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Invited Commentary
July 18, 2019

Molecular Testing for Indeterminate Thyroid Nodules—When the Rubber Meets the Road

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Endocrine & Breast Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
  • 2Head and Neck Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019;145(9):792-793. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.1465

In this issue of JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Valderrabano et al1 report provocative findings on the performance of a widely used molecular test for thyroid nodules. The authors’ goal was to determine whether the performance of this assay, the Afirma gene expression classifier (GEC; Veracyte), in the real world has matched the figures in the initial validation study that led to the approval and widespread adoption of the GEC. Undertaking a systematic review of 19 studies encompassing 2568 nodules, the authors found that the sensitivity and specificity of the test seemed to differ markedly from those reported in the initial study.2