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Open access

Thomas Couronne, Paul Girot, Julien Hadoux, Thierry Lecomte, Alice Durand, Caroline Fine, Katia Vandevoorde, Catherine Lombard-Bohas, and Thomas Walter

Objective

First-line chemotherapy in metastatic neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs) is based on etoposide and platinum. However, there is no standard concerning second-line treatment. The objective of this study was to evaluate efficacy and tolerance of dacarbazine or temozolomide in metastatic digestive NEC as post first-line treatment.

Material and methods

This study included patients with a metastatic NEC of digestive or unknown primary site. All patients received platinum-etoposide as first-line chemotherapy. Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints were clinical/morphological responses, toxicity, and overall survival (OS).

Results

Twenty-seven patients were included: 17 received dacarbazine and 10 temozolomide as post-first line treatments. Median PFS was 3.0 (95%CI (2.2;3.7)) months. There was no significant difference between dacarbazine and temozolomide on PFS. Clinical and morphological responses were found in 12 and 9 patients, respectively. Median OS was 7.2 (95%CI (2.2;12.2)) months. The toxicity profile was that expected with such treatments.

Conclusion

LV5FU2-dacarbazine or temozolomide-capecitabine chemotherapies allow a temporary clinical response for almost half of patients and/or a morphological response for a third of patients.

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.

Open access

Fernando Aprile-Garcia, María Antunica-Noguerol, Maia Ludmila Budziñski, Ana C Liberman, and Eduardo Arzt

Inflammatory responses are elicited after injury, involving release of inflammatory mediators that ultimately lead, at the molecular level, to the activation of specific transcription factors (TFs; mainly activator protein 1 and nuclear factor-κB). These TFs propagate inflammation by inducing the expression of cytokines and chemokines. The neuroendocrine system has a determinant role in the maintenance of homeostasis, to avoid exacerbated inflammatory responses. Glucocorticoids (GCs) are the key neuroendocrine regulators of the inflammatory response. In this study, we describe the molecular mechanisms involved in the interplay between inflammatory cytokines, the neuroendocrine axis and GCs necessary for the control of inflammation. Targeting and modulation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and its activity is a common therapeutic strategy to reduce pathological signaling. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) is an enzyme that catalyzes the addition of PAR on target proteins, a post-translational modification termed PARylation. PARP1 has a central role in transcriptional regulation of inflammatory mediators, both in neuroendocrine tumors and in CNS cells. It is also involved in modulation of several nuclear receptors. Therefore, PARP1 and GR share common inflammatory pathways with antagonic roles in the control of inflammatory processes, which are crucial for the effective maintenance of homeostasis.

Open access

Hiren Patt, Katrin Koehler, Sailesh Lodha, Swati Jadhav, Chaitanya Yerawar, Angela Huebner, Kunal Thakkar, Sneha Arya, Sandhya Nair, Manjunath Goroshi, Hosahithlu Ganesh, Vijaya Sarathi, Anurag Lila, Tushar Bandgar, and Nalini Shah

Objective

To study genotype–phenotype spectrum of triple A syndrome (TAS).

Methods

Retrospective chart analysis of Indian TAS patients (cohort 1, n = 8) and review of genotyped TAS cases reported in world literature (cohort 2, n = 133, 68 publications).

Results

Median age at presentation was 4.75 years (range: 4–10) and 5 years (range: 1–42) for cohorts 1 and 2, respectively. Alacrima, adrenal insufficiency (AI), achalasia and neurological dysfunction (ND) were seen in 8/8, 8/8, 7/8 and 4/8 patients in cohort 1, and in 99, 91, 93 and 79% patients in cohort 2, respectively. In both cohorts, alacrima was present since birth while AI and achalasia manifested before ND. Mineralocorticoid deficiency (MC) was uncommon (absent in cohort 1, 12.5% in cohort 2). In cohort 1, splice-site mutation in exon 1 (p.G14Vfs*45) was commonest, followed by a deletion in exon 8 (p.S255Vfs*36). Out of 65 mutations in cohort 2, 14 were recurrent and five exhibited regional clustering. AI was more prevalent, more often a presenting feature, and was diagnosed at younger age in T group (those with truncating mutations) as compared to NT (non-truncating mutations) group. ND was more prevalent, more common a presenting feature, with later age at onset in NT as compared to T group.

