The role of vascular endothelial growth factor in the development of papillary thyroid carcinoma in patients with lymphocytic thyroiditis

Gulcelik N. E., Akin S., Aydin K., Aydin Mericoz C., Guler Tezel Y. G., Usman A.

Minerva endocrinology, vol.48, no.4, pp.379-386, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.23736/s2724-6507.22.03663-6
  • Journal Name: Minerva endocrinology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.379-386
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


BACKGROUND: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune chronic inflammatory conditions and papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). We hypothesized that, as VEGF expression is increased both in PTC and in lymphocytic thyroiditis (LT), it may stimulate the development of PTC in patients with LT. To evaluate this, we examined both tumor and adjacent non-tumoral tissues of PTC patients with and without LT. METHODS: A total of 50 patients with PTC (52.50±7.41 years) and 17 patients with nodular goiter (NG) (50.47±10.38 years) were included in the study. According to the presence of LT, patients with PTC were further divided into two groups. Immunohistochemical analyses of VEGF were conducted in all patients and for PTC patients, both tumor tissue and adjacent non-tumoral tissue were evaluated. RESULTS: The scores for intensity of staining and percentage of labeled thyrocytes for VEGF were found to be significantly higher in the PTC patients than in the NG patients (P<0.001, P<0.001, respectively). The tumor tissue revealed similar scores for PTC patients with LT and without LT. However, the scores in adjacent non-tumoral tissue were higher in PTC patients with LT than in patients without LT (P=0.004, P=0.01, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, our results are the first to demonstrate that the expression of VEGF in adjacent non-tumoral tissue were higher in PTC patients with LT than in those without, which shows a possible role of VEGF expression in the progression of PTC in the presence of LT.