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Molecular Markers for Patients with Thymic Malignancies: not Feasible at Present?

  • Avci, Nilufer (Department of Medical Oncology, Uludag University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Cecener, Gulsah (Department of Medical Biology, University of Uludag, Institute of Health Sciences) ;
  • Deligonul, Adem (Department of Medical Oncology, Uludag University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Erturk, Elif (Department of Medical Biology, University of Uludag, Institute of Health Sciences) ;
  • Tunca, Berrin (Department of Medical Biology, University of Uludag, Institute of Health Sciences) ;
  • Egeli, Unal (Department of Medical Biology, University of Uludag, Institute of Health Sciences) ;
  • Tezcan, Gulcin (Department of Medical Biology, University of Uludag, Institute of Health Sciences) ;
  • Akyildiz, Elif Ulker (Department of Pathology, Uludag University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Bayram, Ahmet Sami (Department of Thoracıc Surgery, Uludag University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Gebitekin, Cengiz (Department of Thoracıc Surgery, Uludag University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Kurt, Ender (Department of Medical Oncology, Uludag University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Evrensel, Turkkan (Department of Medical Oncology, Uludag University Faculty of Medicine)
  • Published : 2014.04.30

Abstract

Background: Thymomas and thymic carcinomas are rare malignancies and devising clinically effective molecular targeted therapies is a major clinical challenge. The aim of the study was to analyze BLC2 and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) expression and KRAS and EGFR mutational status and to correlate them with the clinical characteristics of patients with thymomas and thymic carcinomas. Materials and Methods: A total of 62 patients (mean age: $50.4{\pm}13.2$ years) with thymomas and thymic carcinomas were enrolled. The expression of BLC2 and VEGFR in tumor cells and normal tissues was evaluated by RT-PCR. The mutational status of the KRAS and EGFR genes was investigated by PCR with sequence specific primers. Results: The BLC2 and VEGFR expression levels did not differ significantly between tumor and normal tissues. Moreover, there were no clearly pathogenic mutations in KRAS or EGFR genes in any tumor. None of the molecular markers were significantly related to clinical outcomes. Conclusions: Changes in levels of expression of BLC2 and VEGFR do not appear to be involved in thymic tumorigenesis. Moreover, our data suggest that KRAS and EGFR mutations do not play a major role in the pathogenesis of thymomas and thymic carcinomas.

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