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Expression of CD133 in differentiated thyroid cancer of young patients
  1. Myriam Decaussin-Petrucci1,
  2. Johnny Deladoëy2,
  3. Zakia Hafdi-Nejjari3,
  4. Geneviève Sassolas3,
  5. Françoise Borson-Chazot3,4,
  6. Rasha Abu-Khudir2,3,4,5,
  7. Alfredo Fusco6,
  8. Francoise Descotes7,
  9. Sonia Cournoyer8,
  10. Hervé Sartelet8,9,
  11. and the group of Pathologists of the Rhône Alpes Region
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Lyon Sud Hospital Centre, Pierre Bénite, Hospices Civils de Lyon, University Lyon I, Lyon, France
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology, CHU Sainte Justine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  3. 3Registre Rhône Alpin des cancers thyroïdiens, Centre de Médecine Nucléaire, Groupement Hospitalier Est, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  4. 4Department of Endocrinology, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Bron, Université Lyon I, Lyon, France
  5. 5Faculty of Science, Chemistry Department (Biochemistry Branch), Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
  6. 6Department of Biology and Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Institute of Endocrinology and Experimental Oncology of CNR, Universita degli studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
  7. 7Department of Biochemistry, Lyon Sud Hospital Centre, Pierre Bénite, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  8. 8Department of Pathology, CHU Sainte Justine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  9. 9Department of Pathology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Robert Debre, Université Paris 7, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Herve Sartelet, Department of Pathology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Robert Debre, 48 Boulevard Serurier, Paris 75935, France; herve.sartelet{at}


Aims CD133 expression in cancer is frequently associated with poor outcome. Thyroid carcinomas are rare in childhood and adolescence and are associated with a higher risk of recurrence and more metastases than the adult tumours. The aim of the study was to assess whether the expression of CD133 in thyroid carcinomas of children, adolescents and young adults was correlated with clinical prognostic factors.

Methods Tissue microarrays were constructed with 235 tumours coming from 208 young adults with a median age of 28 years and 27 children with a median age of 13 years. An immunohistochemical study was performed with anti-CD133 antibody. CD133 expression was evaluated, using a semiquantitative score based on the percentage of positive cells. The mutation status of tumours was evaluated by reverse transcriptase PCR. Three cell lines were used to confirm CD133 expression by western blot.

Results CD133 expression was found in 43% of adult and 37% of child tumours and was confirmed by western blot in cell lines. In young adults, the expression of CD133 was significantly more frequent in patients with tumours >3 cm (p=0.04) and in patients with lymph node metastases (p=0.02). The expression of CD133 was more frequent in patients in whom the tumour presented a BRAF  mutation (p=0.03).

Conclusions CD133 expression is correlated with tumour size, lymph nodes metastases and BRAF mutations in young adults. The presence of these cancer stem cells could offer new therapeutic alternatives for aggressive thyroid cancers.


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