Thyroid Biopsy Genetic Testing
Indeterminate thyroid nodules carry a small but significant potential for cancer. Molecular tests are now being used to help decide the malignant potential
"Indeterminate" is one of four specific categories of results that are obtained from a thyroid nodule FNA biopsy. "Indeterminate" is not at all the same as a "benign" FNA result. We have a thyroid FNA biopsy clinic every day of the week for patients with thyroid nodules.
These indeterminate nodules can be a difficult problem for patients since it is not clear if surgery is needed. Since 2011 there has been a push for molecular markers to help determinate the malignant potential of indeterminate thyroid nodules. There are several manufacturers of these gene tests including Afirma Gene Expression Classifier (GEC), RosettaGX Reveal and ThyGenX /ThyraMIR. Houston Thyroid and Endocrine offers all of these tests. There are advantages and disadvantages to all sets of tests. Although none is perfect to exclude or diagnose thyroid cancer, they provide useful information.
1. Does your clinic offer these tests?
2. Does your physician know how to interpret these tests?
3. Does your physician know the strengths and weaknesses of each of these genetic tests?
4. Is your physician tied to only using one of these tests? Why?
Although these tests do not provide 100% certainty of the likelihood of cancer in all nodules, if interpreted by an experienced endocrinologist a patient can greatly benefit.