Large contribution of copy number alterations in early stage of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma

Nazanin Hosseinkhan, Maryam Honardoost, Kevin Blighe, Tara Moore, Mohammad E Khamseh

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Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma (PTC) accounts for approximately 85% of patients with thyroid cancer. Despite its indolent nature, progression to higher stages is expected in a subgroup of patients. Hence, genomic characterization of the early stages of PTC may help to identify this subgroup, leading to better clinical management. Here, we conducted a comprehensive mutational and somatic copy number alteration (SCNA) investigation on 277 stage one PTC from TCGA. SCNA analysis revealed amplification and deletion of several cancer related genes. We found amplification of 60 oncogenes (Oncs), from which 15 were recurrently observed. Deletion of 58 tumor suppressors (TSs) was also detected. MAPK, PI3K-Akt, Rap1 and Ras were the signaling pathways with large numbers of amplified Oncs. On the other hand, deleted TSs belonged mostly to cell cycle, PI3K-Akt, mTOR and cellular senescence pathways. This suggests that despite heterogeneity in SCNA events, the final results would be the activation/deactivation of a few cancer signaling pathways. Of note, despite large amounts of heterogeneity in stage one PTC, recurrent broad deletion on Chr22 was detected in 21 individuals, leading to deletion of several tumor suppressors. In parallel, the oncogenic/pathogenic mutations in the RTK-RAS and PI3k-Akt pathways were detected. However, no pathogenic mutation was identified in known tumor suppressor genes. In order to identify a potential subgroup of BRAF (V600E) positive patients, who might progress to higher stages, low frequency mutations accompanying BRAF (V600E) were also identified. In conclusion, our findings imply that SCNA have a substantial contribution to early stages of PTC. Experimental validation of the observed genomic alterations could help to stratify patients at the time of diagnosis, and to move toward precision medicine in PTC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104584
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in biology and medicine
Early online date16 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • Early stage
  • Genomic landscape
  • Mutations
  • Papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • Somatic copy number Alterations


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