Thyroid hormone receptors, THRA and THRB, together with the TSH receptor, TSHR, are key regulators of thyroid function. Alterations in the genes of these receptors (THRA, THRB and TSHR) have been related to thyroid diseases, including thyroid cancer. Moreover, there is evidence suggesting that predisposition to differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is related to common genetic variants with low penetrance that interact with each other and with environmental factors. In this study, we investigated the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the THRA (one SNP), THRB (three SNPs) and TSHR (two SNPs) genes with DTC risk. A case–control association study was conducted with 398 patients with sporadic DTC and 479 healthy controls from a Spanish population. Among the polymorphisms studied, only THRA-rs939348 was found to be associated with an increased risk of DTC (recessive model, odds ratio=1.80, 95% confidence interval=1.03–3.14, P=0.037). Gene–gene interaction analysis using the genotype data of this study together with our previous genotype data on TG and TRHR indicated a combined effect of the pairwises: THRB-TG (P interaction=0.014, THRB-rs3752874 with TG-rs2076740; P interaction=0.099, THRB-rs844107 with TG-rs2076740) and THRB-TRHR (P interaction=0.0024, THRB-rs3752874 with TRHR-rs4129682) for DTC risk in a Spanish population. Our results confirm that THRA is a risk factor for DTC, and we show for the first time the combined effect of THRB and TG or TRHR on DTC susceptibility, supporting the importance of gene–gene interaction in thyroid cancer risk.
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Susana Pastor, Abdelmounaim Akdi, Eddy R González, Juan Castell, Josefina Biarnés, Ricard Marcos, and Antonia Velázquez
M von Wolff, C T Nakas, M Tobler, T M Merz, M P Hilty, J D Veldhuis, A R Huber, and J Pichler Hefti
Humans cannot live at very high altitude for reasons, which are not completely understood. Since these reasons are not restricted to cardiorespiratory changes alone, changes in the endocrine system might also be involved. Therefore, hormonal changes during prolonged hypobaric hypoxia were comprehensively assessed to determine effects of altitude and hypoxia on stress, thyroid and gonadal hypothalamus–pituitary hormone axes. Twenty-one male and 19 female participants were examined repetitively during a high-altitude expedition. Cortisol, prolactin, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), fT4 and fT3 and in males follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and total testosterone were analysed as well as parameters of hypoxemia, such as SaO2 and paO2 at 550 m (baseline) (n = 40), during ascent at 4844 m (n = 38), 6022 m (n = 31) and 7050 m (n = 13), at 4844 m (n = 29) after acclimatization and after the expedition (n = 38). Correlation analysis of hormone concentrations with oxygen parameters and with altitude revealed statistical association in most cases only with altitude. Adrenal, thyroid and gonadal axes were affected by increasing altitude. Adrenal axis and prolactin were first supressed at 4844 m and then activated with increasing altitude; thyroid and gonadal axes were directly activated or suppressed respectively with increasing altitude. Acclimatisation at 4844 m led to normalization of adrenal and gonadal but not of thyroid axes. In conclusion, acclimatization partly leads to a normalization of the adrenal, thyroid and gonadal axes at around 5000 m. However, at higher altitude, endocrine dysregulation is pronounced and might contribute to the physical degradation found at high altitude.
Jakob Kirkegård, Dora Körmendiné Farkas, Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen, and Deirdre P Cronin-Fenton
The association between thyroid dysfunction and gastrointestinal cancer is unclear.
We conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study to examine this potential association.
We used Danish medical registries to assemble a nationwide population-based cohort of patients diagnosed with hyperthyroid or hypothyroid disease from 1978 to 2013. We computed standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) with corresponding 95% CIs as measures of the relative risk of each cancer, comparing patients with thyroid dysfunction with that expected in the general population.
We included 163,972 patients, of which 92,783 had hyperthyroidism and 71,189 had hypothyroidism. In general, we found an increased risk of all gastrointestinal cancers within the first year after thyroid disease diagnosis. After more than 5 years of follow-up, patients with hyperthyroidism had a slightly increased risk of pancreatic and gallbladder and biliary tract cancer. Patients with hypothyroidism had a slightly increased risk of stomach, anal, liver, gallbladder and biliary tract, and pancreatic cancer after more than 5 years of follow-up, but the observed numbers of cancers were in general similar to the expected.
The increased risks of all gastrointestinal cancers in the first year following hyper- or hypothyroidism diagnosis are likely due to detection bias. After more than 5 years of follow-up, there does not seem to be a consistent causal association between thyroid disease and gastrointestinal cancer.
Anna Olsson-Brown, Rosemary Lord, Joseph Sacco, Jonathan Wagg, Mark Coles, and Munir Pirmohamed
Immune checkpoint inhibitors can lead to thyroid dysfunction. However, the understanding of the clinical phenotype of ICI-induced thyroid dysfunction in the real-world population is limited. The purpose of this study was to characterise the clinical patterns of dysfunction and evaluate the demographic, biochemical and immunological features associated with this patient cohort.
