Immunoexpression of TTF-1 and Ki-67 in a coexistent anaplastic and follicular thyroid cancer with rare long-life surviving

Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2008;46(4):461-4. doi: 10.2478/v10042-008-0071-y.


We report the immunohistochemical diagnosis, including TTF-1 (thyroid transcription factor 1) and Ki-67, of a rare mixed thyroid neoplasm composed of minimally invasive well differentiated follicular areas and highly aggressive undifferentiated anaplastic areas. A 75 old female presented to our clinic with a rapidly growing neck mass. Considering the dynamics of the disease and the multiple challenges presented by the patient: advanced age, tumor size, history of a longstanding goiter we decided to transfer her to the department of surgery. The intraoperative findings were an enlarged right lobe with tracheal and surrounding tissues infiltration. Total thyroidectomy, radical neck lymph nodes dissection and tracheostomy were performed. The histopathological and immunohistochemical examination revealed a coexistent anaplastic and follicular thyroid carcinoma. The proliferation index Ki-67, a cell proliferation marker, was found to be significantly higher in the anaplastic areas (30 +/- 5%) in the comparison with the follicular areas (2 +/- 1%). The evaluation of the thyroid transcription factor 1 (TTF-1) expression revealed a correlation with the tumor cells aggressiveness accordingly to the cancer areas. After a radical surgery an external adjuvant radiation was applied. The patient is alive and more than five years after diagnosis she presented an increase of the serum thyroglobulin level suggesting, probably, a recurrence of the follicular form of the cancer. According to our survey we suggest that in thyroid cancers TTF-1 and Ki-67 could provides useful information on the differentiation activities of thyroid tumor cells and may be helpful to distinguish well differentiated and undifferentiated areas in a mixed thyroid cancer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / pathology
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Nuclear Factor 1
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • NKX2-1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Thyroid Nuclear Factor 1
  • Transcription Factors