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Open Access Review

Role of metallothioneins in benign and malignant thyroid lesions

Bartosz Pula1, Pawel Domoslawski2, Marzena Podhorska-Okolow1 and Piotr Dziegiel13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Histology and Embryology, Medical University in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland

2 Department of General, Gastroenterological and Endocrinological Surgery, Medical University in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland

3 Department of Physiotherapy, Wroclaw University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland

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Thyroid Research 2012, 5:26  doi:10.1186/1756-6614-5-26

Published: 28 December 2012

Abstract

Recent findings in the past two decades have brought many insights into the biology of thyroid benign and malignant lesions, in particular the papillary and follicular thyroid cancers. Although, much progress have been made, thyroid cancers still pose diagnostic problems regarding differentiation of follicular lesions in relation to their aggressiveness and the treatment of advanced and undifferentiated thyroid cancers. Metallothioneins (MTs) were shown to induce cancer cells proliferation, mediate resistance to apoptosis, certain chemotherapeutics and radiotherapy. Therefore, MTs may be of utility in diagnosis and management of patients with benign and malignant lesions of the thyroid.

Keywords:
Metallothionein; Thyroid; Nodular goiter; Cancer