Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A, type 2B and familial medullary thyroid carcinoma syndrome

T. Obara, T. Yamashita, M. Kanbe, Y. Ito, S. Egawa, K. Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recently, germline mutations in the RET proto-oncogene were found to be associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes, MEN 2A, MEN 2B and Familial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC). In patients with MEN 2A and FMTC different point mutations have been identified in exons 10 and 11 of the cysteine rich regions of RET. Patients with MEN 2B have a single point mutation (ATG to ACG) at codon 918 of RET. Therefore, a direct DNA testing has been developed to provide a highly accurate technique of detecting kindred members who have inherited a specific mutation associated with MEN 2A, MEN 2B or FMTC. In USA and Europe, prophylactic thyroidectomy has been performed on the basis of positive DNA testing, and the presence of a C-cell hyperplasia or a small medullary thyroid carcinoma was confirmed in each patient operated. Through nationwide survey in Japan, 233 patients with MEN 2 syndrome have been identified. They consisted of 180 MEN 2A, 18 MEN 2B, 13 FMTC and 22 unclassified patients. At follow-up, 47% of patients had recurrent medullary thyroid carcinoma and 5.7% of patients died of the disease. Genetic analysis was performed on 15 patients of 6 unrelated families in our series, and the results revealed that germinal mutations of RET as previously reported were also responsible for MEN 2 syndrome in Japanese. DNA analysis and prophylactic thyroidectomy for kindred members at risk for MEN 2 are likely to be beneficial in Japan as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2708-2715
Number of pages8
JournalNippon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Nov


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