Cote Laboratory

Molecular Approaches for Thyroid Cancer Identification and Treatment

Among all cancer types found in the United States thyroid cancer ranks 9th in overall incidence and is the 5th most common cancer in women.  Unfortunately, the frequency of thyroid cancer cases has increased annually with the underlying cases remaining largely unknown.  Our laboratory maintains a specific interest in tumors deriving from the parafollicular cell, known as medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTC).  The study of inherited forms of MTC led to discovery of the primary underlying genetic cause of this tumor type, which in turn has served as the basis for the development of targeted therapy and in cases of hereditary cancer a frequent cure.  Through collaborative research studies combining basic, translational, and clinical approaches we are seeking to understand triggers of MTC progression and develop better tools to monitor responses to targeted therapy.