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Open access

Olof Joakim Pettersson, Katarzyna Fröss-Baron, Joakim Crona, and Anders Sundin

Background

Monitoring of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNET) undergoing peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with 177Lu-DOTATATE depends on changes in tumor size, which often occur late. Tumor growth rate (TGR) allows for quantitative assessment of the tumor kinetics expressed as %/month. We explored how TGR changes before and during/after PRRT and evaluated TGR as a biomarker for progression-free survival (PFS).

Methods

In PanNET patients undergoing PRRT with 177Lu-DOTATATE from 2006 to 2018, contrast-enhanced CT or MRI was performed before and during the therapy. Patients with at least one hypervascular liver metastasis were included. TGR was calculated for the period preceding treatment and for two intervals during/after PRRT. Cox regression was used for the survival analysis.

Results

Sixty-seven patients (43 men, 24 women), median age 60 years (range 29–77), median Ki-67 10% (range 1–30) were included. TGR before baseline (n = 57) (TGR0) was mean (s.d.) 6.0%/month (s.d. = 8.7). TGR at 4.5 months (n = 56) (TGR4) from baseline was −3.4 (s.d. = 4.2) %/month. TGR at 9.9 months (n = 57) (TGR10) from baseline was −3.0 (s.d. = 2.9) %/month. TGR4 and TGR10 were lower than TGR0 (TGR4 vs TGR0, P < 0.001 and TGR10 vs TGR0, P < 0.001). In the survival analysis, patients with TGR10 ≥ 0.5%/month (vs <0.5%/month) had shorter PFS (median = 16.0 months vs 31.5 months, hazard ratio 2.82; 95% CI 1.05–7.57, P = 0.040).

Discussion

TGR in PanNET patients decreases considerably during PRRT with 177Lu-DOTATATE. TGR may be useful as a biomarker to identify patients with the shortest PFS.

Open access

Haojie Zhang, Yuke Cui, Ruihua Dong, Wen Zhang, Shihan Chen, Heng Wan, Chi Chen, Yi Chen, Yuying Wang, Chunfang Zhu, Bo Chen, Ningjian Wang, and Yingli Lu

Background

Bone is thought to be the reservoir of the human lead burden, and vitamin D is associated with bone turnover. We aimed to explore whether exposure to lower 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels was associated with higher blood lead levels (BLLs) by increasing the bone turnover rate in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Methods

A total of 4103 type 2 diabetic men and postmenopausal women in Shanghai, China, were enrolled in 2018. Their 25(OH)D, β-C-terminal telopeptide (β-CTX), N-MID osteocalcin and procollagen type 1 N-peptide (P1NP) levels were detected. Their BLLs were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Mediation analyses were performed to identify the possible role that bone turnover played in the underlying mechanisms.

Results

In both the men and postmenopausal women, all three bone turnover markers were inversely associated with 25(OH)D and positively associated with the BLL (all P < 0.01) after adjusting for age, current smoking habits, metabolic parameters, duration of diabetes, vitamin D intake, and use of anti-osteoporosis medication. In the mediation analyses, none of the direct associations between 25(OH)D and BLL was significant for the three bone turnover markers, but all three bone turnover markers were found to be significant mediators of the indirect associations between 25(OH)D and BLL.

Conclusion

The association between vitamin D and BLL was fully mediated by bone turnover markers in type 2 diabetic patients (mediation effect). This finding suggested that vitamin D may protect against blood lead exposure from the bone reservoir by decreasing bone turnover in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Open access

Ayako Sato, Katsuya Matsuda, Takahiro Motoyama, Zhanna Mussazhanova, Ryota Otsubo, Hisayoshi Kondo, Yuko Akazawa, Miyoko Higuchi, Ayana Suzuki, Mitsuyoshi Hirokawa, Akira Miyauchi, Takeshi Nagayasu, and Masahiro Nakashima

