Identification of Tissue-Specific DNA Methylation Signatures for Thyroid Nodule Diagnostics.


Department of Surgery, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, California. [Email] [Email]


Thyroid cancer is frequently difficult to diagnose due to an overlap of cytologic features between malignant and benign nodules. This overlap leads to unnecessary removal of the thyroid in patients without cancer. While providing some improvement over cytopathologic diagnostics, molecular methods frequently fail to provide a correct diagnosis for thyroid nodules. These approaches are based on the difference between cancer and adjacent thyroid tissue and assume that adjacent tissues are the same as benign nodules. However, in contrast to adjacent tissues, benign thyroid nodules can contain genetic alterations that can be found in cancer.Experimental Design: For the development of a new molecular diagnostic test for thyroid cancer, we evaluated DNA methylation in 109 thyroid tissues by using genome-wide single-base resolution DNA methylation analysis. The test was validated in a retrospective cohort containing 65 thyroid nodules.