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Open access

Marco Marino, Valentina Cirello, Valentina Gnarini, Carla Colombo, Elisa Pignatti, Livio Casarini, Chiara Diazzi, Vincenzo Rochira, Katia Cioni, Bruno Madeo, Cesare Carani, Manuela Simoni, and Laura Fugazzola

Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common endocrine malignancy, with a steadily increasing incidence in the last few decades worldwide. The predisposition to developing this carcinoma by the heterozygous state of rs2910164 within the precursor of the miR-146a has been reported, but recently not confirmed. Interestingly, on the same chromosome, almost 50 kb separate the pre-miR-146a from the pituitary tumor-transforming gene 1 (PTTG1), a proto-oncogene involved in several tumors, including thyroid cancers. In this study, we analyzed, using a case–control design, the genetic association between PTC and the genomic region encompassing pre-miR-146a rs2910164 and PTTG1 rs1862391 and rs2910202. We enrolled 307 affected patients and 206 healthy controls. The possible presence of thyroid nodules in controls was excluded by ultrasonography. All the cases were submitted to single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping of pre-miR-146a and PTTG1, and risk association analyses were carried out. The genotypic and allelic frequencies of pre-miR-146a rs2910164 were not statistically different in the patients and controls, and this SNP was not in linkage disequilibrium with the investigated PTTG1 SNPs. Consistently, meta-analyses, the first including all the affected cases published to date, did not confirm the previously reported association of the heterozygous CG genotype with PTC. The PTTG1 SNPs exhibited the same allelic frequency in the patients and controls and were not associated with the disease. In conclusion, in a well-selected Italian population, neither pre-miR-146a rs2910164 nor PTTG1 rs1862391 and rs2910202 were found to be associated with the risk of developing PTC.

Open access

Meihua Jin, Woo Kyung Lee, Mi-Hyeon You, Ahreum Jang, Sheue-yann Cheng, Won Gu Kim, Min Ji Jeon, and Yu-Mi Lee

Background

Catabolism of serine via serine hydroxymethyltransferase2 (SHMT2) through the mitochondrial one-carbon unit pathway is important in tumorigenesis. Therefore, SHMT2 may play a role in thyroid cancer.

Methods

Thyroid tissue samples and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database were used to evaluate SHMT2 expression in thyroid tissues and the association with clinical outcomes.

Results

SHMT2 protein expression was evaluated in thyroid tissues consisting of 52 benign nodules, 129 papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) and matched normal samples, and 20 anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATC). ATCs presented the highest (95.0%) positivity of SMHT2 protein expression. PTCs showed the second highest (73.6%) positivity of SHMT2 expression, which was significantly higher than that of benign nodules (19.2%, P = 0.016) and normal thyroid tissues (0%, P < 0.001). Analysis of TCGA data showed that SHMT2 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was significantly higher in tumors than in normal tissues (P < 0.001). When we classified thyroid cancer into high and low groups according to SHMT2 mRNA expression levels, the thyroid differentiation score for the high SHMT2 group was significantly lower than that of the low SHMT2 group (P < 0.001). There was also a significant correlation between SHMT2 mRNA expression and the stemness index (r = 0.41, P < 0.001). The high SHMT2 group had more advanced TNM stages and shorter progression-free survival rates than the low SHMT2 group (P < 0.01 and P = 0.007, respectively).

Conclusion

SHMT2 expression is higher in thyroid cancers than normal or benign tissues and is associated with de-differentiation and poor clinical outcomes. Thus, SHMT2 might be useful as a diagnostic and prognostic marker for thyroid cancer.

