from follicular adenomas and other benign thyroid nodules.
PMCID: PMC3037461  PMID: 21221869
Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Follicular variant; Tall cell; Columnar cell; BRAF mutation; RET/PTC; HMGA2
7.  Follicular Adenoma and Carcinoma of the Thyroid Gland 
The Oncologist  2011;16(5):585-593.
Follicular neoplasms of the thyroid gland include benign follicular adenoma and follicular carcinoma. Currently, a follicular carcinoma cannot be distinguished from a follicular adenoma based on cytologic, sonographic, or clinical features alone. As a result, all patients with a follicular neoplasm should, at minimum, undergo a diagnostic thyroid lobectomy and isthmusectomy. A completion thyroidectomy is necessary for invasive follicular carcinoma. The overall ten-year survival for patients with minimally invasive follicular carcinoma is 98% compared with 80% in patients with invasive follicular carcinoma.
Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Discuss the differentiation of follicular adenoma from follicular carcinoma.Explain novel developments in the diagnosis and treatment of follicular carcinoma.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at
Follicular neoplasms of the thyroid gland include benign follicular adenoma and follicular carcinoma. Currently, a follicular carcinoma cannot be distinguished from a follicular adenoma based on cytologic, sonographic, or clinical features alone. The pathogenesis of follicular carcinoma may be related to iodine deficiency and various oncogene and/or microRNA activation. Advances in molecular testing for genetic mutations may soon allow for preoperative differentiation of follicular carcinoma from follicular adenoma. Until then, a patient with a follicular neoplasm should undergo a diagnostic thyroid lobectomy and isthmusectomy, which is definitive treatment for a benign follicular adenoma or a minimally invasive follicular cancer. Additional therapy is necessary for invasive follicular carcinoma including completion thyroidectomy, postoperative radioactive iodine ablation, whole body scanning, and thyrotropin suppressive doses of thyroid hormone. Less than 10% of patients with follicular carcinoma will have lymph node metastases, and a compartment-oriented neck dissection is reserved for patients with macroscopic disease. Regular follow-up includes history and physical examination, cervical ultrasound and serum TSH, and thyroglobulin and antithyroglobulin antibody levels. Other imaging studies are reserved for patients with an elevated serum thyroglobulin level and a negative cervical ultrasound. Systemic metastases most commonly involve the lung and bone and less commonly the brain, liver, and skin. Microscopic metastases are treated with high doses of radioactive iodine. Isolated macroscopic metastases can be resected with an improvement in survival. The overall ten-year survival for patients with minimally invasive follicular carcinoma is 98% compared with 80% in patients with invasive follicular carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3228182  PMID: 21482585
Follicular thyroid carcinoma; Follicular adenoma; Follicular neoplasm
8.  High molecular weight caldesmon positive stromal cells in the capsule of thyroid follicular tumours and tumour-like lesions 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2002;55(12):917-920.
Aims: To investigate the smooth muscle nature of the spindle stromal cells in the capsule of thyroid tumours and tumour-like lesions.
Methods: Immunostaining for high molecular weight caldesmon (HCD), a highly specific marker for smooth muscle differentiation, was performed in 70 primary thyroid tumours and tumour-like lesions (21 hyperplastic nodules, 29 follicular adenomas, five minimally invasive follicular carcinomas, six widely invasive follicular carcinomas, and nine encapsulated papillary carcinomas).
Results: HCD positive stromal cells (HCD+ cells) were detected in the capsule of 20 of the 21 hyperplastic nodules, and all of the 29 follicular adenomas and five minimally invasive follicular carcinomas, whereas HCD+ cells were seen in the capsule of only four of the six widely invasive follicular carcinomas and no HCD+ cells were seen in the capsule of the nine encapsulated papillary carcinomas examined.
