Melanoma Risk Increased in Patients With Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma

By Reuters Staff

March 24, 2014

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Individuals diagnosed with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) face an increased risk of melanoma, and vice versa, according to data from the Utah Population Database.

Rates of PTC and malignant melanoma have been increasing over the past few decades, and both cancers display a familial pattern of inheritance and a high rate of BRAF v600e mutation in their lesions.

Dr. Gretchen M. Oakley from University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City and colleagues used data from the Utah Population Database and the Utah Cancer Registry to analyze the associated risk between these two cancers.

The study included 4460 PTC cases and 14,569 cutaneous melanoma cases.

Patients with PTC had an 80% increased risk of developing melanoma, and patients with melanoma had a 2.3-fold increased risk of developing PTC, compared with population-based matched controls.

There was no increased risk of PTC in relatives of probands with melanoma, nor was there an increased melanoma risk in relatives of probands with PTC. However there was a modestly increased risk in both first- and second-degree relatives combined.

Spouses of PTC patients were not at increased risk of melanoma, and spouses of melanoma patients were not at increased risk of PTC, according to the March 13 JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery online report.

Among eight patients with both PTC and melanoma who had BRAF v600e mutation testing of both specimens, four tested positive in either specimen, while three tested positive in both specimens.

"Translational studies are needed to better define the associated genetic predisposition between PTC and cutaneous melanoma and to test the efficacy of and implementation techniques for treatment plans using BRAF mutation as a therapeutic target," the researchers conclude.

Dr. Oakley did not respond to a request for comments.


JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2014.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.