Biomarkers of thyroid function and autoimmunity for predicting high-risk groups of thyroid cancer: A nested case-control study

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Abstract

Background: A remarkable increase in the number of thyroid cancer cases has been reported in recent years; however, the markers to predict high-risk groups have not been fully established. Methods: We conducted a case-control study (257 cases and 257 controls) that was nested in the Cancer Screenee Cohort Study between August 2002 and December 2010; the mean follow-up time for this study was 3.1 ± 2.2 years. The levels of total triiodothyronine (TT3), free thyroxine (FT4), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroglobulin (Tg), anti-thyroperoxidase antibody (TPOAb), and anti-thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) were measured using samples with pre-diagnostic status. Logistic regression models were used to examine the association between thyroid function/autoimmunity and thyroid cancer risk. Results: When the markers were categorized by the tertile distributions of the control group, the highest tertile of FT4 (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.11-2.69) and the middle tertile of TSH (OR = 1.77, 95% CI = 1.14-2.74) were associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer by multivariate analyses. In addition, an elevated risk for thyroid cancer was found in subjects with TPOAb levels above 30 IU/mL (OR = 8.47, 95% CI = 5.39-13.33 for 30-60 IU/mL and OR = 4.48, 95% CI = 2.59-7.76 for ≥60 IU/mL). Stratified analyses indicated that some of these associations differed by sex, BMI, smoking status, and the duration of follow-up. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the levels of biomarkers of thyroid function/autoimmunity, particularly the presence of TPOAb, might be used as diagnostic markers for predicting thyroid cancer risk. Our findings suggest that careful monitoring of thyroid biomarkers may be helpful for identifying Korean populations at high-risk for thyroid cancer.

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Cho, A. A., Kong, S. Y., Shin, A., Lee, J., Lee, K. K., Lee, J. J., & Kim, J. (2014). Biomarkers of thyroid function and autoimmunity for predicting high-risk groups of thyroid cancer: A nested case-control study. BMC Cancer, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-14-873

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