A Multiplex Thyroid-Specific Assay for Quantification of Circulating Thyroid Cell-Free RNA in Plasma of Thyroid Cancer Patients

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A Multiplex Thyroid-Specific Assay for Quantification of Circulating Thyroid Cell-Free RNA in Plasma of Thyroid Cancer Patients
Title:
A Multiplex Thyroid-Specific Assay for Quantification of Circulating Thyroid Cell-Free RNA in Plasma of Thyroid Cancer Patients
Other Titles:
Frontiers in Genetics
Publication Date:
25 August 2021
Citation:
Yang, S. P., Koh, L. C. W., Kong, K. W., Parameswaran, R., Loke, K. S. H., Ngiam, K. Y., Tan, W. B., Loh, T., Ng, D. C. E., Goh, B. C., Ngeow, J., & Tai, E. S. (2021). A Multiplex Thyroid-Specific Assay for Quantification of Circulating Thyroid Cell-Free RNA in Plasma of Thyroid Cancer Patients. Frontiers in Genetics, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2021.721832
Abstract:
BackgroundThe standard of care for thyroid cancer management is thyroidectomy and adjuvant radioactive iodine (RAI). There is a paucity of clinical tool that quantifies residual thyroid volume reliably for precise adjuvant RAI dosing. Serum thyroglobulin (TG), tumour marker for thyroid cancer, takes 4 weeks for complete clearance due to its long half-life, and might be undetectable in 12% of structural disease patients. It detects recurrence with a sensitivity of 19–40%, mainly attributed to issue of TG antibody interference with TG immunometric assay. We hypothesise that the quantity of thyroid-specific cell-free RNA (cfRNA) is indicative of amount of thyroid tissues, and that during thyroid surgery, cfRNA levels decrease accordingly.MethodsWe identified 11 biologically significant and highly expressed thyroid-specific targets from Human Protein Atlas and literature. To assess for a fall in thyroid-specific cfRNA level, we recruited 16 patients undergoing thyroid surgery or RAI for malignant or benign thyroid disease, and tracked longitudinal trend of cfRNA. To assess the utility of cfRNA in detecting metastatic thyroid cancer, cfRNA of 11 patients at intermediate to high risk of recurrence was measured during surveillance and at time of clinical recurrence.ResultsThe multiplex assay was capable of amplifying and quantifying multiple thyroid-specific genes in a single reaction. The selected targets were amplified successfully from RNA extracted directly from the thyroid (positive control), indicating that they were highly expressed within thyroid tissue. These cfRNAs were present in plasma, in amounts quantifiable using qRT-PCR. Four cfRNA transcripts (TPO, GFRA2, IVD, TG) fell post-treatment in more than 50% of cohort. The thyroid peroxidase (TPO) cfRNA fell post-therapy in 63% of cohort by 80%, as early as 1 day post-treatment, supporting the potential role as early indicator of remnant thyroid tissue volume. We demonstrated the clinical relevance of circulating TPO cfRNA by tracking temporal changes in setting of peri-treatment, recurrence, and TG Ab positive state.ConclusionUsing a multiplex pre-amplification approach, the TPO cfRNA was a potential biomarker that can track residual thyroid mass. It can be further optimised for quantification of thyroid volume to guide RAI doses and for detection of thyroid cancer recurrence.
License type:
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Funding Info:
This research / project is supported by the National Medical Research Council - Open Fund - Young Individual Research Grant (OF-YIRG)
Grant Reference no. : OFYIRG17may040

This research / project is supported by the Ministry of Education (MOE) / National University Health System (NUHS) - MOE Tier 1
Grant Reference no. : NUHSRO/2018/RO5+5/NUHS

This research / project is supported by the National University Health System (NUHS) - NUHS Clinician Scientist Program (NCSP)
Grant Reference no. : N.A

This research / project is supported by the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) - Fellowship Programme
Grant Reference no. : NMRC/OFYIRG/0057/2017

This research is supported by core funding from: Institute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging
Grant Reference no. :
Description:
ISSN:
1664-8021
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