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Invited Commentary
September 2017

Improvement of TNM Staging for Medullary Thyroid Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, UCSF-Mount Zion, San Francisco
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(9):876-877. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.1695

Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) accounts for less than 5% of all thyroid cancers; it differs from the more common papillary thyroid cancer and follicular thyroid cancer, which collectively are called differentiated thyroid cancer. Medullary TC derives from C cells instead of follicular cells and is considered a neuroendocrine tumor. Although most MTC grows slowly, the prognosis of patients with MTC is worse than that of patients with papillary thyroid cancer or follicular thyroid cancer. A high proportion of MTC is associated with germline RET (rearranged during transfection) oncogene mutation as part of the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 syndrome.1

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