Conclusion

Clinical profile of our patients is similar to that of patients worldwide. Alacrima is the earliest and most consistent finding. MC deficiency is uncommon. Some recurrent mutations show regional clustering. p.G14Vfs*45 and p.S255Vfs*36 account for majority of AAAS mutations in our cohort. Phenotype of T group differs from that of NT group and merits future research.

Open access

Samira M Sadowski, Emanuel Christ, Benoit Bédat, Attila Kollár, Wolfram Karenovics, Aurel Perren, Frédéric Triponez, and on behalf of the SwissNET registry

Background and aim

To analyze the management and outcome of patients with primary typical (TC) and atypical lung carcinoids (AC) in Switzerland.

Methods

Retrospective analysis of patients selected from a neuroendocrine tumor (NET) registry. Patients were divided into TC and AC according to pathology reports, and surgical procedures were grouped as wedge/segmentectomy, lobectomy/bilobectomy and pneumectomy. Survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank test.

Results

Over 7 years, 113 pulmonary carcinoids (61.9% females, mean age 59.4 years) were included from 19 hospitals, with pathology data on Ki67 and necrosis incomplete in 16 cases. Eighty-three TC and 14 AC underwent surgical resection with a primary tumor size of median 14.5 (range 1–80) mm and diagnosis was established in 55.8% at surgery. Mean follow-up was 30.2 ± 23.1 months. Lobectomy was performed in 54.2% and wedge resection in 17.7% of cases. Six patients received additional systemic therapy. There was a trend for larger primary lesion size and a significantly higher rate of N2–N3 status in AC. Mean survival tended to be increased in patients with TC compared to AC (86.1 vs 48.4 months, P = 0.06) and mean disease-free interval after surgical resection was 74.1 and 48.3 months for TC and AC, respectively (P = 0.74).

Conclusion

AC of the lung has a more malignant behavior and a trend to a worse outcome. The results of this registry reinforce the need for standardized histological diagnosis and inter-disciplinary therapeutic decision making to improve the quality of care of patients with TC and AC.

Open access

Alberto Bongiovanni, Federica Recine, Flavia Foca, Valentina Fausti, Nada Riva, Greta Fabbri, Stefano Severi, Chiara Liverani, Alessandro De Vita, Chiara Spadazzi, Giacomo Miserocchi, Laura Mercatali, Dino Amadori, and Toni Ibrahim

The incidence of neuroendocrine neoplasia (NEN) is higher in individuals ≥70 years of age (elderly) who are underrepresented in clinical trials because of comorbidities and low performance status. We retrospectively analyzed the outcome of elderly patients with metastatic NEN (mNEN). Comorbidities were summarized by Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), Kaplan–Meier method was applied to estimate overall survival (OS) and Cox’s proportional hazard model was used to assess the impact of known prognostic factors. We retrieved data on 145 mNEN patients aged ≥70 years seen at our center from June 2007 to March 2016. Fifty-six (38.6%) were aged ≥75 years. ECOG PS was 0 in 45.7% of cases and CCI was 0 in 41.0% and 1 in 37.4%. A total of 75.4% of patients had grade (G)1/G2 NEN and 24.6%, G3. Octreoscan/Gallium PET/CT and FDG-PET/CT were positive in 94.2% and 70.3% of cases, respectively. Median follow-up was 72.3 (53.2–85.1) months. Seventy-nine patients received first-line somatostatin analogs (SSA), 23 peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) and 36 chemotherapy (CHT). Seven did not undergo first-line therapy and 102 received more than one line. Median overall survival (mOS) was 5.1 years (95% CI: 3.4–6.6). No differences in mOS were seen according to CCI. First-line PRRT patients had a mOS of 6.5 years (95% CI: 3.3–not reached (NR)), SSA 5.7 years (95% CI: 4.2–7) and CHT 5.9 years (95% CI: 0.4–NR). mOS in CHT-treated G3 patients was 1.5 years (1.0–2.5). ECOG PS and FDG PET/CT were identified as independent prognostic factors. Results suggest that the above treatments positively impacted OS in elderly mNEN patients, including those aged ≥75 years.