We have previously reported that the expression of p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) in nuclear foci (NF), a marker reflecting DNA damage response (DDR), detected using immunofluorescence (IF) is useful to estimate the malignant potency of diverse cancers. In this prospective study, we clarified the impact of 53BP1 expression via IF as a biomarker to differentiate thyroid follicular tumors (FTs) with liquid-based cytology (LBC). A total of 183 consecutively obtained-LBC samples, which were preoperatively suspected as FTs, were analyzed. Before histological diagnosis, the type of 53BP1 immunoreactivity in LBC was classified as follows: low DDR type, one or two NF; high DDR type, three or more NF; large foci type, larger than 1.0 μm; abnormal type, intense nuclear staining. Among the 183 cases, 136 cases were postoperatively diagnosed as FTs, including adenomatous goiter (AG, n = 30), follicular adenoma (FA, n = 60), FT-uncertain malignant potency (FT-UMP, n = 18), and follicular carcinoma (FC, n = 28), and 47 cases were diagnosed as tumors other than FTs or technically inadequate materials. Total 136 FT cases were collated with the type of 53BP1 immunoreactivity in LBC. The mean incidence expressing abnormal 53BP1 expression was significantly higher in FC than FA (9.5% vs 2.6%, P-value < 0.001). When adopting 4.3% as a cut-off value to distinguish FC from FA, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 89.3, 83.3, 71.4, and 94.3%, respectively. Therefore, IF analysis of 53BP1 expression can be employed as a novel technique to diagnose FTs and to distinguish between different types of FTs using LBC.

Open access

W N H Koek, N Campos-Obando, B C J van der Eerden, Y B de Rijke, M A Ikram, A G Uitterlinden, J P T M van Leeuwen, and M C Zillikens

Background

Sex differences in calcium and phosphate have been observed. We aimed to assess a relation with age.

Methods

We used the laboratory values of serum calcium, phosphate and albumin from three different samples ( 2005, 2010 and 2014 years) using the hospital information system of Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. The samples were divided into three age groups: 1–17, 18–44 and ≥45 years. Sex differences in calcium and phosphate were analyzed using ANCOVA, adjusting for age and serum albumin. Furthermore, sex by age interactions were determined and we analyzed differences between age groups stratified by sex.

Results

In all three samples there was a significant sex × age interaction for serum calcium and phosphate, whose levels were significantly higher in women compared to men above 45 years. No sex differences in the younger age groups were found. In men, serum calcium and phosphate levels were highest in the youngest age group compared to age groups of 18–44 and ≥45 years. In women, serum calcium levels were significantly higher in the age group 1–17 and the age group ≥45 years compared to the 18–44 years age group. In women, serum phosphate was different between the three different age groups with highest level in the group 1–17 years and lowest in the group 18–44 years.

Conclusion

There are age- dependent sex differences in serum calcium and phosphate. Furthermore, we found differences in serum calcium and phosphate between different age groups. Underlying mechanisms for these age- and sex- differences are not yet fully elucidated.

Open access

Bo Zhu, Yumei Chen, Fang Xu, Xiaolu Shen, Xuanyu Chen, Jieqiang Lv, and Songying Zhang

Background

Androgens excess results in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which is an important cause of β cells dysfunction. Here, we investigated the molecular regulation of androgens excess, ER stress, and β-cell function in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Methods

PCOS mouse model was established by injection of DHEA. Primary cultured mouse islets were used to detect testosterone (TE)-induced ER stress. The response of ER stress, apoptosis, and hyperinsulinemia were analyzed in INS-1 cells with or without TE exposure. Androgen receptor (AR) antagonist and ER stress inhibitor treatment was performed to evaluate the role of TE in ER stress and proinsulin secretion of PCOS mice.

Results

PCOS mice had higher ER stress in islets. TE exposure induced ER stress and apoptosis significantly through sustaining insulin overexpression in β cells, which in turn impaired proinsulin maturation and secretion. Blocking this process could significantly relieve ER stress and apoptosis and improve insulin homeostasis.

