Molecular alterations in Hürthle cell nodules and preoperative cancer risk

William R. Doerfler, Alyaksandr V. Nikitski, Elena M. Morariu, N. Paul Ohori, Simion I. Chiosea, Michael S. Landau, Marina N. Nikiforova, Yuri E. Nikiforov, Linwah Yip, Pooja Manroa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Hürthle cell carcinoma (HCC) is a distinct type of thyroid canc er genetically characterized by DNA copy number alterations (CNA), typically of genome haploidization type (GH-type). However, whether CNA also occurs in benign Hürthle cell adenomas (HCA) or Hürthle cell hyperplastic nodules (HCHN), and have diagnostic impact in fine-needle aspiration (FNA) samples, remains unknown. To address these questions, we (1) analyzed 26 HCC, 24 HCA, and 8 HCHN tissues for CNA and other mutations using Th yroSeq v3 (TSv3) next-generation sequencing panel, and (2) determined cancer rate in 111 FNA samples with CNA and known surgical outcome. We identified CNA, more oft en of the GH-type, in 81% of HCC and in 38% HCA, but not in HCHN. Among four HCC with distant metastasis, all had CNA and three TERT mutations. Overall, positive TSv3 results were obtained in 24 (92%) HCC, including all with ATA high risk of recurrence or me tastasis. Among 111 FNA cases with CNA, 38 (34%) were malignant and 73 (66%) benign. A significant correlation between cancer rate and nodule size was observed, particularly among cases with GH-type CNA, where every additional centimeter of nodule size increased the malignancy odds by 1.9 (95% CI 1.3-2.7; P = 0.001). In summary, the results of this study demonstrate that CNA characteristic of HCC also occur in HCA, although with lower frequency, and probability of cancer in nodules with CNA increases with nodule size. Detection of CNA, in conjunction with other mutations and nodule size, is helpful in predicting malignancy in thyroid nodules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-309
Number of pages9
JournalEndocrine-Related Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • Copy number alterations
  • Hürthle cell adenoma
  • Hürthle cell carcinoma
  • Molecular profile
  • ThyroSeq v3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cancer Research


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