Open access

Luis Eduardo Barbalho de Mello, Thaise Nayane Ribeiro Carneiro, Aline Neves Araujo, Camila Xavier Alves, Pedro Alexandre Favoretto Galante, Vanessa Candiotti Buzatto, Maria das Graças de Almeida, Karina Marques Vermeulen-Serpa, Sancha H. de Lima Vale, Fernando José de Pinto Paiva, José Brandão-Neto, and Janete Maria Cerutti

The genetics underlying non-syndromic familial non-medullary thyroid carcinoma (FNMTC) is still poorly understood. To identify susceptibility genes for FNMTC, we performed whole exome sequencing (WES) in a Brazilian family affected by papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) in three consecutive generations. WES was performed in four affected and two unaffected family members. Manual inspection in over 100 previously reported susceptibility genes for FNMTC showed that no variants in known genes co-segregated with disease phenotype in this family. Novel candidate genes were investigated using PhenoDB and filtered using Genome Aggregation (gnomAD) and Online Archive of Brazilian Mutations (ABraOM) population databases. The missense variant p.Ile657Met in the NID1 gene was the only variant that co-segregated with the disease, while absent in unaffected family members and controls. The allele frequency for this variant was <0.0001 in the gnomAD and ABbraOM databases. In silico analysis predicted the variant to be deleterious or likely damaging to the protein function. Somatic mutations in NID1 gene were found in nearly 500 cases of different cancer subtypes in the intOGen platform. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed NID1 expression in PTC cells, while it was absent in normal thyroid tissue. Our findings were corroborated using data from the TCGA cohort. Moreover, higher expression of NID1 was associated with higher likelihood of relapse after treatment and N1b disease in PTCs from the TCGA cohort. Although replication studies are needed to better understand the role of this variant in the FNMTC susceptibility, the NID1 variant (c.1971T>G) identified in this study fulfills several criteria that suggest it as a new FNMTC predisposing gene.

Open access

John E M Midgley, Rolf Larisch, Johannes W Dietrich, and Rudolf Hoermann

Several influences modulate biochemical responses to a weight-adjusted levothyroxine (l-T4) replacement dose. We conducted a secondary analysis of the relationship of l-T4 dose to TSH and free T3 (FT3), using a prospective observational study examining the interacting equilibria between thyroid parameters. We studied 353 patients on steady-state l-T4 replacement for autoimmune thyroiditis or after surgery for malignant or benign thyroid disease. Peripheral deiodinase activity was calculated as a measure of T4–T3 conversion efficiency. In euthyroid subjects, the median l-T4 dose was 1.3 μg/kg per day (interquartile range (IQR) 0.94,1.60). The dose was independently associated with gender, age, aetiology and deiodinase activity (all P<0.001). Comparable FT3 levels required higher l-T4 doses in the carcinoma group (n=143), even after adjusting for different TSH levels. Euthyroid athyreotic thyroid carcinoma patients (n=50) received 1.57 μg/kg per day l-T4 (IQR 1.40, 1.69), compared to 1.19 μg/kg per day (0.85,1.47) in autoimmune thyroiditis (P<0.01, n=76) and 1.08 μg/kg per day (0.82, 1.44) in patients operated on for benign disease (P< 0.01, n=80). Stratifying patients by deiodinase activity categories of <23, 23–29 and >29 nmol/s revealed an increasing FT3–FT4 dissociation; the poorest converters showed the lowest FT3 levels in spite of the highest dose and circulating FT4 (P<0.001). An l-T4-related FT3–TSH disjoint was also apparent; some patients with fully suppressed TSH failed to raise FT3 above the median level. These findings imply that thyroid hormone conversion efficiency is an important modulator of the biochemical response to l-T4; FT3 measurement may be an additional treatment target; and l-T4 dose escalation may have limited success to raise FT3 appropriately in some cases.