Open access

Nadine M Vaninetti, David B Clarke, Deborah A Zwicker, Churn-Ern Yip, Barna Tugwell, Steve Doucette, Chris Theriault, Khaled Aldahmani, and Syed Ali Imran

Purpose

Sellar masses may present either with clinical manifestations of mass effect/hormonal dysfunction (CMSM) or incidentally on imaging (pituitary incidentaloma (PI)). This novel population-based study compares these two entities.

Methods

Retrospective analysis of all patients within a provincial pituitary registry between January 2006 and June 2014.

Results

Nine hundred and three patients were included (681 CMSM, 222 PI). CMSM mainly presented with secondary hormone deficiencies (SHDs) or stalk compression (29.7%), whereas PIs were found in association with neurological complaints (34.2%) (P < 0.0001). PIs were more likely to be macroadenomas (70.7 vs 49.9%; P < 0.0001). The commonest pathologies among CMSM were prolactinomas (39.8%) and non-functioning adenomas (NFAs) (50%) in PI (P < 0.0001). SHDs were present in 41.3% CMSM and 31.1% PI patients (P < 0.0001) and visual field deficit in 24.2 and 29.3%, respectively (P = 0.16). CMSM were more likely to require surgery (62.9%) than PI (35.8%) (P < 0.0005). The commonest surgical indications were impaired vision and radiological evidence of optic nerve compression. Over a follow-up period of 5.7 years for CMSM and 5.0 years for PI, tumour growth/recurrence occurred in 7.8% of surgically treated CMSM and 2.6% without surgery and PI, 0 and 4.9%, respectively (P = 1.0). There were no significant differences in the risk of new-onset SHD in CMSM vs PI in those who underwent surgery (P = 0.7) and those who were followed without surgery (P = 0.58).

Conclusions

This novel study compares the long-term trends of PI with CMSM, highlighting the need for comprehensive baseline and long-term radiological and hormonal evaluations in both entities.

Open access

Sandeep Kumar, Anurag Ranjan Lila, Saba Samad Memon, Vijaya Sarathi, Virendra A Patil, Santosh Menon, Neha Mittal, Gagan Prakash, Gaurav Malhotra, Nalini S Shah, and Tushar R Bandgar

Risk of metastatic disease in the cluster 2-related pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PPGL) is low. In MEN2 patients, identification of origin of metastases from pheochromocytoma (PCC) or medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is challenging as both are of neuroendocrine origin. We aim to describe our experience and perform a systematic review to assess prevalence, demographics, biochemistry, diagnostic evaluation, management, and predictors of cluster 2-related metastatic PPGL. Retrospective analysis of 3 cases from our cohort and 43 cases from world literature was done. For calculation of prevalence, all reported patients (n = 3063) of cluster 2 were included. We found that the risk of metastasis in cluster 2-related PPGL was 2.6% (2% in RET, 5% in NF1, 4.8% in TMEM127 and 16.7% in MAX variation). In metastatic PCC in MEN2, median age was 39 years, bilateral tumors were present in 71% and median tumor size was 9.7 cm (range 4–19) with 43.5% mortality. All patients had a primary tumor size ≥4 cm. Origin of primary tumor was diagnosed by histopathology of metastatic lesion in 11 (57.9%), 131I-MIBG scan in 6 (31.6%), and selective venous sampling and CT in 1 (5.3%) patient each. In subgroup of neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), median age was 46 years (range 14–59) with median tumor size 6 cm and 57% mortality. To conclude, the risk of metastatic disease in cluster 2-related PPGL is low, being especially high in tumors with size ≥4 cm and associated with high mortality. One-third patients of NF1 with metastatic PPGL had presented in second decade of life. Long-term studies are needed to formulate management recommendations.

