Objective: We describe a 4-generation family with familial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC) - a variant of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2) without extra-thyroid features. RET mutation analysis confirmed an E768D mutation in exon 13 in 8 family members, 3 affected with medullary thyroid cancer alone while the other 5 were detected to be mutation carriers. This mutation has been described in very few families worldwide and the spectrum of disease and natural history is unclear. Results: Three affected members had medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) confirmed histologically at ages 25, 50 and 56 years, respectively. The E768D mutation appears to have a less aggressive clinical course compared to other high risk RET mutations with no evidence of clinical recurrence up to I I years after initial therapy. Of five gene carriers identified, two are asymptomatic at the age of 70 and 61, and three had raised calcitonin levels at 46, 39, and 45 years. Following total thyroidectomy, one gene carrier had a histologically normal thyroid at age 46, following a mildly elevated calcitonin, one had C-cell hyperplasia at the age of 39, and one had a frank focus of carcinoma in the left thyroid lobe at the age of 45. No members had evidence of phaeochromocytoma or parathyroid disease on screening. Conclusion: The RET E768D mutation is associated with MTC with a later age at presentation, incomplete penetrance and less aggressive course compared with other high risk RET mutations. To date in this family the E768D mutation has not been associated with either phaeochromocytoma or hyperparathyroidism. The appropriate screening strategy for and management of E768D carriers is difficult reflecting the phenotypic heterogeneity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research