Purpose:

RAS mutations occur across the spectrum of thyroid neoplasms, and more tools are needed for better prognostication. The objective of this study was to evaluate how additional genetic events affecting key genes modify prognosis in patients with RAS-mutant thyroid cancers, and specifically differentiated thyroid cancers (DTC).

Experimental Design:

We performed a clinical–genomic analysis of consecutive patients with DTC, poorly differentiated (PDTC), or anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) between January 2014 and December 2021, in whom a custom-targeted next-generation sequencing assay was performed. Patients harboring RAS mutations were included, and we compared their clinical features and outcomes based upon the presence of additional oncogenic alterations.

Results:

Seventy-eight patients were identified, with 22% (17/78) harboring a driver RAS mutation plus an additional oncogenic alteration. All six (100%) ATCs had an additional mutation. Compared with DTCs harboring a solitary RAS mutation, patients with DTC with RAS and additional mutation(s) were more likely to be classified as American Thyroid Association high-risk of recurrence (77% vs. 12%; P < 0.001) and to have larger primary tumors (4.7 vs. 2.5 cm; P = 0.002) and advanced stage (III or IV) at presentation (67% vs. 3%; P < 0.001). Importantly, over an average 65-month follow-up, DTC-specific-mortality was more than 10-fold higher (20% vs. 1.8%; P = 0.011) when additional mutations were identified.

Conclusions:

Identification of key additional mutations in patients with RAS-mutant thyroid cancers confers a more aggressive phenotype, increases mortality risk in DTC, and can explain the diversity of RAS-mutated thyroid neoplasia. These data support genomic profiling of DTCs to inform prognosis and clinical decision-making.

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