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J Clin Pathol 60:1211-1215 doi:10.1136/jcp.2006.040105
  • Original article

Detection of BRAF V600E activating mutation in papillary thyroid carcinoma using PCR with allele-specific fluorescent probe melting curve analysis

  1. Leslie R Rowe1,
  2. Brandon G Bentz2,
  3. Joel S Bentz3
  1. 1
    Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, Associated Regional and University Pathologists (ARUP) Laboratories, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  2. 2
    Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  3. 3
    Department of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  1. Dr Joel S Bentz, Department of Pathology, Rm 3860, Huntsman Cancer Hospital at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, 1950 Circle of Hope, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA; joel.bentz{at}hsc.utah.edu
  • Accepted 25 January 2007
  • Published Online First 13 February 2007

Abstract

Background: A single hotspot mutation at nucleotide 1799 of the BRAF gene has been identified as the most common genetic event in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), with a prevalence of 29–83%.

Aims: To use a PCR assay to molecularly characterise the BRAF activating point mutation in a series of PTC and benign thyroid cases and correlate the mutation results with histological findings.

Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) sections were evaluated for the BRAF V600E mutation using LightCycler PCR with allele-specific fluorescent probe melting curve analysis (LCPCR).

Results: 42 (37 PTC; 5 benign) surgical tissue samples were analysed for the BRAF V600E activating point mutation. Using LCPCR and direct DNA sequencing, the BRAF mutation was identified in 23/37 (62.2%) PTC FFPE samples. DNA sequencing results demonstrated confirmation of the mutation.

Conclusions: Detection of BRAF-activating mutations in PTC suggests new approaches to management and treatment of this disease that may prove worthwhile. Identification of the BRAF V600E activating mutation in routine FFPE pathology samples by a rapid laboratory method such as LCPCR could have significant value.

Footnotes

  • Funding: Financial support was provided by the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Abbreviations:
    FFPE
    formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded
    FNA
    fine needle aspirate
    FVPTC
    follicular variant of PTC
    LCPCR
    LightCycler PCR with allele-specific fluorescent probe melting curve analysis
    MAPK
    mitogen-activated protein kinase
    PTC
    papillary thyroid carcinoma
    WT
    wild type