Open access

Yang Lv, Xu Han, Chunyan Zhang, Yuan Fang, Ning Pu, Yuan Ji, Dansong Wang, Xu Xuefeng, and Wenhui Lou

Purpose

Chromogranin A (CgA) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) are important markers for neuroendocrine tumors; however, the clinical value of combining these markers has not been well studied. In this study, we investigated the utility of each marker individually and in combination for patients with nonfunctional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NF-pNETs).

Patients and Methods

In this study, NF-pNET patients and controls were recruited from December 2011 to March 2016; 784 serum samples from peripheral vein were collected. The clinical characteristics and biomarker values of all the individuals were recorded and analyzed. Tumor burdens were calculated by CT/MRI scan. Receiver-operating characteristic curves were constructed to assess the diagnostic predictive values; sensitivity and specificity were calculated to determine the cut-off value. Therapeutic responses reflected on the changes of the biomarkers’ concentration were assessed by the RECIST criterion. Clinical relations between the prognosis and the biomarker values were also analyzed. Statistical significance was defined as P value less than 0.05.

Results

Among the 167 NF-pNETs patients, 82 were males (49.1%) and the mean age was 50.0 (17.4). The mean CgA values of G1, G2 and G3 NF-pNENs were 75, 121 and 134 μg/L (P < 0.05), respectively. In NF-pNETs, CgA correlated with the WHO tumor grade (WHO G1 vs G2, P < 0.05); the linear regression relationships were found between the tumor burdens (both in pancreas and liver) and CgA concentration (P < 0.001); changes in CgA and NSE concentrations also reflect treatment response (P < 0.001).

Conclusion

CgA and NSE are important diagnostic and follow-up markers in patients with NF-pNETs. The combined monitoring of CgA and NSE possesses more accuracy than individual values of CgA and NSE at predicting prognosis and disease progression.

Open access

Catherine Cardot Bauters, Emmanuelle Leteurtre, Bruno Carnaille, Christine Do Cao, Stéphanie Espiard, Malo Penven, Evelyne Destailleur, Isabelle Szuster, Tonio Lovecchio, Julie Leclerc, Fredéric Frénois, Emmanuel Esquivel, Patricia L M Dahia, Emilie Ait-Yahya, Michel Crépin, and Pascal Pigny

Objective

We previously described a family in which predisposition to pheochromocytoma (PCC) segregates with a germline heterozygous KIF1B nucleotide variant (c.4442G>A, p.Ser1481Asn) in three generations. During the clinical follow-up, one proband’s brother, negative for the KIF1B nucleotide variant, developed a bilateral PCC at 31 years. This prompted us to reconsider the genetic analysis.

Design and methods

Germline DNA was analyzed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) using a multi-gene panel plus MLPA or by whole exome sequencing (WES). Tumor-derived DNA was analyzed by SnapShot, Sanger sequencing or NGS to identify loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) or additional somatic mutations.

Results

A germline heterozygous variant of unknown significance in MAX (c.145T>C, p.Ser49Pro) was identified in the proband’s brother. Loss of the wild-type MAX allele occurred in his PCCs thus demonstrating that this variant was responsible for the bilateral PCC in this patient. The proband and her affected grandfather also carried the MAX variant but no second hit could be found at the somatic level. No other pathogenic mutations were detected in 36 genes predisposing to familial PCC/PGL or familial cancers by WES of the proband germline. Germline variants detected in other genes, TFAP2E and TMEM214, may contribute to the multiple tumors of the proband.

Conclusion

In this family, the heritability of PCC is linked to the MAX germline variant and not to the KIF1B germline variant which, however, may have contributed to the occurrence of neuroblastoma (NB) in the proband.