Hurthle cell cancers are rarely hereditary. In fact, I do not believe I have ever seen any hurthle cell cancer patient with a history of a direct relative with a hurthle cell cancer. So you should generally not be concerned about the risk to your children. If you have a concern, then please discuss this with your doctor.

Hurthle Cell Cancer: What is Known About Their Associated Genetic Mutations?

Hurthle cell cancer genetic abnormalities are rapidly becoming well identified following the human genome project and the cancer genome project. (Ganly I, Rocarte F, et al. Genomic dissection of Hurthle cell carcinoma reveals a unique class of thyroid malignancy. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 May. 98(5):E962-72.)

  • Hurthle cell cancer and its variants more commonly reveal RAS mutations or PAX8/PPAR gamma rearrangements. But importantly, these mutations can also be found in benign hurthle cell tumors as well. Do not be lulled into a sense of safety when a needle biopsy of your thyroid shows hurtle cells and the genetic analysis suggests a benign tumor. Although genetic advances continue with commerically available testing, we continue to see hurthle cell cancers called benign on genetic testing and then final pathology of the removed hurthle cell tumor clearly identifies a hurhtle cell cancer.
  • Aggressive hurthle cell cancer variants are potentially suggested by mutations of the p53 or PI3kinase genes. To date, identifying these mutations does not translate to any specific treatment approaches and should not direct therapy above what is seen under the microscope (pathology) and Xray findings.

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