Materials and methods
To characterise the longitudinal clinical course of thyroid dysfunction in patients from a single, UK regional cancer centre, a retrospective review of patients was conducted. Inclusion criteria included all patients treated with antiPD-1 checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), either as monotherapy (pembrolizumab/nivolumab) or in combination with a CTLA-4 inhibitor (ipilimumab). Patterns of toxicity were evaluated together with assessment of antibody titres.
Over 16 months, thyroid dysfunction was seen in 13/90 and 3/13 patients treated with anti-PD1 monotherapy and in combination with ipilimumab, respectively. Patients either developed hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism (12/16) or de novo hypothyroidism (4/16). Most patients were female (n = 11). All patients required thyroid replacement therapy. There was no relationship between clinical pattern of dysfunction and the presence of thyroid autoantibodies.
There are two distinct patterns of thyroid dysfunction in ICI-treated patients. Patients with thyroiditis develop subsequent hypothyroidism in the vast majority of cases. The potential benefit from steroids or other therapy to manage the hyperthyroid phase remains unclear. Early detection of these patients through appropriate monitoring will improve clinical management and early hormone replacement, reducing the symptomatic burden of hypothyroidism.
Jaafar Jaafar, Eugenio Fernandez, Heba Alwan, and Jacques Philippe
Monoclonal antibodies blocking the programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) or its ligand (PD-L1) are a group of immune checkpoints inhibitors (ICIs) with proven antitumor efficacy. However, their use is complicated by immune-related adverse events (irAEs), including endocrine adverse events (eAEs).
We review the incidence, time to onset and resolution rate of dysthyroidism induced by PD-1/PD-L1 Ab, and the clinical, biological and radiological findings. We aim to discuss the potential mechanisms of PD-1/PD-L1 Ab-induced dysthyroidism, and to propose a management algorithm.
We performed a literature search of available clinical trials regarding PD-1/PD-L1 Ab in the PubMed database. We selected all English language clinical trials that included at least 100 patients. We also present selected case series or reports, retrospective studies and reviews related to this issue.
In patients treated with PD-1 Ab, hypothyroidism occurred in 2–10.1% and hyperthyroidism occurred in 0.9–7.8%. When thyroiditis was reported separately, it occurred in 0.34–2.6%. Higher rates were reported when PD-1 Ab were associated with other ICI or chemotherapy. The median time to onset of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism after PD-1 Ab initiation was 23–45 days and 2–3.5 months, respectively. Regarding PD-L1 Ab, hypothyroidism occurred in 0–10% and hyperthyroidism in 0.5–2% of treated patients. The average time to onset of dysthyroidism after PD-L1 Ab was variable and ranged from 1 day after treatment initiation to 31 months.
Dysthyroidism occurs in up to 10% of patients treated with PD-1/PD-L1 Ab. Hypothyroidism and reversible destructive thyroiditis are the most frequent endocrine adverse events (eAE) in PD-1/PD-L1 treated patients. Immune and non-immune mechanisms are potentially involved, independently of the presence of thyroid antibodies.
Nadia Sawicka-Gutaj, Ariadna Zybek-Kocik, Michał Kloska, Paulina Ziółkowska, Agata Czarnywojtek, Jerzy Sowiński, Dorota Mańkowska-Wierzbicka, and Marek Ruchała
Dysregulation of thyroid function has known impact on body metabolism, however, data regarding metabolic outcome after restoration of thyroid function is limited. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the effect of restoration of euthyroidism on serum visfatin, and its associations with insulin resistance and body composition. This is an observational study with consecutive enrollment. Forty-nine hyperthyroid (median age of 34 years) and 44 hypothyroid women (median age of 46 years) completed the study. Laboratory parameters and body composition analysis were assessed before and after the therapy. In the hyperthyroid group, visfatin concentrations increased (P < 0.0001), while glucose concentrations decreased (P < 0.0001). Total body mass and fat mass in the trunk and limbs significantly increased during the treatment. In the hypothyroid group, significant weight loss resulted from decrease of fat and muscle masses in trunk and limbs. Visfatin serum concentrations positively correlated with total fat mass (r = 0.19, P = 0.01) and insulin concentrations (r = 0.17, P = 0.018). In conclusion, restoration of thyroid function is not associated with beneficial changes in body composition, especially among hyperthyroid females.
