Project: Research project

Project Details


Human medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a neuroendocrine cancer that
either arises sporadically or as an inherited neoplasm from the
calcitonin producing C-cells of the thyroid. These cells arise in the
neural crest and were among the first characterized to have "APUD"
(amine precursor uptake and decarboxylation) features characteristic of
neuroendocrine cells. Human MTC can have an extremely variable clinical
course, with some patients having chronic, relatively indolent disease
and others dying rapidly from virulent tumors. Previous studies in the
literature and our preliminary studies have used a stable human MTC cell
line, the TT line, to study the in vitro differentiation of MTC. In the
present studies the in vitro differentiation of MTC will be further
examined followed by the use of a differential screening strategy to
clone potential differentiation associated markers or genes. In
addition, because of the ready availability of clinical material at the
Mayo Clinic, the potential clinical significance of the Cloned genes
will be examined. In this phase of the studies, the expression in human
MTCs of the differentiation associated genes identified earlier will be
analyzed against a series of clinical parameters to see if variation in
expression of these gene has any clinical correlations. By thus
combining the in vitro studies with the analysis of human tumors in
vivo, the proposed studies may eventually lead to refined prognostic
criteria for human MTC. The improved identification of patients with
aggressive disease would then help target them for closer follow-up
and/or more intensive therapy. In addition, these studies may lead to a
better understanding of the mechanisms modulating the differentiation
status of MTC.
Effective start/end date4/1/923/31/97


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)