Background: The principle of loss of iodine uptake and increased glucose metabolism according to dedifferentiation of thyroid cancer is clinically assessed by imaging. Though these biological properties are widely applied to appropriate iodine therapy, the understanding of the genomic background of this principle is still lacking. We investigated the association between glucose metabolism and differentiation in advanced thyroid cancer as well as papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).
Methods: We used RNA sequencing of 505 patients with PTC obtained from the Cancer Genome Archives and microarray data of poorly-differentiated and anaplastic thyroid cancer (PDTC/ATC). The signatures of GLUT and glycolysis were estimated to assess glucose metabolic profiles. The glucose metabolic profiles were associated with tumor differentiation score (TDS) and BRAFV600E mutation status. In addition, survival analysis of glucose metabolic profiles was performed for predicting recurrence-free survival.
Results: In PTC, the glycolysis signature was positively correlated with TDS, while the GLUT signature was inversely correlated with TDS. These correlations were significantly stronger in the BRAFV600E negative group than the positive group. Meanwhile, both GLUT and glycolysis signatures were negatively correlated with TDS in advanced thyroid cancer. The high glycolysis signature was significantly associated with poor prognosis in PTC in spite of high TDS. The glucose metabolic profiles are intricately associated with tumor differentiation in PTC and PDTC/ATC.
Conclusions: As glycolysis was an independent prognostic marker, we suggest that the glucose metabolism features of thyroid cancer could be another biological progression marker different from differentiation and provide clinical implications for risk stratification.
Trial registration: Not applicable.
Keywords: GLUT; Glucose metabolism; Glycolysis; Thyroid cancer; Tumor differentiation.
Suh HY, Choi H*, Paeng JC, Cheon GJ, Chung JK, Kang KW.(2019)