The Na+/I- symporter mediates iodide uptake in breast cancer metastases and can be selectively down-regulated in the thyroid CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Wapnir, I. L., Goris, M., Yudd, A., Dohan, O., Adelman, D., Nowels, K., Carrasco, N. 2004; 10 (13): 4294-4302


The Na(+)/I(-) symporter (NIS) is a key plasma membrane protein that mediates active iodide (I(-)) transport in the thyroid, lactating breast, and other tissues. Functional NIS expression in thyroid cancer accounts for the longstanding success of radioactive iodide ((131)I) ablation of metastases after thyroidectomy. Breast cancer is the only other cancer demonstrating endogenous functional NIS expression. Until now, NIS activity in breast cancer metastases (BCM) was unproven.Twenty-seven women were scanned with (99m)TcO(4)(-) or (123)I(-) to assess NIS activity in their metastases. An (131)I dosimetry study was offered to patients with I(-)-accumulating tumors. Selective down-regulation of thyroid NIS was tested in 13 patients with T(3) and in one case with T(3) + methimazole (MMI; blocks I(-) organification). NIS expression was evaluated in index and/or metastatic tumor samples by immunohistochemistry.I(-) uptake was noted in 25% of NIS-expressing tumors (two of eight). The remaining cases did not show NIS expression or activity. Thyroid I(-) uptakes were decreased to

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