Foundation one genomic interrogation of thyroid cancers in patients with metastatic disease requiring systemic therapy

Nicole M. Iñiguez-Ariza, Sina Jasim, Mabel M. Ryder, Ashish V. Chintakuntlawar, John C. Morris, Crystal R. Hilger, Michael E. Menefee, Robert C. Smallridge, Nina J. Karlin, Constanza Alcaino, Keith C. Bible

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Context: Clinical applications of genomic assessment of thyroid cancers are rapidly evolving. Objectives, Design, and Setting: We studied tumor samples from patients with imminently threatening and rare thyroid cancers to identify genomic alterations that might correlate with outcomes and/or be productively therapeutically targetable. Patient Context: Progressive and metastatic, and/or rare, thyroid cancers were studied, 2012 to 2016, at Mayo Clinic sites. Intervention: The intervention was Foundation One tumor interrogation. Main Outcome Measures: Main outcome measures included genomic alterations, patient characteristics, and overall survival. Results: Samples from 55 patients were evaluated: 20 anaplastic thyroid cancers (ATCs) (36%), 25 radioactive iodine–refractory differentiated thyroid cancers (DTCs)/poorly differentiated thyroid cancers (PDTCs) (45%; 14 papillary thyroid cancer [PTCs], 6 PDTCs, 5 Hürthle cell cancers), 8 medullary thyroid cancers (MTCs) (15%), and 2 others (a spindle epithelial tumor with thymus-like differentiation, and a primary thyroid sarcoma). Overall, 72% of DTCs, 79% of ATCs, and 75% of MTCs were deemed to have potentially productively targetable alterations. The most commonly encountered mutation was of TERT promoter (56% of DTCs, 68% of ATCs)—but this is not presently targetable. Targetable BRAFV600E mutations were found in 40% of DTCs/PDTCs (83% of PTCs) and 32% of ATCs; of MTCs, 75% had targetable RET mutations, and 25% HRAS mutations. Of patient tumors with nonmutated BRAFV600E, 53% of DTC/PDTCs and 69% of ATCs had other potentially productively targetable mutations. Genomic alterations in our series of poor prognosis metastatic DTC/PDTCs also closely resembled those seen in ATC. Conclusions: Whereas genomic interrogation of favorable prognosis thyroid cancer seems ill advised, potentially productively targetable mutations were demonstrated in the majority of tumors from patients with metastatic thyroid cancers requiring systemic therapy, suggesting a rationale for the selective application of this technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer
  • Genomic sequencing
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Mutation
  • Poorly differentiated thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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