Background: The association between telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter mutations and some clinical behaviors in thyroid cancer remains controversial and requires additional investigation. This study aimed to evaluate the association between TERT promoter mutations and clinical behaviors (including clinicopathological features and prognosis) in differentiated thyroid carcinomas (DTC).
Methods: We performed an up-to-date systematic review and current comprehensive meta-analysis. We searched three electronic databases for relevant studies. We used fixed- or random-effect models to calculate pooled estimated odds ratios (ORs) or standardized mean differences (SMDs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: We included 51 eligible studies incorporating 11,382 cases. Average frequencies of TERT promoter mutations in DTC, papillary (PTC), and follicular (FTC) thyroid carcinomas were 10.9%, 10.6%, and 15.1%, respectively. In DTC and PTC, TERT promoter mutations were significantly associated with sex, age, tumor size, vascular invasion, extrathyroidal extension, lymph node and distant metastases, advanced tumor, nodes, and metastasis (TNM) stage, persistence/recurrence, and disease-specific mortality. In FTC, TERT promoter mutations were significantly associated with age, distant metastases, advanced TNM stage, persistence/recurrence, and disease-specific mortality.
Conclusions: TERT promoter mutations could be considered as biomarkers assisting in risk stratification, prognostic prediction, and individualizing therapeutic options for DTC (PTC and FTC).
Keywords: Clinical behaviors; DTC; FTC; PTC; TERT.