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Thyroid cancer profiles

August 15, 2011

Metabolomic profiling for pre- and post-menopausal women and men has yielded results that are expected to provide a better understanding of papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Metabolomic profiling for pre- and post-menopausal women and men has yielded results that are expected to provide a better understanding of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).1

PTC is one of the most common types of thyroid cancer, with an incidence rate three times higher in women; but with this difference lessening after menopause. The gender differences and the significance of menopause suggest that PTC could be affected by sex steroids, particularly androgens and estrogens.

To investigate this, researchers used gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to produce quantitative profiles of the urinary concentrations of 84 steroids, comparing the data of pre- and post-menopausal women and men.

Many of the urinary steroids were reported to be up in PTC patients, with the levels of three active androgens significantly higher in pre-menopausal women and men with PTC. Although most androgens and estrogens were increased in the pre-menopausal women with PTC, the study concluded, “hydroxylation and methoxylation with estrogens explained more the metabolic changes between all groups studied."

According to the study “these results are expected to be helpful for better understanding the pathogenic differences in PTC according to gender and menopausal conditions.”

1. M.H. Choi et al., BMC Cancer, 11(342) (2011).