Thyroid Cancer (Carcinoma) Markers




Thyroid cancer is cancer of the thyroid gland. There are four forms: papillary, follicular, medulllary and anaplastic. The most common forms (papillary and follicular) are slow growing and may recur, but these forms are rarely fatal in patients under age 45. The medullary form also has a good prognosis if it is restricted to the thyroid gland and a poorer prognosis if there has been spread; anaplastic thyroid cancers are fast-growing and respond poorly to therapy.





  • considered to be clinically useful as a tumor marker of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid (MCT). PMID: 2323727


  • persistent high plasma adrenaline levels may be selectively increased in MTC patients together with a moderate adrenal CT-scan enlargement and a high adrenal MIBG uptake, despite a normal urinary excretion of total catecholamines and catecholamines metabolites. PMID: 1673649


  • CD26 activity staining is a simple, specific assay which should be added to the usual pathological examinations in order to distinguish differentiated thyroid carcinomas from benign thyroid diseases. PMID: 7591305

CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide)

  • may be a humoral marker of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and be related to degree of malignancy. PMID: 1399365


  • can be used as a marker of malignancy in well-differentiated carcinomas of follicular cell origin, namely in papillary carcinoma. However, it is less reliable in follicular and oncocytic carcinomas. PMID: 12756846

FAK (Focal adhesion kinase)

  • Overexpression of FAK may be part of a mechanism for invasion and metastasis of thyroid cancer. Furthermore, the levels of p125FAK may serve as a marker of biologic behavior in this disease. PMID: 8770310


  • real-time RT-PCR of onfFN (oncofoetal fibronectin) mRNA is superior to other markers in monitoring minimal residual disease in differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) with regard to both assay sensitivity and specificity. PMID: 16091757


  • should only be considered an adjuvant marker for follicular carcinoma. PMID: 16194828

  • a marker of well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma, is expressed in thyroid nodules with cytological atypia. PMID: 11903601

  • a reliable presurgical molecular marker of minimally invasive follicular carcinoma (MIC), improving the accuracy of conventional Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB). It also proves to be useful in the histopathological assessment of resected tumors having suspected malignant features. PMID: 11701669

  • Galectin-3 is a presurgical marker of human thyroid carcinoma. PMID: 9679965


  • has been recognized as a useful marker for diagnosing thyroid carcinoma. PMID: 15816536

  • can be effectively applied to thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA) specimens and can be a valuable adjunct in the cytologic diagnosis of thyroid malignancies. PMID: 9237176


  • histaminase activity in surgical and autopsy specimens can serve as a specific biochemical marker for the presence of medullary thyroid carcinoma. PMID: 4628882



  • likely to be as useful as calcitonin in C-cell carcinoma. PMID: 3550267


MCM2 (minichromosome maintenance protein 2)

  • MCM2, but not Ki67, is a helpful marker for differentiating minimally invasive follicular carcinoma (MIFC) from follicular adenoma (FA). PMID: 16722928


  • Increased MMP-2 expression may be useful as a diagnostic marker to differentiate papillary carcinoma from other thyroid neoplasms, but it cannot serve as a useful prognostic marker. PMID: 12001695


  • dysregulation is associated with aggressive behavior of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and may serve as a prognostic marker and potential therapeutic target in this disease. PMID: 15172984


  • a novel marker of thyroid cancer sensitivity to herpes oncolytic therapy that might guide patient selection for therapy. PMID: 17327376


  • is expressed in subsets of thyroid tumors and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. PMID: 16949643


  • the marker of low neoplastic cell differentiation in thyroid carcinoma. PMID: 12182067


  • Platelet-derived growth factor may be a potential biomarker for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and follicular carcinoma. PMID: 15041723


  • PDN-21, as well as calcitonin, may be a useful marker for the detection of patients with medulllary thyroid cancer (MTC). PMID: 2385096

polySia of NCAM

  • a valuable marker to distinguish medullary carcinomas from other types of thyroid carcinomas. PMID: 8141431

S-100 protein

  • a differentiation marker in thyroid carcinoma of follicular cell origin. PMID: 9361100


  • could be used as a prognostic marker for thyroid carcinoma. PMID: 15579771


  • a diagnostic marker distinguishing benign from malignant follicular thyroid tumors. PMID: 9187112

Thyroglobulin (hTg)

  • A combined application of iodine scanning and thyroglobulin radioimmunoassay is thus advisable in the follow-up of patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma. PMID: 7045510

  • These contrasting results of serum hTg measurement and 131I TBS suggest to us the usefulness to use both tests in the detection of thyroid cancer recurrence. PMID: 7096915

  • a specific serum marker for the management of thyroid carcinoma. PMID: 15157556

TSH receptor (TSHR)

  • TSHR mRNA measured with FNA enhances the preoperative detection of cancer in patients with thyroid nodules, reducing unnecessary surgeries, and immediate postoperative levels can predict residual/metastatic disease. PMID: 17118994