Conclusions: The presence of HCD+ cells in the capsule is characteristic of thyroid follicular tumours and tumour-like lesions. The stromal cells in the capsule of thyroid follicular tumours and tumour-like lesions are different from those of encapsulated papillary carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC1769821  PMID: 12461057
thyroid; capsule; high molecular weight caldesmon; smooth muscle cell; follicular tumour and tumour-like lesion
9.  Endothelial markers in malignant vascular tumours of the liver: superiority of QB-END/10 over von Willebrand factor and Ulex europaeus agglutinin 1. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1991;44(1):29-32.
A new monoclonal antibody, QB-END/10, raised against the CD34 antigen in human endothelial cell membranes and haemopoietic progenitor cells, was studied for its usefulness as a marker of neoplastic vascular cells in 21 angiosarcomas and seven malignant haemangioendotheliomas of the liver. QB-END/10 was both more sensitive and more specific than Von Willebrand factor (VWF) and Ulex europaeus 1 agglutinin (UEA-1) in labelling endothelial cells and it did not cross react with epithelia as UEA-1 often does. Staining was uniformly strong and clear in all histological variants of these two tumours. QB-END/10 should prove particularly useful in the differential diagnosis of malignant vascular tumours of the liver.
PMCID: PMC497010  PMID: 1705261
10.  Pulmonary artery sarcoma with angiosarcoma phenotype mimicking pleomorphic malignant fibrous histiocytoma: a case report 
Diagnostic Pathology  2012;7:154.
Primary sarcomas of the major blood vessels can be classified based on location in relationship to the wall or by histologic type. Angiosarcomas are malignant neoplasms that arise from the endothelial lining of the blood vessels; those arising in the intimal compartment of pulmonary artery are rare. We report a case of pulmonary artery angiosarcoma in a 36-year old female with pulmonary masses. The patient had no other primary malignant neoplasm, thus excluding a metastatic lesion. Gross examination revealed a thickened right pulmonary artery and a necrotic and hemorrhagic tumor, filling and occluding the vascular lumen. The mass extended distally, within the pulmonary vasculature of the right lung. Microscopically, an intravascular undifferentiated tumor was identified. The tumor cells showed expression for vascular markers VEGFR, VEGFR3, PDGFRa, FGF, Ulex europaeus, FVIII, FLI-1, CD31 and CD34; p53 was overexpressed and Ki67 proliferative rate was increased. Intravascular angiosarcomas are aggressive neoplasms, often associated with poor outcome.
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PMCID: PMC3538549  PMID: 23134683
Pulmonary artery; Sarcoma; Angiosarcoma; Immunohistochemistry
11.  Poorly differentiated ("insular") carcinoma of the thyroid gland--two cases report. 
Poorly differentiated ("insular") carcinoma of the thyroid shares insular, trabecular, and solid histological patterns that are different from those of papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic varieties. This tumor is situated morphologically and biologically in the intermediate position between the well differentiated (papillary and follicular) and the totally undifferentiated (anaplastic) thyroid tumors. We report two cases of insular carcinoma of the thyroid, occurring in 39-year-old and 52-year-old women. Grossly, these cases showed a lobulated mass with fibrous septa. The histologic finding showed characteristic "insular" growth pattern with focal follicular or papillary areas. Thyroglobulin was demonstrated within cytoplasmic paranuclear vacuoles of the neoplastic cells. Calcitonin and amyloid were not demonstrated. The aspiration cytology showed high cellularity, low grade of atypia, presence of clusters, nests, and trabeculae of cells with poorly outlined cytoplasm. The ultrastructural finding showed primordial cells having cytoplasmic organelles such as rough endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and free ribosomes. We believe that its separation from other types of thyroid carcinoma will lead to a more accurate estimate of its biologic behavior and a more appropriate therapeutic approach.
PMCID: PMC3054275  PMID: 9142665
12.  Update to the College of American Pathologists Reporting on Thyroid Carcinomas 
Head and Neck Pathology  2009;3(1):86-93.
