Endocrine Pathology

, 3:182 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical localization of metal binding proteins in thyroid tissues and tumors

  • Simon J. Raphael
  • Sylvia L. Asa
Original Article


Positive immunohistochemical staining for three metal binding proteins, ceruloplasmin, lactoferrin, and transferrin, has been suggested to be a reliable diagnostic marker of malignant but not benign thyroid neoplasms. We tested this hypothesis on a series of 9 nodular hyperplasias, 17 follicular adenomas, 54 papillary carcinomas, 20 follicular carcinomas, and 3 anaplastic carcinomas of thyroid using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. We found focal staining for ceruloplasmin and lactoferrin in approximately 25% of follicular adenomas examined; focal ceruloplasmin positivity was also seen in nonneoplastic tissues surrounding thyroid neoplasms. No staining for these markers was found in malignant neoplasms or hyperplasias. Transferrin was found in 55% of papillary carcinomas, but more follicular adenomas (20%) than follicular carcinomas (11%) were positive using this antiserum. These findings show that immunostaining for these antigens is not a reliable method to distinguish benign from malignant thyroid lesions of follicular cell origin.


Thyroid Cancer Thyroid Carcinoma Papillary Carcinoma Thyroid Tissue Follicular Carcinoma 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon J. Raphael
    • 1
  • Sylvia L. Asa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, St. Michael’s HospitalUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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