A diagnostic test for differentiating follicular thyroid adenoma for follicular thyroid carcinoma
Duke University is seeking a company interested in commercializing a novel method to distinguish follicular thyroid adenoma (FTA) from follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC). Global estimates of thyroid cancer incidence for 2006 indicate half a million new cases. To differentiate benign from malignant nodules, cytology of a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy is most often used. However FNA cytology cannot distinguish between FTA and FTC, so surgical biopsy is needed to confirm FTA or FTC. Overall only 8%-17% of these cytologically suspicious nodules are indeed malignant on histological examination. Therefore majority of the surgical biopsies, are, in retrospect, unnecessary. The technology under development provides a method to accurately distinguish FTA from FTC, and in effect, reduce the number of unnecessary surgical biopsies.