Conclusion

ER stress activated by androgens excess in PCOS contributes to β cell dysfunction and hyperinsulinemia.

Open access

Jens F Rehfeld

The birth certificate for endocrinology was Bayliss’ and Starling’s demonstration in 1902 that regulation of bodily functions is not only neuronal but also due to blood-borne messengers. Starling named these messengers hormones. Since then transport via blood has defined hormones. This definition, however, may be too narrow. Thus, today we know that several peptide hormones are not only produced and released to blood from endocrine cells but also released from neurons, myocytes, immune cells, endothelial cells, spermatogenic cells, fat cells, etc. And they are often secreted in cell-specific molecular forms with more or less different spectra of activity. The present review depicts this development with the story about cholecystokinin which was discovered in 1928 as a hormone and still in 1976 was conceived as a single blood-borne peptide. Today’s multifaceted picture of cholecystokinin suggests that time may be ripe for expansion of the hormone concept to all messenger molecules, which activate their target cells – irrespective of their road to the target (endocrine, neurocrine, neuronal, paracrine, autocrine, etc.) and irrespective of their kind of activity as classical hormone, growth factor, neurotransmitter, adipokine, cytokine, myokine, or fertility factor.

Open access

Selma Flora Nordqvist, Victor Brun Boesen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Laszlo Hegedüs, Steen Joop Bonnema, Per Karkov Cramon, Torquil Watt, Mogens Groenvold, and Jakob Bue Bjorner

Objective

ThyPRO is the standard thyroid patient-reported outcome (PRO). The change in scores that patients perceive as important remains to be ascertained. The purpose of this study was to determine values for minimal important change (MIC) for ThyPRO.

Methods

A total of 435 patients treated for benign thyroid diseases completed ThyPRO at baseline and 6 weeks following treatment initiation. At 6 weeks follow-up, patients also completed Global Rating of Change items. For each 0–100 scale, two MIC values were identified: An MIC for groups, using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve method and an MIC for individual patients, using the Reliable Change Index.

Results

ROC analyses provided group-MIC estimates of 6.3–14.3 (score range 0–100). Evaluation of area under the curve (AUC) supported the robustness for 9 of 14 scales (AUC > 0.7). Reliable Change Index estimates of individual-MIC were 8.0–21.1. For all scales but two, the individual-MIC values were larger than the group-MIC values.

Conclusions

Interpretability of ThyPRO was improved by the establishment of MIC values, which was 6.3–14.3 for groups and 8.0–21.1 for individuals. Thus, estimates of which changes are clinically relevant, are now available for future studies. We recommend using MIC values found by ROC analyses to evaluate changes in groups of patients, whereas MIC values identified by a dual criterion, including the reliability of changes, should be used for individual patients, for example, to identify individual responders in clinical studies or practice.

Open access

Irfan Vardarli, Manuel Weber, Frank Weidemann, Dagmar Führer, Ken Herrmann, and Rainer Görges

Objective

The usefulness of routine calcitonin measurement for early detection of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in patients with nodular thyroid disease (NTD) has been investigated in various studies. Recently, a Cochrane review has been published on this issue, but a meta-analysis is lacking yet. Therefore, we performed this meta-analysis.

Methods

We performed an electronic search using PubMed/Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library. Studies assessing the diagnostic accuracy of routine calcitonin measurement for detecting MTC in patients with NDT were selected. Statistics were performed by using Stata software, risk of bias was assessed using Review Manager version 5.3.

Results

Seventeen studies, involving 74,407 patients were included in the study. Meta-analysis, using the bivariate random effects model and the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic (HSROC) curve revealed the following pooled estimates: sensitivity 0.99 (95% CI, 0.81–1.00), specificity 0.99 (95% CI, 0.97–0.99), positive likelihood ratio (L+) 72.4 (95% CI, 32.3–162.1), and negative likelihood ratio (L−) 0.01 (95% CI, 0.00–0.23). Meta-regression analysis showed that the threshold of basal calcitonin is an independent factor, but in particular performing stimulation test is not an independent factor.