Xingyao Tang, Zhi-Hui Song, Dawei Wang, Jinkui Yang, Marly Augusto Cardoso, Jian-Bo Zhou, and Rafael Simó
Thyroid hormone, as a modifiable risk factor for dementia, promotes neurocognitive function and regulates metabolic processes. Various studies have defined different thyroid-stimulating hormone cutoffs, but the safest thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration was absent. A dose–response meta-analysis describing the overall functional relation and identifying exposure intervals associated with a higher or lower disease risk is thus desirable. Therefore, our current analysis was conducted to understand the influence of thyroid dysfunction on dementia risk. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science before May 1, 2020 for human studies published in English. Studies were considered for inclusion if they used a cohort study design to measure the risk of dementia in different thyroid function status groups, diagnosed thyroid functional status and all-cause dementia, included participants aged >18 years, and provided quantitative measures of data. The analysis contained 17 articles with 344,248 individuals with a 7.8-year mean follow-up. Ten studies with 329,287 participants indicated that only subclinical hyperthyroidism was associated with an increased risk of dementia. In contrast, subclinical hypothyroidism, clinical hyperthyroidism, and clinical hypothyroidism did not affect dementia. In the dose–response meta-analysis with 46,417 samples from 11 studies, the association of thyroid-stimulating hormone with the risk of dementia exhibited a U-shaped curve. Our study indicated that subclinical hyperthyroidism was associated with the risk of dementia and the thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration at around 1.55–1.60 mU/L as the optimum range for the risk of dementia.
Qingrong Pan, Shuxin Gao, Xia Gao, Ning Yang, Zhi Yao, Yanjin Hu, Li Miao, Zhe Chen, and Guang Wang
It has been found that both serum homocysteine (Hcy) and serum creatinine levels were increased in hypothyroidism patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between serum Hcy and kidney function in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism.
A total of 448 subjects were enrolled and divided into three groups: hypothyroidism (n = 129), subclinical hypothyroidism (n = 141), and control group (n = 168). Anthropometric information, metabolic parameters, serum Hcy and creatinine levels, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were analyzed.
Compared with healthy subjects, patients with subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism had significantly higher serum Hcy and creatinine levels and lower eGFR level (all P < 0.001). Serum Hcy was negatively correlated with eGFR in subclinical hypothyroidism patients (r = −0.220, P = 0.009), and in hypothyroidism patients (r = −0.422, P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, sex and BMI, eGFR was still significantly correlated with serum Hcy in subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism patients (both P < 0.05). Levothyroxine treatment resulted in significantly decreased Hcy and increased eGFR in hypothyroidism patients (both P < 0.001). The decrease in Hcy was correlated with the increased eGFR after treatment (P = 0.001).
Serum Hcy was negatively correlated with eGFR in subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism patients. After levothyroxine treatment, a correlation was found between the decrease in serum Hcy and the increase in eGFR in hypothyroidism patients.
J Brossaud, V Pallet, and J-B Corcuff
Vitamin A (retinol) is a micronutrient critical for cell proliferation and differentiation. In adults, vitamin A and metabolites such as retinoic acid (RA) play major roles in vision, immune and brain functions and tissue remodelling and metabolism. This review presents the physiological interactions of retinoids and endocrine tissues and hormonal systems. Two endocrine systems have been particularly studied. In the pituitary, retinoids target the corticotrophs with a possible therapeutic use in corticotropinomas. In the thyroid, retinoids interfere with iodine metabolism and vitamin A deficiency aggravates thyroid dysfunction caused by iodine-deficient diets. Retinoids use in thyroid cancer appears less promising than expected. Recent and still controversial studies investigated the relations between retinoids and metabolic syndrome. Indeed, retinoids contribute to pancreatic development and modify fat and glucose metabolism. However, more detailed studies are needed before planning any therapeutic use. Finally, retinoids probably play more minor roles in adrenal and gonads development and function apart from their major effects on spermatogenesis.
Eugenie S Lim, Shanty G Shah, Mona Waterhouse, Scott Akker, William Drake, Nick Plowman, Daniel M Berney, Polly Richards, Ashok Adams, Ewa Nowosinska, Carmel Brennan, and Maralyn Druce
Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is usually treated by thyroidectomy followed by radioiodine ablation and generally has a good prognosis. It may now be possible to limit the amount of treatment without impacting on efficacy. It is not known whether coexistent thyroiditis impacts on radioiodine uptake or on its potential efficacy, but this could provide a rationale for modification to current therapeutic protocols.
This was a retrospective cohort study of radioiodine uptake on imaging after radioiodine ablation for DTC in patients with and without concurrent thyroiditis. All patients with histologically confirmed DTC treated with radioiodine ablation after thyroidectomy in a single centre from 2012 to 2015 were included. The primary outcome assessed was the presence of low or no iodine uptake on post-ablation scan, as reported by a nuclear medicine physician blinded to the presence or absence of thyroiditis.
One hundred thirty patients with available histopathology results were included. Thyroiditis was identified in 42 post-operative specimens and 15 of these patients had low or no iodine uptake on post-ablation scan, compared to only 2 of 88 patients without thyroiditis (P < 0.0001) with further data analysis dividing the groups by ablation activity received (1100 MBq or 3000 MBq).
Concurrent thyroiditis may impair the uptake of radioactive iodine in management of DTC. Given that patients with DTC and thyroiditis already have a good prognosis, adopting a more selective approach to this step in therapy may be indicated. Large, longitudinal studies would be required to determine if omitting radioactive iodine therapy from those patients with concurrent thyroiditis has a measurable impact on mortality from thyroid cancer.