Medullary thyroid cancer historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ammu Susheela, M.D. [2]


Medullary thyroid cancer was first discovered by Dr. John Beach Hazard, an American pathologist, in 1959.

Historical Perspective

  • In 1959, Dr. Hazard described medullary (solid) thyroid carcinoma.[1][2]
  • In 1961, Dr. Sipple described a combination of a pheochromocytoma, medullary thyroid carcinoma, and parathyroid adenoma.
  • In 1966, Dr. Williams proposed the C-cells as the origin of medullary thyroid cancer.[3]
  • In 1966, Dr. Pearse proposed the name C-cell indicating their function in calcitonin secrestion.[4]
  • In 1978, Dr. Cameron suggested that medullary thyroid cancer produces thyrocalcitonin from parafollicular cells.


  1. HAZARD JB, HAWK WA, CRILE G (1959). "Medullary (solid) carcinoma of the thyroid; a clinicopathologic entity". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 19 (1): 152–61. doi:10.1210/jcem-19-1-152. PMID 13620740.
  2. Dionigi G, Bianchi V, Rovera F, et al. (2007). "Medullary thyroid carcinoma: surgical treatment advances". Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 7 (6): 877–85. doi:10.1586/14737140.7.6.877. PMID 17555398.
  3. Williams, E. D. (1966). "Histogenesis of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid". Journal of Clinical Pathology. 19 (2): 114–118. doi:10.1136/jcp.19.2.114. ISSN 0021-9746.
  4. "The cytochemistry of the thyroid C cells and their relationship to calcitonin". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences. 164 (996): 478–487. 1966. doi:10.1098/rspb.1966.0044. ISSN 2053-9193.

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