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Open access

S C Clement, W E Visser, C A Lebbink, D Albano, H L Claahsen-van der Grinten, A Czarniecka, R P Dias, M P Dierselhuis, I Dzivite-Krisane, R Elisei, A Garcia-Burillo, L Izatt, C Kanaka-Gantenbein, H Krude, L Lamartina, K Lorenz, M Luster, R Navardauskaitė, M Negre Busó, K Newbold, R P Peeters, G Pellegriti, A Piccardo, A L Priego, A Redlich, L de Sanctis, M Sobrinho-Simões, A S P van Trotsenburg, F A Verburg, M Vriens, T P Links, S F Ahmed, and H M van Santen

Background

Although differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) is the most frequent endocrine pediatric cancer, it is rare in childhood and adolescence. While tumor persistence and recurrence are not uncommon, mortality remains extremely low. Complications of treatment are however reported in up to 48% of the survivors. Due to the rarity of the disease, current treatment guidelines are predominantly based on the results of small observational retrospective studies and extrapolations from results in adult patients. In order to develop more personalized treatment and follow-up strategies (aiming to reduce complication rates), there is an unmet need for uniform international prospective data collection and clinical trials.

Methods and analysis

The European pediatric thyroid carcinoma registry aims to collect clinical data for all patients ≤18 years of age with a confirmed diagnosis of DTC who have been diagnosed, assessed, or treated at a participating site. This registry will be a component of the wider European Registries for Rare Endocrine Conditions project which has close links to Endo-ERN, the European Reference Network for Rare Endocrine Conditions. A multidisciplinary expert working group was formed to develop a minimal dataset comprising information regarding demographic data, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. We constructed an umbrella-type registry, with a detailed basic dataset. In the future, this may provide the opportunity for research teams to integrate clinical research questions.

Ethics and dissemination

Written informed consent will be obtained from all participants and/or their parents/guardians. Summaries and descriptive analyses of the registry will be disseminated via conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications.

Open access

Christos Tsatsanis, Angel Elenkov, Irene Leijonhufvud, Katerina Vaporidi, Åsa Tivesten, and Aleksander Giwercman

Background

The risk of inflammatory diseases is sex-dependent, but it remains unknown whether this is due to the impact of sex hormones or sex chromosomes. Transgender individuals represent a unique cohort for studying the relative influence of endocrine and chromosomal factors. Here we compared serum levels of B-cell activating-factor (BAFF) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in transgender men (TM), transgender women (TW), cisgender women (CW) and cisgender men (CM).

Methods

BAFF and TNF were measured in the serum of 26 CW, 30 CM, 27 TM and 16 TW individuals. To determine the responsiveness of immune cells, TNF was measured in bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated peripheral leukocytes.

Results

BAFF was higher in CF (998 pg/mL) and TW (973 pg/mL) compared to CM (551 pg/mL) (P < 0.0001) and TM (726 pg/mL) (P < 0.0001). No difference in BAFF levels was shown between subjects grouped according to the number of X chromosomes. TNF was higher in CM (174 pg/mL) than TW (2.3 pg/mL) (P = 0.027) and TM (27.4 pg/mL) (P = 0.028). LPS-induced TNF was higher in CM (2524 pg/mL) and TM (2078 pg/mL) than in CW (1332 pg/mL) (both P < 0.0001) and TW (1602 pg/mL) (both P = 0.009).

Discussion

Sex hormones and sex chromosomes have different impacts on cytokines involved in the sex-dependent inflammatory response. The concentration of BAFF and LPS-stimulated TNF secretion depended on sex hormone levels, whereas basal TNF was regulated by both sex hormone-dependent and -independent factors.

Open access

Qian Yang, Wencai Ke, Fanfan Pan, Xinmei Huang, Jun Liu, and Bingbing Zha

Objective

Neutropenia is a complication of Graves' disease (GD), but there is currently no means by which to predict its occurrence. This study aimed to investigate the risk factors for the development of neutropenia in untreated GD.

Methods

This was a retrospective cohort study. Between January 1, 2010, and July 31, 2020, 1000 patients with new-onset or relapsing GD without treatment were enrolled in the study and divided into two groups: neutropenia group (neutrophil count < 2 × 109/L) and non-neutropenia group (neutrophil count ≥ 2 × 109/L). Clinical characteristics of subjects were compared between the two groups, and logistic regression analysis was applied to determine risk factors for neutropenia. To further explore the correlation of radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU) with neutropenia, subjects were first classified according to quartile of 3 h RAIU and 24 h RAIU prior to logistic regression analysis.

