The development of molecular analyses for thyroid pathologies is on going. These analyses provide new diagnostic tools with
the aim of accurately distinguishing malignant and benign thyroid tumors. They are particularly useful as most of them can be done preoperatively
on thyroid fine-needle aspiration biopsy samples. Furthermore, molecular biomarkers may play a promising role since they
are able to predict the prognosis of patients with thyroid tumors. Moreover, identification of molecular markers as well as a better understanding
of thyroid carcinogenesis will help develop innovative targeted therapies, particularly in patients with metastatic iodo-resistant
thyroid carcinoma. To date, four types of somatic genetic alterations are known to hold potential interest for the diagnosis and/or prognosis
of follicular cell-derived thyroid carcinomas: BRAF and RAS mutations, and RET/PTC and PAX8/PPARγ rearrangements. Other recent
molecular biomarkers have been investigated in thyroid oncology, in particular different microRNA signatures. This review describes the
different aspects of ancillary methods, including those bassed on molecular biology, that are of current interest for the diagnosis, prognosis
and treatment of follicular cell-derived thyroid carcinomas.
Keywords: Thyroid tumors, molecular biology, BRAF, RAS, RET/PTC, PAX8/PPARγ, microRNA, prognosis, diagnosis, targeted therapy.
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