Study shows cancer stem cells present in thyroid cancer

A study presented at the 14th International Thyroid Congress supports the existence of cancer stem cells in thyroid cancer.

Doctor's Guide reports that researchers from the Department of Pathology at University of Lyon in France collected tissue samples of 239 tumors and adjacent noncancerous tissues, including 27 cases of children aged 18 years old and younger.

"The objective of our study was to analyze the expression of CD 133 in thyroid carcinomas of children and young adults and to see whether it correlated with clinical prognostic factors," wrote Myriam Decaussin-Petrucci, of the University of Lyon.

The expression of CD 133 was observed in 44 percent of adult and 37 percent of child tumors. Patients with tumors that extended outside of the thyroid also had a more frequent expression pattern, with 50 percent of these showing CD 133 compared with 31 percent of localized tumors.

In children, the presence of CD 133-positive cancer stem cells correlated with aggressiveness of cancers, whereas in adults the presence of CD 133 is correlated with lymph node metastases.

"This study supports the existence of cancer stem cells in thyroid cancers," the authors wrote.

Thyroid cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.