Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the second most commonly diagnosed malignancy in U.S. Latinas and in Colombian women. Studies in non-Latinos indicate that BRAF and TERT mutations are PTC prognostic markers. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and clinical associations of BRAF and TERT mutations in PTC Latino patients from Colombia. We analyzed mutations of BRAF (V600E) and TERT promoter (C228T, C250T) in tumor DNA from 141 patients (75 with classical variant PTC, CVPTC; 66 with follicular variant PTC, FVPTC) recruited through a multi-center study. Associations between mutations and clinical variables were evaluated with Fisher exact tests. Survival was evaluated with Kaplan-Meier plots. Double-mutant tumors (BRAF+/TERT+, n = 14 patients) were more common in CVPTC (P = 0.02). Relative to patients without mutations (n = 48), double mutations were more common in patients with large tumors (P = 0.03), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.01), extra-thyroid extension (P = 0.03), and advanced stage (P = 6.0 × 10-5). In older patients, TERT mutations were more frequent (mean age 51 years vs 45 years for wild type TERT, P = 0.04) and survival was lower (HR = 1.20; P = 0.017); however, given the small sample size, the decrease in survival was not statically significant between genotypes. Comparisons with published data in US whites revealed that Colombian patients had a higher prevalence of severe pathological features and of double-mutant tumors (10 vs 6%, P = 0.001). Mutations in both oncogenes show prognostic associations in Latinos from Colombia. Our study is important to advance Latino PTC precision medicine and replicates previous prognostic associations between BRAF and TERT in this population.
Keywords: BRAF; Hispanics; TERT; cancer risk factors; somatic mutations.