Background The reporting of thyroid carcinomas follows the recommendations of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) protocols and includes papillary carcinoma, follicular carcinoma, anaplastic carcinoma and medullary carcinoma. Despite past and recent efforts, there are a number of controversial issues in the classification and diagnosis of thyroid carcinomas (TC) that, potentially impact on therapy and prognosis of patients with TC. Discussion The most updated version of the CAP thyroid cancer protocol incorporates recent changes in histologic classification as well as changes in the staging of thyroid cancers as per the updated American Joint Commission on Cancer staging manual. Among the more contentious issues in the pathology of thyroid carcinoma include the defining criteria for tumor invasiveness. While there are defined criteria for invasion, there is not universal agreement in what constitutes capsular invasion, angioinvasion and extrathyroidal invasion. Irrespective of the discrepant views on invasion, pathologists should report on the presence and extent (focal, widely) of capsular invasion, angioinvasion and extrathyroidal extension. These findings assist clinicians in their assessment of the recurrence risk and potential for metastatic disease. It is beyond the scope of this paper to detail the entire CAP protocol for thyroid carcinomas; rather, this paper addresses some of the more problematic issues confronting pathologists in their assessment and reporting of thyroid carcinomas. Conclusion The new CAP protocol for reporting of thyroid carcinomas is a step toward improving the clinical value of the histopathologic reporting of TC. Large meticulous clinico-pathologic and molecular studies with long term follow up are still needed in order to increase the impact of microscopic examination on the prognosis and management of TC.
PMCID: PMC2807537  PMID: 20596997
Thyroid; Carcinoma; Reporting; CAP; Vascular; Capsular; Invasion; Minimally invasive; Widely invasive; Extrathyroid; Extension; Mitosis; Necrosis; Margins; Papillary microcarcinomas
13.  Primary thyroid angiosarcoma: an unusual localization 
The finding of thyroid nodules is a very common occurrence in routine clinical practice. Approximately 5% to 7% of the entire population have thyroid nodules. Vascular lesions are one of the most controversial issues in thyroid pathology. These include benign lesions such as hemangiomas and, rarely, malignant tumors such as angiosarcomas or undifferentiated angiosarcomatoid carcinomas. In particular, angiosarcoma of the thyroid gland is a rare, highly aggressive malignant vascular tumor and in Italy the greatest geographical incidence of this lesion is witnessed near the Alps. Here, a case of thyroid angiosarcoma in a 71-year-old man with a history of goiter for about 20 years is described. The unusual localization of this lesion, the difficulties in reaching a definitive diagnosis for this particular histological type of primary tumor and a history of long-standing multinodular goiter in thyroid of an older man from outside the Alpine region prompted us to report this case of thyroid angiosarcoma mainly to discuss surgical, histopathological and immunohistochemical features.
PMCID: PMC3490834  PMID: 22553943
Angiosarcoma; Non-alpine region; Old man
14.  Expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition regulators SNAI2 and TWIST1 in thyroid carcinomas 
Epithelial–mesenchymal transition is an important mechanism of epithelial tumor progression, local invasion and metastasis. The E-cadherin (CDH1) repressor SLUG (SNAI2) and the basic helix–loop–helix transcription factor TWIST1 inhibit CDH1 expression in poorly differentiated malignancies as inducers of epithelial– mesenchymal transition. Epithelial–mesenchymal transition has been implicated in progression from well to poorly differentiated/anaplastic thyroid carcinoma but the expression of SNAI2 and TWIST1 proteins and their phenotypic association in human thyroid cancers has not been extensively studied. We examined the expression of SNAI2, TWIST1 and CDH1 by immunohistochemistry in a panel of well-differentiated and anaplastic thyroid cancers and by qRT-PCR in thyroid cell lines. Ten normal thyroids, 33 follicular adenomas, 56 papillary thyroid carcinomas including 28 follicular variants, 27 follicular carcinomas and 10 anaplastic thyroid carcinomas were assembled on a tissue microarray and immunostained for SNAI2, TWIST1 and CDH1. Most (8/10) anaplastic