Open Access Open Badges Research article

QPRT: a potential marker for follicular thyroid carcinoma including minimal invasive variant; a gene expression, RNA and immunohistochemical study

Nora Hinsch1*, Matthias Frank1, Claudia Döring12, Christian Vorländer3 and Martin-Leo Hansmann1

Author Affiliations

1 Senckenbergisches Institut für Pathologie, Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany

2 Institut für Informatik, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany

3 Abteilung für Chirurgie, Bürgerhospital Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:93  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-93

Published: 26 March 2009



The differential diagnosis between follicular thyroid adenoma and minimal invasive follicular thyroid carcinoma is often difficult for several reasons. One major aspect is the lack of typical cytological criteria in well differentiated specimens. New marker molecules, shown by poly- or monoclonal antibodies proved helpful.


We performed global gene expression analysis of 12 follicular thyroid tumours (4 follicular adenomas, 4 minimal invasive follicular carcinomas and 4 widely invasive follicular carcinomas), followed by immunohistochemical staining of 149 cases. The specificity of the antibody was validated by western blot analysis


In gene expression analysis QPRT was detected as differently expressed between follicular thyroid adenoma and follicular thyroid carcinoma. QPRT protein could be detected by immunohistochemistry in 65% of follicular thyroid carcinomas including minimal invasive variant and only 22% of follicular adenomas.


Consequently, QPRT is a potential new marker for the immunohistochemical screening of follicular thyroid nodules.