American journal of clinical pathology

Thyroid carcinoma showing thymus-like elements: a clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and molecular analysis.

PMID 25596248


To investigate the clinicopathologic, immunophenotypic, ultrastructural, and molecular features of thyroid carcinoma showing thymus-like elements (CASTLE). We retrospectively analyzed the clinicopathologic data of 10 patients with CASTLE and described the immunophenotypic and ultrastructural features of these tumors. The expression of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNA and the gene status of EGFR, C-KIT, and HER-2 were also assessed by molecular techniques. The tumor cells were positive for CD5, CD117, p63, HMWK, EGFR, GLUT-1, Pax8, E-cadherin, bcl-2, and p53 in all cases and for CA-IX, CEA, p16, HER-2, and neuroendocrine markers in some cases. Ultrastructural examination indicated that the tumor cells contained large quantities of tonofilament with abundant intercellular desmosomes, including intracytoplasmic neuroendocrine granules in one case. EGFR gene amplification in two patients and polyploidy of chromosome 7 in one patient were identified by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Sequencing analysis revealed that a synonymous mutation, Q787Q 2363 (G→A), occurred on exon 20 of the EGFR gene in three patients. GLUT-1 can be used as a novel biomarker for CASTLE, and combined detection of GLUT-1 with CD5 and CD117 aids in the diagnosis of this tumor. Aberrant expression of Bcl-2, p53, p16, E-cadherin, EGFR, C-KIT, and HER-2 may play important roles in the development of CASTLE.