Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Genetic Counseling

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Thereasa Rich

Committee Member

Elizabeth Grubbs

Committee Member

Carol Etzel

Committee Member

Craig Hanis

Committee Member

Stephen Daiger


The American Thyroid Association recently classified all MEN2A-associated codons into increasing risk levels A-C and stated that some patients may delay prophylactic thyroidectomy if certain criteria are met. One criterion is a less aggressive family history of MTC but whether families with the same mutated codon have variable MTC aggressiveness is not well described. We developed several novel measures of MTC aggressiveness and compared families with the same mutated codon to determine if there is significant inter-familial variability. Pedigrees of families with MEN2A were reviewed for codon mutated and proportion of RET mutation carriers with MTC. Individuals with MTC were classified as having local or distant MTC and whether they had progressive MTC. MTC status and age were assessed at diagnosis and most advanced MTC stage. For those without MTC, age was recorded at prophylactic thyroidectomy or last follow-up if the patient did not have a thyroidectomy. For each pedigree, the mean age of members without MTC, with MTC, and the proportion of RET mutation carriers with local or distant and progressive MTC were calculated. We assessed differences in these variables using ANOVA and the Fisher’s exact test. Sufficient data for analysis were available for families with mutated codons 609 (92 patients from 13 families), 618 (41 patients from 7 families), and 634 (152 patients from 13 families). The only significant differences found were the mean age of patients without MTC between families with codon 609 and 618 mutations even after accounting for prophylactic thyroidectomy (p=0.006 and 0.001, respectively), and in the mean age of MTC diagnosis between families with codon 618 and 634 mutations even after accounting for symptomatic presentation (p=0.023 and 0.014, respectively). However, these differences may be explained by generational differences in ascertainment of RET carriers and the availability of genetic testing when the proband initially presented.


Medullary Thyroid Cancer, Genetic Counseling, MEN2A



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.