MEN (multiple endocrine neoplasia) type 2 syndrome is an inherited disease characterized by medullary thyroid carcinoma, pheochromocytoma, hyperparathyroidism and/or developmental anomalies. Germ-line mutations of the RET proto-oncogene have recently been identified as the underlying cause of the syndrome. Accordingly, several investigators have advocated prophylactic total thyroidectomy for medullary thyroid carcinoma at an early age in MEN 2 gene carriers identified by DNA analysis. Before applying this strategy in Japan, the biological behavior of each category of tumor in MEN 2 syndrome, and medullary thyroid carcinoma in particular, should be well understood. We conducted a nationwide questionnaire survey to clarify the clinicopathological features of MEN 2 in Japan, obtaining data for 230 patients diagnosed as having MEN 2. They included 84 males and 146 females, with a median age of 37.5 years (range 5-83). Patients were categorized as 179 with MEN 2A, 17 with MEN 2B, 12 with familial medullary thyroid carcinoma and 22 'other'. Medullary thyroid carcinoma, pheochromocytoma and parathyroid lesions occurred in 224 (97%), 132 (57%) and 25 (11%) patients respectively. Twelve patients (5.2%) died of medullary thyroid carcinoma and 11 patients died of other or unknown causes. Of 163 patients for whom follow-up data were obtained, 82 (50%) experienced recurrences of medullary thyroid carcinoma, including symptomatic recurrent tumors in 24 patients and elevated calcitonin levels alone in 54. In the era of RET mutational analysis for screening relatives of patients with MEN 2, these data provide useful information about surgical management for patients with MEN 2 in Japan.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research