thyroid carcinomas demonstrated strong nuclear immunoreactivity for SNAI2 with associated absence of CDH1 in 6/8 cases (75%). TWIST1 was expressed in 5/10 anaplastic thyroid carcinomas with absence of CDH1 in 3/5 (60%) cases. These findings were confirmed in whole sections of all anaplastic thyroid carcinomas and in a separate validation set of 10 additional anaplastic thyroid carcinomas. All normal thyroids, follicular adenomas, papillary and follicular thyroid carcinomas were negative for SNAI2 and TWIST1 (P<0.0001) and all showed strong diffuse immunoreactivity for CDH1 (P=0.026). Expression of SNAI2, TWIST1 and CDH1 mRNA varied in a normal thyroid, papillary carcinoma and two anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cell lines tested, but the highest levels of CDH1 mRNA were detected in the normal thyroid cell line while the anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cell line demonstrated the highest levels of SNAI2 and TWIST1 mRNA. Our findings support the role of epithelial–mesenchymal transition in the development of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3559085  PMID: 22899291
anaplastic thyroid carcinoma; CDH1; SNAI2; thyroid carcinoma; thyroid cell lines; TWIST1
15.  Immunoexpression of HBME-1, High Molecular Weight Cytokeratin, Cytokeratin 19, Thyroid Transcription Factor-1, and E-cadherin in Thyroid Carcinomas 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2005;20(5):853-859.
To examine the immunohistochemical alterations associated with the histological dedifferentiation of thyroid carcinomas, we performed staining for HBME-1, high molecular weight cytokeratin (HCK), CK 19, thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) and E-cadherin (E-CD) on 125 various types of thyroid carcinomas. The HBME-1 staining was strong and diffuse in follicular carcinoma (FC), papillary carcinoma (PC), and poorly differentiated carcinoma (PDC), while it was rare in undifferentiated carcinoma (UC) as well as in benign lesions. Strong, diffuse staining for CK19 and HCK was predominantly found in PC, and these markers were not much found in other carcinomas. TTF-1 uniformly stained the tumor cells of all cases of PC, FC and Hurthle cell carcinoma (HC) and 42% of the PDC, while there was only focal staining in one case of the UC. Compared to the strong, diffuse reactivity in the benign lesions, E-CD staining was noted in 67% of PC, 80% of FC, 83% of HC, 58% of PDC and none of the UC. These results suggest that HBME-1 may be a marker for well-differentiated carcinomas while CK19 and HCK are phenotypic markers for papillary carcinoma. The loss or reduced expression of TTF-1 and E-CD may be markers for dedifferentiation.
PMCID: PMC2779285  PMID: 16224162
HBME-1 antigen; Keratin; thyroid nuclear factor 1; Cadherins; Thyroid Neoplasms
16.  Thyrocyte-specific inactivation of p53 and Pten results in anaplastic thyroid carcinomas faithfully recapitulating human tumors 
Oncotarget  2011;2(12):1109-1126.
Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is the most aggressive form of thyroid cancer, and often derives from pre-existing well-differentiated tumors. Despite a relatively low prevalence, it accounts for a disproportionate number of thyroid cancer-related deaths, due to its resistance to any therapeutic approach. Here we describe the first mouse model of ATC, obtained by combining in the mouse thyroid follicular cells two molecular hallmarks of human ATC: activation of PI3K (via Pten deletion) and inactivation of p53. By 9 months of age, over 75% of the compound mutant mice develop aggressive, undifferentiated thyroid tumors that evolve from pre-existing follicular hyperplasia and carcinoma. These tumors display all the features of their human counterpart, including pleomorphism, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, aneuploidy, local invasion, and distant metastases. Expression profiling of the murine ATCs reveals a significant overlap with genes found deregulated in human ATC, including genes involved in mitosis control. Furthermore, similar to the human tumors, [Pten, p53]thyr−/− tumors and cells are highly glycolytic and remarkably sensitive to glycolysis inhibitors, which synergize with standard chemotherapy. Taken together, our results show that combined PI3K activation and p53 loss faithfully reproduce the development of thyroid anaplastic carcinomas, and provide a compelling rationale for targeting glycolysis to increase chemotherapy response in ATC patients.