Open access

Jes Sloth Mathiesen, Jens Peter Kroustrup, Peter Vestergaard, Kirstine Stochholm, Per Løgstrup Poulsen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Sten Schytte, Stefano Christian Londero, Henrik Baymler Pedersen, Christoffer Holst Hahn, Bjarki Ditlev Djurhuus, Jens Bentzen, Sören Möller, Mette Gaustadnes, Maria Rossing, Finn Cilius Nielsen, Kim Brixen, Anja Lisbeth Frederiksen, Christian Godballe, and the Danish Thyroid Cancer Group (DATHYRCA)

Recent studies have shown a significant increase in the temporal trend of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) incidence. However, it remains unknown to which extent sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma (SMTC) and hereditary MTC (HMTC) affect the MTC incidence over time. We conducted a nationwide retrospective study using previously described RET and MTC cohorts combined with review of medical records, pedigree comparison and relevant nationwide registries. The study included 474 MTC patients diagnosed in Denmark between 1960 and 2014. In the nationwide period from 1997 to 2014, we recorded a mean age-standardized incidence of all MTC, SMTC and HMTC of 0.19, 0.13 and 0.06 per 100,000 per year, respectively. The average annual percentage change in incidence for all MTC, SMTC and HMTC were 1.0 (P = 0.542), 2.8 (P = 0.125) and −3.1 (P = 0.324), respectively. The corresponding figures for point prevalence at January 1, 2015 were 3.8, 2.5 and 1.3 per 100,000, respectively. The average annual percentage change in prevalence from 1998 to 2015 for all MTC, SMTC and HMTC was 2.8 (P < 0.001), 3.8 (P < 0.001) and 1.5 (P = 0.010), respectively. We found no significant change in the incidence of all MTC, SMTC and HMTC possibly due to our small sample size. However, due to an increasing trend in the incidence of all MTC and opposing trends of SMTC (increasing) and HMTC (decreasing) incidence, it seems plausible that an increase for all MTC seen by others may be driven by the SMTC group rather than the HMTC group.

Open access

Weixi Wang, Rulai Han, Lei Ye, Jing Xie, Bei Tao, Fukang Sun, Ran Zhuo, Xi Chen, Xiaxing Deng, Cong Ye, Hongyan Zhao, and Shu Wang

Objective

Up to 40% of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) patients may have adrenal cortical tumors. However, adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is rare. The clinical manifestations, prevalence, inheritance and prognosis of ACC associated with MEN1 remain unclear. Here we report the clinical manifestations and prevalence of ACC in patients with MEN1.

Design and methods

A retrospective analysis of ACC associated with MEN1 patients at a single tertiary care center from December 2001 to June 2017. Genetic analysis of MEN1 and other ACC associated genes, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of MEN1 locus, immunohistochemistry staining of menin, P53 and β-catenin in ACC tissue were performed.

Results

Two related patients had ACC associated with MEN1. The father had ENSAT stage IV tumor with excessive production of cortisol; the daughter had nonfunctional ENSAT stage I tumor. Both patients carried novel germline heterozygous mutation (c.400_401insC) of MEN1. The wild-type MEN1 allele was lost in the resected ACC tissue from the daughter with no menin staining. The ACC tissue had nuclear β-catenin staining, with heterozygous CTNNB1 mutation of 357del24 and P53 staining in only 20% cells.

Conclusions

ACC associated with MEN1 is rare and may occur in familial aggregates.

Open access

Manjunath Goroshi, Swati S Jadhav, Vijaya Sarathi, Anurag R Lila, Virendra A Patil, Ravikumar Shah, Priya Hira, Rajaram Sharma, Shettepppa Goroshi, Gwendolyn Fernandes, Amey Rojekar, Abhay Dalvi, Ganesh Bakshi, Gagan Prakash, Nalini S Shah, and Tushar R Bandgar

Rationale and introduction

To evaluate the computerised tomography (CT) characteristics of phaeochromocytoma (PCC) that differentiate them from other non-benign adrenal masses such as adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC), primary adrenal lymphoma (PAL) and adrenal metastases (AM).

Methods

This retrospective study was conducted at a tertiary health care institute from Western India. Patients presented between January 2013 and August 2016 with histological diagnosis of PCC or other non-benign adrenal mass having adequate reviewable imaging data comprising all four CECT phases were included.

