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Encapsulated malignant follicular cell-derived thyroid tumors are subject to considerable controversies. This group includes encapsulated follicular variant of papillary carcinoma (FVPTC) and encapsulated (so-called minimally invasive) follicular carcinoma (EFC). FVPTC usually presents as an encapsulated tumor and less commonly as a partially/nonencapsulated infiltrative neoplasm. The encapsulated form rarely metastasizes to lymph node, whereas infiltrative tumors often harbor nodal metastases. Encapsulated FVPTC have a molecular profile very close to follicular adenomas/carcinomas (high rate of RAS and absence of BRAF mutations). Infiltrative follicular variant has an opposite molecular profile closer to classical papillary thyroid carcinoma than to follicular adenoma/carcinoma (BRAF > RAS mutations). Noninvasive encapsulated FVPTC are extremely indolent even if treated with lobectomy without radioactive iodine therapy. Although most EFC are thought to have an excellent outcome, there are cases of EFC that recur and metastasize. EFC with angioinvasion, especially if extensive, have a significant rate of distant recurrence. Encapsulated FVPTC have a molecular profile and a clinical behavior very similar to the follicular adenoma/carcinoma class of tumor. If noninvasive, encapsulated FVPTC should be treated in a very conservative fashion. EFC with angioinvasion, especially if extensive, should not be termed minimally invasive in order to prevent undertreatment of the patient.
Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY, 10065, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Endocrine pathology
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