The Finding of a Somatic Deletion in RET exon 15 Clarified the Sporadic Nature of a Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma Suspected to be Familial
Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) occurs both sporadically and in the autosomal dominantly inherited multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) type 2 syndromes. The distinction between both is important for future clinical management. We report a family initially described as a familial MTC by pentagastrin stimulation test and clinical outcome, in which we found a 12 bp deletion within the catalytic domain of the protooncogene RET in the index case tumor alone. Linkage study suggests that it is a sporadic MTC. Therefore, in view of these results, in kindred with just one MTC case, borderline pentagastrin test values must be carefully assessed. In addition, this and other mutations can help us to understand some features about domains that play an important role in the normal function of this tyrosine kinase receptor and involved in MTC.