ret/PTC1 and ret/PTC3 in thyroid tumors from Chernobyl liquidators: comparison with sporadic tumors from Ukrainian and French patients
Like children exposed to Chernobyl fallout, the workers who cleaned up after the accident, also known as liquidators, have exhibited an increased incidence of thyroid cancer. A high prevalence of ret /PTC3 rearrangement has been found in pediatric post-Chernobyl thyroid tumors, but this feature has not been investigated in liquidator thyroid tumors. In this study we analyzed the prevalence of ret /PTC1 and ret /PTC3 in thyroid tumors from 21 liquidators, 31 nonirradiated adult Ukrainian
... t Ukrainian patients, and 34 nonirradiated adult French patients. ret rearrangements in carcinomas were found in 83.3% of liquidators, 64.7% of Ukrainian patients, and 42.9% of French patients. The prevalence of ret /PTC1 was statistically similar in the three groups. The prevalence of ret /PTC3 was significantly higher in liquidators than in French patients (P=0.03) but it was also high in nonirradiated Ukrainian patients who exhibited values intermediate between liquidators and French patients. In adenomas the prevalence of rearrangement was significantly higher in all Ukrainians than in French patients (P=0.004). Like children exposed to Chernobyl fallout, liquidators showed a high prevalence of ret /PTC3. This finding suggests that irradiation had the same effect regardless of age. However, given the high rate of ret /PTC3 in nonirradiated adult Ukrainians, the possibility of genetic susceptibility or low-level exposure to radiation in that group cannot be excluded.