Cytopathology : official journal of the British Society for Clinical Cytology 28(6) 475-481 doi 10.1111/cyt.12492
This review summarises molecular pathological techniques applicable to thyroid FNA. The molecular pathology of thyroid tumours is now fairly well understood. Molecular methods may be used as a rule-in test for diagnosis of malignancy in thyroid nodules, eg BRAF V600E point mutation, use of a seven-gene mutational panel (BRAF V600E, RAS genes, RET/PTC or PAX8/PPARG rearrangement), or as a comprehensive multigene next-generation sequencing panel, eg ThyroSeq v2. Molecular methods can also be applied as rule-out tests for malignancy in thyroid nodules, eg Afirma or ThyroSeq v2 or as markers of prognosis, eg TERT promoter mutation or other gene mutations including BRAF V600E, TP53 and AKT1, and as tests for newly defined tumour entities such as non-invasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary like nuclei, or as a molecular marker(s) for targeted therapies. This review describes practical examples of molecular techniques as applied to thyroid FNA in routine clinical practice and the value of molecular diagnostics in thyroid FNA. It describes the range of molecular abnormalities identified in thyroid nodules and thyroid cancers with some practical applications of molecular methods to diagnosis and prognosis of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer.