Telomerase activity: A marker to distinguish follicular thyroid adenoma from carcinoma

Christopher B. Umbricht, Motoyasu Saji, William H. Westra, Robert Udelsman, Martha A. Zeiger, Saraswati Sukumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


The inability to distinguish microinvasive follicular thyroid cancer from benign follicular tumors preoperatively presents an important surgical dilemma. We examined 44 follicular tumors and found telomerase activity in all 11 follicular carcinomas and in 8 of 33 benign follicular tumors. It was undetectable in 22 normal thyroid tissues adjacent to the tumors. Telomerase activity may thus provide a diagnostic marker distinguishing benign from malignant follicular thyroid tumors. The ability to identify invasive follicular thyroid tumors could avert over 14,000 thyroidectomies annually in the United States, thereby significantly decreasing morbidity and health care costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2144-2147
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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