Results

Of all patients recruited, 293 (29.6%) were diagnosed with neutropenia. Compared with non-neutropenic patients, those with neutropenia had a higher level of free thyroxine (FT4) (56.64 ± 31.80 vs 47.64 ± 39.64, P = 0.001), 3 h RAIU (55.64 ± 17.04 vs 49.80 ± 17.21, P < 0.001) and 24 h RAIU (67.38 ± 12.54 vs 64.38 ± 13.58, P < 0.001). Univariate logistic regression analysis revealed that FT4, 3 h RAIU, 24 h RAIU, creatinine, and low-density lipoprotein were risk factors for development of neutropenia in GD. After adjusting for confounding factors of age, BMI, and sex, we determined that 3 h RAIU and 24 h RAIU (Model 1: OR = 1.021, 95% CI: 1.008–1.033, P = 0.001; Model 2: OR = 1.023, 95% CI: 1.007–1.039, P = 0.004), but not FT4, were associated with the development of neutropenia.

Conclusions

RAIU is associated with neutropenia in patients with untreated GD.

Open access

Kaili Yang, Jiarui Li, Yuejuan Cheng, and Chunmei Bai

Background: Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs) are heterogenous malignancies that requires well-designed trials to develop effective management strategies. This cross-sectional study aimed to illustrate the current landscape of clinical trials in GEP-NENs to provide insights for future research.

Materials and methods: We reviewed all clinical trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2021, with GEP-NEN in the “Condition or disease” field.

Results: We included 206 eligible trials. Most trials enrolled less than 50 patients (59.8%), and were sponsored by institutions other than government or industry (67.0%). Most trials were conducted in high income countries (86.6%), and countries located in Europe (30.1%) or Northern America (29.6%). The overall result reporting rates of GEP-NEN trials was 41.4%, and the median time from primary completion to result reporting was 101 months. Characteristics that improved the reporting of results included larger sample size, tumor differentiation specification for inclusion, progression-free survival as primary endpoint, industry sponsorship, and multicenter or multinational participation (all P<0.05). Compared with trials registered between 2000 and 2011 (n=28), trials registered between 2012 and 2021 (n=178) were more likely to specify the Ki-67 index for inclusion (68.0% vs. 35.7%, P=0.002), and to be conducted outside Europe or Northern America (16.4% vs. 3.7%, P=0.02), while the sample size and the sponsorship did not change significantly.

Conclusions: Novel management options have been explored for GEP-NENs with more specific inclusion criteria during the past two decades. More efforts are needed to promote international collaborations in clinical trials and enhance timely result dissemination.

Open access

Brijesh Krishnappa, Ravikumar Shah, Saba Samad Memon, Chakra Diwaker, Anurag R Lila, Virendra A Patil, Nalini S Shah, and Tushar R Bandgar

Objectives

High-dose glucocorticoids are associated with improved recovery of deficits in primary autoimmune hypophysitis (PAH), but optimal dosing, route, and duration are unclear.

Design

We reviewed literature for first-line glucocorticoid treatment in PAH until December 2021 and performed an individual patient data meta-analysis to analyze clinical, hormonal, and radiological outcomes with respect to route, dose, and duration (<6.5 vs 6.5–12 vs >12 weeks) of glucocorticoid treatment according to disease severity.

Results

A total of 153 PAH patients from 83 publications were included. The median age at presentation was 41 (32.5–48) years with a female preponderance (70.3%). Visual field recovery was significantly better with i.v. (91.7%) as compared to oral (54.5%) route and high dose (100%) and very high dose (90.9%) as compared to medium dose (20%) of glucocorticoids. Corticotroph axis recovery was greater in i.v. (54.8% vs 28.1% oral, P = 0.033) route and increasing glucocorticoid dose group (0% vs 38.1% vs 57.1%), attaining statistical significance (P = 0.012) with very high-dose. A longer duration of treatment (>6.5 weeks) was associated with better corticotroph and thyrotroph recovery. The need for rescue therapy was lower with i.v. route (38% vs 17.5%, P = 0.012) and with increasing glucocorticoid doses (53.3% vs 34.3% vs 17.3%, P = 0.016). In severe disease, visual field and corticotroph axis recovery were significantly higher with i.v. route and very high-dose steroids. The adverse effects of glucocorticoids were independent of dose and duration of treatment.

Conclusions

Very high-dose glucocorticoids by i.v. route and cumulative longer duration (>6.5 weeks) lead to better outcomes and could be considered as first-line treatment of severe PAH cases.

