DOI: 10.1369/00221554231190437 ISSN: 0022-1554

5hmC Immunohistochemistry: A Predictor of TERT Promoter Mutational Status in Follicular Thyroid Carcinoma?

Martin Hysek, Samuel L. Hellgren, Vincenzo Condello, Yiyi Xu, Catharina Larsson, Jan Zedenius, C. Christofer Juhlin
  • Histology
  • Anatomy

Telomerase reverse transcriptase ( TERT) gene aberrancies correlate to adverse prognosis in follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC). As loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) has been associated with TERT promoter mutations in papillary thyroid carcinoma, this study sought to analyze the levels of 5hmC in a cohort of follicular thyroid tumors with available TERT data. A total of 29 tumors (26 FTCs, 2 follicular thyroid tumors of uncertain malignant potential, and 1 oncocytic thyroid carcinoma) with known TERT promoter mutational status and TERT gene expression were assessed for 5hmC immunoreactivity using two antibodies (clones RM236 and 4D9.) Slides were analyzed using a semiquantitative scoring system. Of the 10 tumor cases with aberrant TERT, only 1 scored negative with both antibodies (1/10; 10%), whereas the remaining 9 cases (9/10; 90%) exhibited some positivity for at least one antibody. Of the 19 TERT wild-type tumors, no case was scored negative using RM236, and 2 cases (2/19; 11%) using 4D9. The differences between TERT promoter mutated and wild-type groups were non-significant. The sensitivity and specificity for 5hmC immunohistochemistry (IHC) to detect mutated cases were 10% and 100% (RM236) and 20% and 89% (4D9). Therefore, 5hmC IHC is not a sensitive marker for detecting TERT promoter mutations in follicular thyroid tumors.

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