PMCID: PMC3282070  PMID: 22190384
thyroid cancer; mouse model; anaplastic; glycolysis; PI3K; Pten; p53
17.  Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid with carcinoid-like features. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1993;46(2):113-117.
AIMS: To show that medullary carcinomas of the thyroid are morphologically indistinguishable from gut carcinoids: the value of histochemistry in their identification and differential diagnosis from metastatic carcinoid tumours to the thyroid and some follicular cell neoplasms. METHODS: 15 thyroid medullary carcinomas with features of gut carcinoids were histochemically studied for the presence of argyrophil and argentaffin granules, and calcitonin, thyroglobulin, and serotonin immunoreaction. RESULTS: Histological features of midgut (classic) carcinoids were observed in two tumours, foregut carcinoids in 12, and hindgut carcinoids in one. All tumours showed, to a greater or lesser extent, a calcitonin immunoreaction and argyrophilia. These markers were present only in a small area showing a classic pattern of thyroid medullary carcinoma in the hindgut carcinoid-like neoplasm. Argentaffin granules and serotonin immunostaining occurred in occasional cells from four foregut carcinoid-like tumours. Thyroglobulin was not expressed in all cases and amyloid stroma was expressed in three. CONCLUSIONS: In some cases a diagnosis of metastatic carcinoid tumour to the thyroid can be considered only after ruling out clinically and histochemically medullary carcinoma of the thyroid. Immunolocalisation techniques are also essential for the differentiation between medullary carcinoma and thyroid follicular cell neoplasms that resemble carcinoid tumours. It is proposed that this tumour variant to be incorporated into current classifications as another histological subtype of C cell carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC501140  PMID: 8459030
18.  Poorly differentiated (insular) thyroid carcinoma arising in a long-standing colloid goitre: A cytological dilemma 
Poorly differentiated (insular) thyroid carcinoma (PDITC) is an uncommon thyroglobulin producing neoplasm intermediate in aggressiveness between well-differentiated carcinomas of follicular cell origin and undifferentiated anaplastic carcinoma. Its cytomorphological recognition is essential for planning surgery and subsequent management as it is known for its aggressive behavior, advanced stage at presentation, local recurrences and rapid dissemination. We report a case of PDITC arising in a long-standing goiter, in which presence of microfollicular structures and minimal necrosis resulted in difficulty in distinguishing it from a follicular neoplasm of thyroid.
PMCID: PMC3307470  PMID: 22438634
Fine needle aspiration cytology; insular carcinoma; thyroid
19.  Sarcoma of the thyroid region mimicking Riedel's thyroiditis 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2001;54(7):570-572.
Because sarcomas of the anterior lower neck region occur so infrequently, they are not usually considered in the differential diagnosis of Riedel's thyroiditis. Riedel's thyroiditis itself may be confused on clinical grounds alone with malignant neoplasms because of its invasive features. Sarcomatoid carcinoma is the main entity to be discarded in this regard. This is accomplished through histological examination by the finding of carcinomatous areas and/or reactivity with epithelial markers. These features also set apart sarcomatoid carcinoma from true sarcomas. This report concerns a patient with a sarcoma of the anterior lower neck region which was initially suspected to be Riedel's thyroiditis or sarcomatoid carcinoma on clinical and radiological grounds. A peroperative biopsy was interpreted by two independent pathologists as consistent with Riedel's thyroiditis. The subsequent clinical course and postmortem examination demonstrated a high grade sarcoma with metastasis to both lungs and the pleura, and invasion of adjacent neck structures. Nevertheless, some areas of the postmortem material showed a microscopic pattern similar to mediastinal fibrosis, raising the possibility of the malignant transformation of a fibrosclerotic lesion.
