Background: Rs2910164, a Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) located in the precursor microRNA sequence of miR-146a, is the only MicroRNA sequence SNP studied in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Association studies had been performed in US and UK-Northern European populations, but results were inconsistence. This study evaluated the association between rs2910164 and the risk of PTC as well as benign thyroid tumor (BN), and examined the clinicopathological characteristics of PTC and BN for different genotypes.
Methods: This case-control study genotyped rs2910164 in 753 PTCs, 484 BNs and 760 controls in a Chinese Han population. Clinicopathological and genetic data were collected and compared. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs).
Results: There were no differences in rs2910164 genotype distributions between the three groups. PTC cases with three genotypes (CC, CG, GG) had similar clinicopathological characteristics except the existence of "para-cancer" BN (PTC/BN, P = 0.006). PTC/BN patients were older (P = 0.009), and had smaller cancer lesions (P<0.001), lower serum thyrotropin levels (1.82±1.42 vs. 2.21±1.74, P = 0.04), and lower rates of level VI lymph node metastasis (20.8% vs. 52.7%, P<0.001) and lateral neck lymph node metastasis (11.5% vs. 23.0%, P = 0.011) compared with PTC only. Then we supposed a possible progression from BN to PTC which may involve rs2910164 in and performed a multivariate logistic regression analysis of PTC/BN and BN cases to determine risk factors of this progression. Results showed that the rs2910164 GG homozygote (OR = 2.25, 95% CI 1.22-4.14, P = 0.01) was the only risk factor in this study.
Conclusion: Rs2910164 was not associated with increased risk of PTC and BN in Chinese patients, but may play a latent role in the transformation from BN to PTC.