European perspective on the use of molecular tests in the diagnosis and therapy of thyroid neoplasms

Małgorzata Oczko-Wojciechowska, Agnieszka Kotecka-Blicharz, Jolanta Krajewska, Dagmara Rusinek, Marcin Barczyński, Barbara Jarząb, Agnieszka Czarniecka


Thyroid nodules are frequently observed, particularly in individuals of over 60 years of age. On the other hand, most of the detected changes are benign and they do not require surgery. Therefore, differentiation between benign and malignant lesions in preoperative diagnosis is of crucial importance. Currently, the use of fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) and cytological assessment are the gold standard in the diagnosis of thyroid nodules. This procedure significantly reduces the need for diagnostic surgical intervention. However, approximately 15–30% of cytological results are classified as indeterminate. This is mainly due to the lack of specific cytomorphologic features that would facilitate the diagnosis based on cell evaluation under microscopic assessment. For the diagnoses of atypia of undetermined significance/follicular lesion of undetermined significance (AUS/FLUS), the assessment of invasion is crucial. Such an evaluation is not possible in cytology. Recently, molecular tests have been developed. They improve cytological diagnosis, particularly in the case of indeterminate results. Commercially available tests are developed based on the North American population. It is important to assess whether such tests can be used in the evaluation of e.g., European population.