Dr. Valderrabano on Understanding Cancer Risk in Indeterminate Thyroid Nodules

October 21, 2015
Pablo Valderrabano, MD,

Pablo Valderrabano, MD, Clinical Research Fellow at Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses molecular markers in thyroid nodules and their connection to cancer incidence.

Pablo Valderrabano, MD, clinical research fellow, Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses molecular markers in thyroid nodules and their connection to cancer incidence.

Thyroid nodules, solid or fluid-filled lumps within the thyroid gland, are common. While only around 1 in 10 of these are diagnosed as cancer, 20% to 30% of nodules cannot be adequately characterized by currently available tests and are classified as indeterminate. Most nodules classified as indeterminate require surgical intervention to make a diagnosis, says Valderrabano.

To determine if all indeterminate nodules require the same treatment, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center looked at 271 nodules classified as indeterminate and categorized them into four groups: nuclear atypia nodules, nodules composed of follicular cells, nodules composed of hurthle cells, and other types of nodules. Upon investigation of each group it was determined that nuclear atypia nodules had a much higher prevalence of malignancy than any other nodules, with 62% of nodules testing positive for cancer.

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