Primary Outcome Measures:
Blood, RNA/DNA from fine needle aspirate biopsies of thyroid nodules, fresh frozen surgical tissue, formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue.
This protocol requires the collection of blood (5 ml), fine-needle aspirate biopsies (FNAB), and post-surgical thyroid cancer tissue. The post surgical tissue includes fresh-frozen tissue that is considered waste and in excess of that required for pathologic diagnosis, and archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPE). The blood will be used as a substrate for assessing known markers, including microRNA expression patterns that may be useful to predict disease and thyroid cancer morphotype. The FNABs will be used to screen the potential of markers for pre-operative diagnosis. The post-surgical fresh-frozen thyroid cancer tissue will be used to isolate DNA and RNA in order to assess somatic mutations (RAS and PAX8/PPAR-gamma rearrangement) and messenger RNA, and microRNA expression patterns. The FFPE tissue will be used to obtain H&E and unstained slides to validate results using immunohistochemistry. The goal of these studies is to define molecular markers that will accurately distinguish benign from malignant disease and the multiple thyroid cancer phenotypes. Current methods of distinguishing benign from malignant disease requires a detailed post-surgical analysis and no known markers have yet been identified to reliably differentiate the multiple thyroid cancer morphotypes.