J Cancer 2020; 11(4):932-939. doi:10.7150/jca.33105

Research Paper

The BRAF V600E mutation is a predictor of the effect of radioiodine therapy in papillary thyroid cancer

Junshang Ge1,2,3, Jie Wang2, Hui Wang1, Xianjie Jiang2, Qianjin Liao1, Qian Gong1, Yongzhen Mo2, Xiaoling Li1,2,3, Guiyuan Li1,2,3, Wei Xiong1,2,3, Jin Zhao1,2✉, Zhaoyang Zeng1,2,3✉

1. NHC Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis (Central South University) and Hunan Key Laboratory of Translational Radiation Oncology, Hunan Cancer Hospital and the Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China;
2. Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Cancer Research Institute and School of Basic Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China;
3. Hunan Key Laboratory of Nonresolving Inflammation and Cancer, Disease Genome Research Center, the Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
Ge J, Wang J, Wang H, Jiang X, Liao Q, Gong Q, Mo Y, Li X, Li G, Xiong W, Zhao J, Zeng Z. The BRAF V600E mutation is a predictor of the effect of radioiodine therapy in papillary thyroid cancer. J Cancer 2020; 11(4):932-939. doi:10.7150/jca.33105. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v11p0932.htm

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Objective: To investigate the correlation between the BRAF V600E gene mutation and clinicopathological features and thyroid function after iodine-131 treatment in patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).

Methods: A total of 128 PTC patients who underwent iodine-131 treatment after a total thyroidectomy from February 2015 to November 2016 at Hunan Cancer Hospital, China, were recruited. There were 25 males and 103 females. The age range was 11 to 73 years old. The BRAF V600E mutation in tumor tissues was detected by amplification-restriction mutation system polymerase chain reaction (ARMS-PCR), and the serum levels of Tg, TSH, Tg-Ab, and Tpo-Ab were measured by chemiluminescence after iodine-131 treatment. The BRAF V600E mutation was shown to be associated with clinicopathological characteristics and thyroid function indicators after iodine-131 treatment.

Results: BRAF V600E mutation was detected in 75 of the 128 patients (58.6%) and was observed more frequently in cases with elevated Tg levels (Tg>1.00) at 3, 6, 12, and 18 months after treatment compared with patients without any BRAF mutations (P<0.05). Patients with BRAF V600E mutation had significant lower level of Tg-Ab at 3 and 12 months after treatment with iodine-131 than patients without BRAF V600E mutation (P<0.05). Among the 75 BRAF V600E patients, no significant association was found between the levels of TSH and Tpo-Ab after iodine-131 treatment (P>0.05). The BRAF V600E mutation was closely associated with the high-risk and age of the patient (≥45 years old) (P<0.05), but there was no significant correlation with gender, clinical stage, and distant metastasis.

Conclusion: The BRAF V600E mutation is closely related to serum Tg elevation after treatment with iodine-131 in papillary thyroid cancer. These findings suggest that this BRAF mutation may be a predictor of the efficacy of iodine-131 treatment for papillary thyroid cancer.

Keywords: I -131 treatment, BRAF V600E, Thyroid function, papillary thyroid carcinoma