Conclusions

We showed that routine basal serum calcitonin measurement in the management of patients with thyroid nodules is valuable for the detection of MTC. However, the published cut-off values should be considered and, if applicable, the patients monitored in a wait-and-see strategy by experienced physicians to avoid overtreatment.

Open access

Franca Genest, Michael Schneider, Andreas Zehnder, Dominik Lieberoth-Leden, and Lothar Seefried

Purpose

Aging and concurrent constitutional changes as sarcopenia, osteoporosis and obesity are associated with progressive functional decline. Coincidence and mutual interference of this risk factors require further evaluation.

Methods

Cross-sectional evaluation of musculoskeletal health in a community-dwelling cohort of men aged 65–90 years. Objectives included descriptive analysis of age-related decline in physical performance, prevalence of osteoporosis (FRAX-Score), sarcopenia (EWGSOP criteria) and obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2) and their coincidence/interference.

Results

Based on 507 participants assessed, aging was associated with progressive functional deterioration, regarding power (chair rise test −1.54% per year), performance (usual gait speed −1.38% per year) and muscle force (grip strength −1.52% per year) while muscle mass declined only marginally (skeletal muscle index −0.29% per year). Prevalence of osteoporosis was 41.8% (n = 212) while only 22.9% (n = 116) of the participants met the criteria for sarcopenia and 23.7% (n = 120) were obese. Osteosarcopenia was found in n = 79 (15.6%), sarcopenic obesity was present in 14 men (2.8%). A combination of all three conditions could be confirmed in n = 8 (1.6%). There was an inverse correlation of BMI with physical performance whereas osteoporosis and sarcopenia did not interfere with functional outcomes.

Conclusion

Based on current definitions, there is considerable overlap in the prevalence of osteoporosis and sarcopenia, while obesity appears to be a distinct problem. Functional decline appears to be associated with obesity rather than osteoporosis or sarcopenia. It remains to be determined to what extend obesity itself causes performance deficits or if obesity is merely an indicator of insufficient activity eventually predisposing to functional decline.

Open access

M Ingenwerth, T Brandenburg, D Führer-Sakel, M Goetz, F Weber, H Dralle, H-U Schildhaus, K W Schmid, and S Theurer

Medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTC) are rare and aggressive neuroendocrine tumors of the thyroid. About 70% of MTC are sporadic; approximately 50% of those harbor somatic RET mutation. DLL3 is widely expressed in many neuroendocrine tumors and has been evaluated as a potential therapeutic target. Since stromal desmoplasia in sporadic MTC has been identified as a reliable predictor of aggressive behavior and development of lymph node metastases, a possible correlation of DLL3 expression with the presence of stromal desmoplasia was of particular interest. 59 paraffin-embedded samples of sporadic MTC with (44 cases) and without (15 cases) stromal desmoplasia and known lymph node status were included. DLL3 expression was determined by immunohistochemistry; no expression (0%), low expression (1–49%) and high expression (≥50%) were correlated with clinicopathological data. The proportion of DLL3 positivity was significantly correlated with both stromal desmoplasia (P < 0.0001) and lymph node metastases (P < 0.0001). MTC without stromal desmoplasia consistently lack DLL3 expression. This is the first study to focus on MTC regarding DLL3 expression and the relationship to various factors. Our results demonstrate that expression of DLL3 in MTC represents a reliable surrogate marker for stromal desmoplasia and lymph node metastases and might be an indicator for aggressive clinical behavior. DLL3 expression in ≥50% of tumor cells virtually excludes MTC without stromal desmoplasia. DLL3 was discussed as a potential therapeutic target in malignant tumors of other locations with positive immunohistochemical reaction and might therefore be a new therapeutic option in MTC, as well.