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My approach to oncocytic tumours of the thyroid.

The traditional approach to oncocytic thyroid lesions classified these as a separate entity, and applied criteria that are somewhat similar to those used for follicular lesions of the thyroid. In general, the guidelines to distinguish hyperplasia from neoplasia, and benign from malignant were crude and unsubstantiated by scientific evidence. In fact, there is no basis to separate oncocytic lesions from other classifications of thyroid pathology. The factors that result in mitochondrial accumulation are largely unrelated to the genetic events that result in proliferation and neoplastic transformation of thyroid follicular epithelial cells. The concept of classifying oncocytic lesions, including follicular variant papillary carcinomas, based on nuclear morphology, immunohistochemical profiles, and molecular markers may pave the way for a better understanding of the biology of oncocytic lesions of the thyroid.

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