International Journal of Head and Neck Surgery

Register      Login

VOLUME 5 , ISSUE 3 ( September-December, 2014 ) > List of Articles


BRAF Mutation Correlates with Aggressive Features, Little Predictive Value

Joseph Curry, David Cognetti, Edmund Pribitkin, Andrew Quong, Colin Wynne, Kathryn Scott, David Rosen, Elizabeth Duddy

Citation Information : Curry J, Cognetti D, Pribitkin E, Quong A, Wynne C, Scott K, Rosen D, Duddy E. BRAF Mutation Correlates with Aggressive Features, Little Predictive Value. Int J Head Neck Surg 2014; 5 (3):130-134.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10001-1198

Published Online: 01-12-2015

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).



With widespread and sophisticated imaging techniques, micro papillary thyroid cancers (PTCs) may be discovered prior to developing the classic pathological determinants of aggressiveness, such as extrathyroidal extent (ETE). Many studies have suggested that the V600E B-Raf proto-oncogene (BRAF) mutation can be used as a marker for aggressive disease. One objective of this study is to determine what prognostic value this mutation holds. However, nearly all of current studies have focused solely on classically aggressive tumors, not classically nonaggressive samples. This study also seeks to determine the BRAF mutation status in both the groups of tumors.

Materials and methods

Sixty-six PTC samples were tested for the V600E BRAF mutation using competitive allele-specific TaqMan probes in real-time PCR (Applied Biosystems/Life Technologies). Testing demonstrates that this assay has at least a <5% sensitivity to the mutation. Forty-five samples had at least one of four aggressive features. Samples with vascular invasion, ETE or lymph node metastasis (LNM) were also characterized as having poor prognosis.


The V600E BRAF mutation was found in 27 of the 45 aggressive samples (60.0%) and 5 of the 21 nonaggressive samples. The Fisher exact test resulted in a correlation between aggressiveness and BRAF mutation as well as correlations between ETE, LNM and the BRAF mutation. When using the BRAF mutation as a predictor of prognosis based on the pathological features of aggressiveness, there was 60% sensitivity and 80% specificity.


The V600E BRAF mutation is correlated with pathological aggressive features, but may lack sufficient specificity or sensitivity to be used as a marker to predict outcome.

How to cite this article

Quong A, Wynne C, Curry J, Scott K, Rosen D, Cognetti D, Pribitkin E, Duddy E. BRAF Mutation Correlates with Aggressive Features, Little Predictive Value. Int J Head Neck Surg 2014;5(3):130-134.

PDF Share
  1. Higher rate of BRAF mutation in papillary thyroid cancer over time: a singleinstitution study. Cancer 2011;117:4390-4395.
  2. The BRAF mutation is predictive of aggressive clinicopathological characteristics in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma. Ann Surg Oncol 2010;17:3294-3300.
  3. Should all papillary thy roid microcarcinomas be aggressively treated? An analysis of 18,445 cases. Ann Surg 2011;254:653-660.
  4. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2008;132:622-632.
  5. Thyroid hormone induces activation of mitogenactivated protein kinase in cultured cells. Am J Physiol 1999;276:C1014-1024.
  6. Role of BRAF in thyroid oncogenesis. Clin Cancer Res 2011;17:7511-7517.
  7. BRAF in Melanoma: pathogen esis, diagnosis, inhibition and resistance. J Skin Cancer 2011;2011:423239.
  8. BRAF mutations in colorectal cancer are associated with distinct clinical characteristics and worse prognosis. Dis Colon Rectum 2012;55:128-133.
  9. Progression of BRAF-induced thyroid cancer is associated with epithelialmesenchymal transition requiring concomitant MAP kinase and TGFbeta signaling. Oncogene 2011;30:3153-3162.
  10. BRAF (V600E) mutation analysis from May-Grunwald Giemsa-stained cytological samples as an adjunct in identification of high-risk papillary thyroid carcinoma. Endocr Pathol 2011;22:195-199.
  11. BRAF V600E mutation analysis of thyroid nodules needle aspirates in relation to their ultrasonographic classification: a potential guide for selection of samples for molecular analysis. Thyroid 2010;20:273-279.
  12. The BRAF (V600E) mutation is associated with malignant ultra sonographic features in thyroid nodules. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2011;75:844-850.
  13. BRAF mutation in papillary thyroid cancer: patho genic role, molecular bases and clinical implications. Endocr Rev 2007;28:742-762.
  14. BRAF (V600E) mutation does not serve as a prognostic factor in Korean patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma. Auris Nasus Larynx 2012;39:198-203.
  15. Oncogenic alterations in papillary thyroid cancers of young patients. Thyroid 2012;22:1726.
  16. Poorer prognosis and higher prevalence of BRAF (V600E) mutation in synchronous bilateral papillary thyroid carcinoma. Ann Surg Oncol 2011;27:27.
  17. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2012;138:44-49.
  18. Correlation be tween the BRAF V600E mutation and tumor invasiveness in papillary thyroid carcinomas smaller than 20 millimeters: analysis of 1060 cases. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2010;95:4197-4205.
  19. BRAF V600E mutation is associated with tumor aggressiveness in papillary thyroid cancer. World J Surg 2012;36:310-317.
  20. Both BRAF V600E mutation and older age (≥ 65 years) are associated with recurrent papillary thyroid cancer. Ann Surg Oncol 2011;18:3566-3571.
  21. The association of the BRAF (V600E) mutation with prognostic factors and poor clinical outcome in papillary thyroid cancer: a metaanalysis. Cancer 2012;118:1764-1773.
  22. BRAF mutation analysis of fine-needle aspiration biopsies of papillary thyroid carcinoma: impact on diagnosis and prognosis. Acta Cytol 2011;55:563-569.
  23. Risk stratification of indeterminate thyroid fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens based on mutation analysis. Surgery 2011;150:1085-1091.
  24. Optimizing surgical treatment of papillary thyroid carcinoma associated with BRAF mutation. Surgery 2009;146:1215-1223.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.