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Data reaffirms test's ability to identify benign thyroid nodules
Date:10/24/2013

Aurora, CO (Oct. 23, 2013) The latest study co-led by a CU School of Medicine researcher has confirmed that a Gene Expression Classifier (GEC) test can drastically reduce the problem of unnecessary surgeries in thyroid nodule assessment. These indeterminate nodules are being evaluated with a new molecular diagnostic test that measures the expression levels of 142 genes. This test is able to identify which initially indeterminate nodules are highly likely to be benign, and thus allows patients to avoid unnecessary diagnostic surgery.

This multi-site study co-led by Bryan R. Haugen, MD, professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine provides the first long-term look at how these patients fared, and its findings reaffirm the performance of the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier (GEC). Haugen said "Each year, tens of thousands of patients with thyroid nodules have surgery to remove all or part of their thyroids. This is due to fine needle aspiration (FNA) cell test results that are indeterminate or inconclusive yet raise suspicions for thyroid cancer. Often times, most of these nodules prove to be benign. Our findings suggest that when the GEC identifies an otherwise indeterminate thyroid nodule as benign which it does about 50% of the time it is comparable in accuracy to a benign diagnosis by cytopathology, This fact and the degree to which physicians and patients in the study opted against surgery when the molecular test result was benign underscore the test's potential to drastically reduce the problem of unnecessary surgeries in thyroid nodule assessment."

Researchers analyzed all patients who had received Afirma GEC testing following indeterminate FNA biopsy results at five academic medical centers between 2010 and 2013. The GEC identified 174 of 339 (51%) indeterminate nodules as benign and, among these, 71 had documented clinical follow-up for an average of 9 months. Of these, only one nodule pr
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Contact: Jackie Brinkman
jackie.brinkman@ucdenver.edu
303-724-1525
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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