Results

The study cohort consisted of 72 adrenal masses from 66 patients (33 PCC, 22 ACC, 4 PAL, 13 AM). Unlike other masses, majority of PCC (25/33) showed peak enhancement in early arterial phase (EAP). PCC had significantly higher attenuation in EAP and early venous phase (EVP), and higher calculated percentage arterial enhancement (PAE) and percentage venous enhancement (PVE) than other adrenal masses (P < 0.001). For diagnosis of PCC with 100% specificity, PAE value ≥100% and EAP attenuation ≥100 HU had 78.8 and 63.6% sensitivity respectively. ACC were significantly larger in size as compared to PCC and metastasis. The adreniform shape was exclusively found in PAL (two out of four) and AM (4 out of 13). None of the enhancement, wash-in or washout characteristics were discriminatory among ACC, PAL and AM.

Conclusion

Peak enhancement in EAP, PAE value ≥100% and EAP attenuation ≥100 HU differentiate PCC from other malignant adrenal masses with high specificity.

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

T Szarvas, B Jardin-Watelet, N Bourgoin, M J Hoffmann, P Nyirády, C Oláh, T Széll, A Csizmarik, B Hadaschik, and H Reis

Recently, a neuroendocrine-like molecular subtype has been discovered in muscle-invasive urothelial bladder cancer (BC). Chromogranin A (CGA) is a widely used tissue and serum marker in neuroendocrine tumors. Our aim was to evaluate serum CGA (sCGA) concentrations and their associations with clinical and follow-up data in BC and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). sCGA concentrations were analyzed in the following cohorts: (1) BC training set (n = 188), (2) BC validation set (n = 125), (3) RCC patients (n = 77), (4) healthy controls (n = 97). CGA immunohistochemistry and RT-qPCR analyses were performed in 20 selected FFPE and 29 frozen BC tissue samples. Acquired data were correlated with clinicopathological parameters including comorbidities with known effect on sCGA as well as with patients’ follow-up data. sCGA levels were significantly higher in BC but not in RCC patients compared to healthy controls. High sCGA levels were independently associated with poor overall and disease-specific survival both in the BC training (P < 0.001, P = 0.002) and validation set (P = 0.009, P = 0.017). sCGA levels were inversely correlated with glomerulus filtrating rate (GFR) and linearly correlated with creatinine clearance and urea concentrations. These correlations were not related to the prognostic value of sCGA. Tissue CGA levels were low to absent independently of sCGA concentrations. Our results demonstrate elevated levels and an independent prognostic value for sCGA in BC but not in RCC. Despite the significant correlation between sCGA and GFR, the prognostic relevance of sCGA seems not related to impaired renal function or other comorbidities.

Open access

Joana Simões-Pereira, Daniel Macedo, and Maria João Bugalho

Introduction

Metastases to central nervous system (M1-CNS) are rarely reported in thyroid cancer (TC) patients. We aimed to characterize patients with M1-CNS from TC followed in our department.

Methods

Review of the medical records of 27 patients with TC-related M1-CNS.

Results

Mean age at TC diagnosis was 56.9 ± 19.1 years. Papillary TC (55.6%) was the commonest histological type, followed by poorly differentiated (18.5%), medullary (11.1%), follicular (7.4%) and Hürthle cell (7.4%) carcinomas. Angioinvasion and extrathyroidal extension were observed in a high number of patients. At M1-CNS diagnosis, other distant metastases were already present in 77.8% of the patients. Treatment directed to M1-CNS was offered to 20 (74%) patients: 1 was submitted to surgery, 18 to radiotherapy (either whole-brain radiotherapy or stereotaxic radiosurgery or both) and 4 to surgery and radiotherapy. Four patients received cytotoxic chemotherapy and one was submitted to 131I. Median survival since M1-CNS detection was 5.0 months. The only factor associated with better survival was surgery to brain metastases (P = 0.012).

Conclusions

The management of these patients is very challenging given the inexistence of effective treatments, except for brain surgery in selected cases.