Open access

Tristan Avril, Quentin Hennocq, Anne-Sophie Lambert, Juliane Leger, Dominique Simon, Laetitia Martinerie, and Claire Bouvattier

Objective: Newborns with congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH) have an impaired postnatal activation of the gonadotropic axis. Substitutive therapy with recombinant gonadotropins can be proposed to mimic physiological male mini-puberty during the first months of life. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical and biological efficacy of two treatment modalities of gonadotropins administration during mini-puberty in CHH neonates.

Design: Multicenter retrospective analytical epidemiological study comparing two treatments, pump vs. injection between 2004 and 2019.

Methods: Clinical (penile size, testis size, testicular descent) and biological parameters (serum concentrations of testosterone, AMH (Anti-Müllerian Hormone) and Inhibin B) were compared between the two groups by multivariate analyses.

Results: Thirty-five patients were included. A significantly higher increase in penile length and testosterone level were observed in the injection group compared to the pump group (+ 0.16 +/-0.02 mm vs + 0.10 +/-0.02 mm per day, p = 0.002; and + 0.04 +/-0.007 ng/ml vs + 0.01 +/-0.008 ng/ml per day, p = 0.001). In both groups, significant increase in penile length and width, testosterone, AMH and Inhibin B levels were observed, as well as improved testicular descent (Odds ratio (OR) of not being in a scrotal position at the end of treatment = 0.97 [0.96; 0.99]).

Conclusions: Early postnatal administration of recombinant gonadotropins in CHH boys is effective in stimulating penile growth, Sertoli cell proliferation and testicular descent, with both treatment modalities.

Open access

Mette Marie Baunsgaard, Anne Sophie Lind Helligsoe, Louise Tram Henriksen, Torben Stamm Mikkelsen, Michael Callesen, Britta Weber, Henrik Hasle, and Niels Birkebæk

Objective

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is the most common endocrine late effect in irradiated survivors of childhood brain tumors. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of GHD in adults treated with proton or photon irradiation for a brain tumor in childhood and to detect undiagnosed GHD.

Design

This study is a cross-sectional study.

Methods

We investigated GHD in 5-year survivors from two health regions in Denmark treated for childhood brain tumors with cranial or craniospinal irradiation in the period 1997–2015. Medical charts were reviewed for endocrinological and other health data. Survivors without a growth hormone (GH) test at final height were invited to a GH stimulation test.

Results

Totally 41 (22 females) survivors with a median age of 21.7 years (range: 15.1–33.8 years) at follow-up and 14.8 years (range: 5.1–23.4 years) since diagnosis were included; 11 were treated with proton and 30 with photon irradiation; 18 of 21 survivors were previously found to have GHD; 16 of 20 survivors with no GH test at final height were tested, 8 (50 %) had GHD. In total, 26 of 41 patients (63%) had GHD. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is associated poorly with the insulin tolerance test (ITT).

Conclusion

This study identified a high prevalence of undiagnosed GHD in survivors with no GH test at final height. The results stress the importance of screening for GHD at final height in survivors of childhood brain tumors with prior exposure to cranial irradiation, irrespective of radiation modality and IGF-1.

Significance statement

This cross-sectional study reports a prevalence of 63% of GHD in irradiated childhood brain tumor survivors. Furthermore, the study identified a considerable number of long-term survivors without a GH test at final height, of whom, 50% subsequently were shown to have undiagnosed GHD. Additionally, this study confirmed that a normal serum IGF-1 measurement cannot exclude the diagnosis of GHD in irradiated survivors. This illustrates the need for improvements in the diagnostic approach to GHD after reaching final height in childhood brain tumor survivors at risk of GHD. In summary, our study stresses the need for GHD testing in all adult survivors treated with cranial irradiation for a brain tumor in childhood irrespective of radiation modality.

Open access

Savi R Shishkov, Luigi Tuccillo, Violeta M Iotova, Rosario Pivonello, Iris CM Pelsma, Alberto M Pereira, Nienke R Biermasz, and

