Serum ghrelin levels in papillary thyroid carcinoma

ABSTRACT Objective Ghrelin plays a role in several processes of cancer progression, and numerous cancer types express ghrelin and its receptor. We aimed to investigate serum levels of ghrelin in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and its association with the prognostic factors in PTC. Materials and methods We enrolled 54 patients with thyroid cancer (7 male, 47 female) and 24 healthy controls (6 male, 18 female) in the study. We compared demographic, anthropometric, and biochemical data, and serum ghrelin levels between the groups. Serum ghrelin levels were measured using as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results Ghrelin levels were similar between the groups, but plasma ghrelin levels were significantly higher in tumors larger than 1 cm diameter compared with papillary microcarcinomas. Serum ghrelin levels also correlated with tumor size (r = 0.499; p < 0.001). Body mass index, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and HOMA-IR levels were similar between the groups. There were no statistically significant differences regarding average age and other prognostic parameters including lymph node invasion, capsule invasion, multifocality and surgical border invasion between patients with microcarcinoma and tumors larger than 1 cm. Conclusion In our study, no significant difference in serum ghrelin levels was determined between patients with papillary thyroid cancer and healthy controls however, serum ghrelin levels were higher in tumors larger than 1 cm compared to in those with thyroid papillary microcarcinoma.