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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 847108, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/847108
Review Article

Thyroid Cancer: Molecular Aspects and New Therapeutic Strategies

1Department of Medical Oncology, Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, 28034 Madrid, Spain
2Department of Endocrinology, Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, 28034 Madrid, Spain
3Department of Endocrinology, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
4Department of Medical Oncology, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, 08035 Barcelona, Spain

Received 1 March 2012; Accepted 13 May 2012

Academic Editor: Fausto Bogazzi

Copyright © 2012 Enrique Grande et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Despite that thyroid cancer accounts for over 90% of tumors that arise from the endocrine system, these tumors barely represent 2% of solid tumors in adults. Many entities are grouped under the general term of thyroid cancer, and they differ in histological features as well as molecular and clinical behavior. Thus, the prognosis for patients with thyroid cancer ranges from a survival rate of >97% at 5 years, in the case of differentiated thyroid tumors sensitive to radioactive iodine, to a 4-month median survival for anaplastic tumors. The high vascularity in these tumors and the important role that oncogenic mutations may have in the RAS/RAF/MEK pathway and oncogenicity (as suggested by activating mutations and rearrangements of the RET gene) have led to the development of multitarget inhibitors in different histological subgroups of patients. The correct molecular characterization of patients with thyroid cancer is thought to be a key aspect for the future clinical management of these patients.