Rare endocrine conditions present specific diagnostic and management challenges for healthcare providers, one of which is the understudied transition of care. Despite the need for guidance regarding transition, consensus on structured and protocolled approaches is lacking. Therefore, we aimed to map the current clinical practice and identify unmet needs regarding transition of care for patients with pituitary disease in the reference centers (RCs) of the European Reference Network on Rare Endocrine Conditions (Endo-ERN). A survey-based, cross-sectional study using the EU Survey tool was performed and completed by 46 physicians (n) from 30 RCs (N). Transition is a common practice among RCs (n  = 44/46), usually accomplished by a multidisciplinary team meeting (N = 20/30). Criteria for start and end of transition were defined in half of the RCs, with 16.7% of centers providing dissimilar answers. Transition readiness was assessed by >75% of the RCs, mostly by unvalidated means (e.g. subjective opinions, informal consultations). Pituitary-specific transition assessment tool was applied in one RC only. Transition protocols were present in only 9% of RCs, while in many RCs, transition decisions were taken in combined adult-pediatric meetings or based on clinicians’ personal judgment. A minority of physicians evaluated the effectiveness of transition-related interventions (n  = 11/46) or medical outcomes (n  = 8/46). Patient-reported outcome measures were infrequently used (n  = 4/46). Identified unmet needs included the development of guidelines (n  = 5/46) and EU-wide approach (n  = 2/46). This study exemplifies the unmet needs for a structural definition of the transition period and transition management for patients with rare hypothalamic and pituitary conditions from healthcare providers’ perspective.

Open access

Sophie-Charlotte Drogge, Mirjam Frank, Carolin Girschik, Karl-Heinz Jöckel, Dagmar Führer-Sakel, and Börge Schmidt

Objective

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is influenced by genetic and environmental factors such as socioeconomic position (SEP). However, interactions between TSH-related genetic factors and indicators of SEP have not been investigated to date. The aim of the study was to determine whether education and income as SEP indicators may interact with TSH-related genetic effect allele sum scores (GESTSH_2013 and GESTSH_2020) based on two different GWAS meta-analyses that affect TSH values in a population-based study.

Methods

In 4085 participants of the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study associations between SEP indicators, GESTSH and TSH were quantified using sex- and age-adjusted linear regression models. Interactions between SEP indicators and GESTSH were assessed by GESTSH × SEP interaction terms, single reference joint effects and calculating genetic effects stratified by SEP group.

Results

Participants within the highest education group showed the strongest genetic effect with on average 1.109-fold (95% CI: 1.067–1.155) higher TSH values per GESTSH_2013 SD, while in the lowest education group, the genetic effect was less strong (1.061-fold (95% CI: 1.022–1.103)). In linear regression models including interaction terms, some weak indication for a positive GESTSH_2013 by education interaction was observed showing an interaction effect size estimate of 1.005 (95% CI: 1.000–1.010) per year of education and GESTSH_2013 SD. No indication for interaction was observed for using income as SEP indicator. Using the GESTSH_2020, similar results were observed.

Conclusion

Our results gave some indication that education may affect the expression of TSH-related genetic effects. Stronger genetic effects in high-education groups may be explained by environmental factors that have an impact on gene expression and are more prevalent in high SEP groups.

Open access

Hélène Singeisen, Mariko Melanie Renzulli, Vojtech Pavlicek, Pascal Probst, Fabian Hauswirth, Markus K Muller, Magdalene Adamczyk, Achim Weber, Reto Martin Kaderli, and Pietro Renzulli

Objective

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 4 (MEN4) is caused by a CDKN1B germline mutation first described in 2006. Its estimated prevalence is less than one per million. The aim of this study was to define the disease characteristics.

Methods

A systematic review was performed according to the PRISMA 2020 criteria. A literature search from January 2006 to August 2022 was done using MEDLINE® and Web of ScienceTM.

Results

Forty-eight symptomatic patients fulfilled the pre-defined eligibility criteria. Twenty-eight different CDKN1B variants, mostly missense (21/48, 44%) and frameshift mutations (17/48, 35%), were reported. The majority of patients were women (36/48, 75%). Men became symptomatic at a median age of 32.5 years (range 10–68, mean 33.7 ± 23), whereas the same event was recorded for women at a median age of 49.5 years (range 5–76, mean 44.8 ± 19.9) (P  = 0.25). The most frequently affected endocrine organ was the parathyroid gland (36/48, 75%; uniglandular disease 31/36, 86%), followed by the pituitary gland (21/48, 44%; hormone-secreting 16/21, 76%), the endocrine pancreas (7/48, 15%), and the thyroid gland (4/48, 8%). Tumors of the adrenal glands and thymus were found in three and two patients, respectively. The presenting first endocrine pathology concerned the parathyroid (27/48, 56%) and the pituitary gland (11/48, 23%). There were one (27/48, 56%), two (13/48, 27%), three (3/48, 6%), or four (5/48, 10%) syn- or metachronously affected endocrine organs in a single patient, respectively.

Conclusion

MEN4 is an extremely rare disease, which most frequently affects women around 50 years of age. Primary hyperparathyroidism as a uniglandular disease is the leading pathology.