Are we really at the dawn of understanding sporadic pediatric thyroid carcinoma?

    1. Janete M Cerutti1
    1. 1Genetic Bases of Thyroid Tumors Laboratory, Division of Genetics, Department of Morphology and Genetics and Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Pedro de Toledo 669, 11 andar, 04039‐032, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
      2Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Irmandade da Santa Casa de Misericórdia de São Paulo, Dr Cesário Mota Jr, 112, 01221‐020, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to J M Cerutti; Email: j.cerutti{at}


    Data from the National Cancer Institute and from the literature have disclosed an increasing incidence of thyroid cancer in children, adolescents and adults. Although children and adolescents with thyroid cancer tend to present with more advanced disease than adults, their overall survival rate is excellent; however, there is no clear explanation for the differences observed in the clinicopathological outcomes in these age groups. There has been an ongoing debate regarding whether the clinicopathological differences may be due to the existence of distinct genetic alterations. Efforts have been made to identify these acquired genetic abnormalities that will determine the tumor's biological behavior and ultimately allow molecular prognostication. However, most of the studies have been performed in radiation-exposed pediatric thyroid carcinoma. Therefore, our understanding of the role of these driver mutations in sporadic pediatric differentiated thyroid cancer development is far from complete, and additionally, there is a strong need for studies in both children and adolescents. The aim of this review is to present an extensive literature review with emphasis on the molecular differences between pediatric sporadic and radiation-exposed differentiated thyroid carcinomas and adult population.

    • Revision received 13 August 2015
    • Accepted 24 August 2015
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 25 August 2015
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