Key Words: Riedel's thyroiditis • sarcomatoid carcinoma • fibrous histiocytoma • differential diagnosis
PMCID: PMC1731483  PMID: 11429435
20.  Thyroglobulin immunoreactivity in lymph node histiocytes: a potential diagnostic pitfall 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2001;54(4):314-316.
Aims—Strong thyroglobulin immunoreactivity within sinus histiocytes in a lymph node draining a papillary thyroid carcinoma was observed in a recent case. This prompted the investigation of whether thyroglobulin immunoreactivity is common in regional lymph nodes in cases of thyroid malignancy.
Methods—Eighty seven lymph nodes were studied from 21 cases of thyroid malignancy. These comprised papillary carcinoma (n = 12), follicular carcinoma (n = 4), medullary carcinoma (n = 3), and one case each of squamous and anaplastic carcinoma. Eleven cervical lymph nodes from patients with no evidence of thyroid disease were included as controls. Sections were stained with a monoclonal antibody against thyroglobulin.
Results—In the cases of thyroid malignancy, 32 of 87 lymph nodes showed positive staining for thyroglobulin of histiocytes within the subcapsular and medullary sinuses. In an additional four cases, there was positive staining of lymph within lymphatic channels. Positivity was present in at least one node in 15 of 21 cases. There was no positivity in the control cases. There was no correlation between the size of the primary tumour and the presence of thyroglobulin positivity.
Conclusions—Positive staining with antithyroglobulin occurs not uncommonly in sinus histiocytes in lymph nodes draining thyroid tumours. This positivity could be the result of the destruction of normal thyroid follicles, with the release of thyroglobulin, which is taken up by histiocytes, which subsequently drain to local lymph nodes. Pathologists should be aware of this phenomenon and should be careful not to interpret this as metastatic tumour.
Key Words: thyroid • thyroglobulin • immunohistochemistry
PMCID: PMC1731390  PMID: 11304850
21.  Expression of cdc25A and cdc25B proteins in thyroid neoplasms 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;86(12):1909-1913.
Cdc25B and cdc25A phosphates are prominent stimulators of cell cycle progression and recent studies have also suggested their oncogenic roles. To elucidate the role of these proteins in thyroid neoplasms, we immunohistochemically investigated their expression, and neither protein was expressed in normal follicular cells. Cdc25B was frequently overexpressed in follicular adenoma and minimally invasive follicular carcinoma, but the incidence was significantly lower in widely invasive follicular carcinoma. Furthermore, the cdc25B expression level significantly decreased with the dedifferentiation of thyroid carcinoma. Cdc25A overexpression was observed in high incidences in all types of thyroid neoplasms. These results suggest that cdc25B and cdc25A play oncogenic roles in thyroid follicules and that cdc25B works predominantly in the early phase of the progression of thyroid carcinoma, whereas cdc25A plays a fundamental role in the development of thyroid neoplasms.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 1909–1913. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600364
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
PMCID: PMC2375432  PMID: 12085185
cdc25A; cdc25B; thyroid tumour; immunohistochemistry
22.  Absent CD56 expression in papillary thyroid carcinoma: A finding of potential diagnostic value in problematic cases of thyroid pathology 
There are inter-observer disagreements between papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) with other follicular lesions of thyroid in aspect of diagnosis. CD56 is present on follicular epithelial cells of the normal thyroid. We evaluated the diagnostic value of CD56 expression in PTC, follicular thyroid lesions, and follicular thyroid neoplasms.
Materials and Methods:
Seventy-three cases diagnosed as follicular lesions and 73 cases diagnosed as PTC were stained with CD56 marker. A positive membranous immunostaining in more than 10% of the neoplastic cells qualified the case as “positive (+)” for CD56.
CD56 expression was seen in 70 samples of non-papillary carcinoma lesion (95.8%) versus one case of PTC (1.3%) (P < 0.001, Chi-square). Therefore, CD56 was 98.6% sensitive and 95.8% specific in distinguishing PTC from other follicular thyroid lesions.
