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The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be approximately 30,180 new cases of thyroid cancer in the United States in 2006. At least, 80% of these cancers are papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), representing the most common endocrine malignancy. Affymetrix DNA microarray data of seven PTC samples vs. paired normal thyroid tissue was subjected to pathway analysis by GenMAPP (Gene Map Annotator and Pathway Profiler) and MAPPFinder programs (www.genmapp.org) in order to determine relevant biological processes and/or pathways altered in PTC. We ran the MAPPFinder program on the DNA microarray data using two criteria, either an increase (fold change > 1.6 and p < 0.05) or decreased (fold change < -1.6 and p < 0.05) in gene expression for PTC. The data generated was ranked according to the Z score (a statistical rating based on the hypergeometric distribution) to identify the pathways with high levels of gene expression changes. Some of the most significantly altered pathways are those associated with signaling pathways, such as the G and TGF beta signaling pathway, frizzled signaling pathway and vascular endothelial receptor signaling pathway, MAP kinase phosphatase activity, STAT protein nuclear translocation, phospholipase A1 activity, androgen binding, glycosaminoglycan binding, regulation of hepatocyte growth factor biosynthesis and eicosanoid synthesis, among others. We also found alterations in apoptosis, thyroid metabolism, extracellular matrix, cell adhesion and immune/inflammatory response activity. These results contribute to our understanding of the biology of PTC and serves as the basis for new hypotheses and more detailed investigation into the biological processes altered in this disease.

98th AACR Annual Meeting-- Apr 14-18, 2007; Los Angeles, CA