CD56 is both a sensitive and specific marker for differentiating PTC from other follicular lesions of thyroid singly but it may be better to use a combination of markers for clinical evaluation of patients.
PMCID: PMC3908524  PMID: 24523794
CD56; papillary thyroid carcinoma; thyroid neoplasms; thyroid nodule
23.  Coexistence of pulmonary sclerosing hemangioma and primary adenocarcinoma in the same nodule of lung 
Diagnostic Pathology  2011;6:41.
Pulmonary sclerosing hemangiomas (PSH) of the lung are uncommon tumors and may present cytological atypia with unusual manifestations. The development of PSH combined with other different tumors in lung is extremely rare. We report a case of coexistence of PSH and primary adenocarcinoma in a young female occurring in the same pulmonary nodular mass of right lower lobe. The solitary mass of lung was well-circumscribed on chest computed tomography (CT) and gross examination. Histologically, the mass contained two separated portions and displayed typically histological features of PSH and acinar adenocarcinoma, respectively. In PSH portion, the tumor was composed of sheets of round cells with scattered surface cuboidal cells forming small tubules. Both round and surface cells were diffusely positive for epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) and thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1), but lack immunoreactivity for pancytokeratin in round cells. In adenocarcinoma portion, the tumor cells formed irregular-shaped glands with cytologically malignant cells infiltrating in fibroblastic stroma, and no TTF-1-positive round cells could be observed in this portion. Under the microscopy, there was no gradual transition of these two portions observed in mass. A diagnosis of PSH combined with primary adenocarcinoma of lung was made. There was no evidence of tumor recurrence during the period of postoperative 6-month follow-up. To our knowledge, this is the first case of coexistence of PSH and adenocarcinoma in the same nodule of lung. In addition, the biological behavior and histological differential diagnosis of this tumor were also discussed.
PMCID: PMC3117760  PMID: 21599956
24.  Mixed Medullary-Follicular Carcinoma of the Thyroid 
Case Reports in Endocrinology  2013;2013:571692.
Introduction. Mixed medullary-follicular thyroid carcinoma is an uncommon tumor that consists of both follicular and parafollicular cells. Case. We report a 43-year-old woman with a palpable mass in the right side of the neck. Fine needle aspiration suggested a diagnosis of high grade anaplastic carcinoma that has been associated with papillary features. Total thyroidectomy was done in which histopathological examination showed diagnosis of medullary carcinoma. Immunohistochemical staining was positive for chromogranin, calcitonin, and thyroglobulin in tumoral cells. Conclusion. Mixed medullary-follicular thyroid carcinoma is a rare tumor. Diagnosis of these tumors with fine needle aspiration is very difficult and may lead to misdiagnosis. It is necessary to correlate the cytological finding with serum calcitonin and thyroglobulin. Also immunostaining for calcitonin and thyroglobulin confirms diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3830771  PMID: 24288632
25.  What is New on Thyroid Cancer Biomarkers 
Biomarker Insights  2008;3:237-252.
Thyroid cancer harbours in about 5% of thyroid nodules. The majority of them are well-differentiated cancers originating from the follicular epithelium, and are subdivided into papillary and follicular carcinomas. Undifferentiated carcinomas and medullary thyroid carcinomas arising from C cells are less common.
Although most thyroid nodules are benign, distinguishing thyroid cancer from benign lesions is crucial for an appropriate treatment and follow-up. The fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) allows the diagnosis of nature of thyroid nodules in the majority of cases. However, FNAC has some limitations, particularly in the presence of follicular lesions which can appear dubious in rare instances even at histology.
In an effort to improve diagnostic accuracy and offer new prognostic criteria, several immunohistochemical and molecular markers have been proposed. However, most of them have to be validated on large series before being used in routine practice.
PMCID: PMC2688342  PMID: 19578508
thyroid cancer; biomarkers; molecular signals; FNAC; tumorigenesis pathways

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