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Open access

João Castro-Teles, Bernardo Sousa-Pinto, Sandra Rebelo, and Duarte Pignatelli

Objective

Pheochromocytomas are a hallmark feature of von Hippel–Lindau disease (vHL). To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review with meta-analysis evaluating the frequency of pheochromocytomas and/or paragangliomas (PPGLs) in patients with vHL, as well as among patients with different vHL subtypes.

Design

Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Methods

We searched on MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science. We included primary studies assessing participants with vHL and reporting on the frequency of PPGL. We performed random-effects meta-analysis to quantitatively assess the frequency of PPGL, followed by meta-regression and subgroup analysis. Risk of bias analysis was performed to assess primary studies’ methodological quality.

Results

We included 80 primary studies. In 4263 patients with vHL, the pooled frequency of PPGL was 19.4% (95% CI = 15.9–23.6%, I 2 = 86.1%). The frequency increased to 60.0% in patients with vHL type 2 (95% CI = 53.4–66.3%, I 2 = 54.6%) and was determined to be of 58.2% in patients with vHL type 2A (95% CI = 49.7–66.3%, I 2 = 36.2%), compared to 49.8% in vHL type 2B (95% CI = 39.9–59.7%, I 2 = 42.7%), and 84.1% in vHL type 2C (95% CI = 75.1–93.1%, I 2 = 0%). In meta-regression analysis, more recent studies were associated with a higher frequency of PPGL. All studies had at least one internal validity item classified as 'high risk of bias,' with 13% studies having low risk of bias in all external validity items.

Conclusions

PPGLs are a common manifestation of vHL. Despite methodological limitations and differences across primary studies, our results point to the importance of PPGL screening in patients with vHL.

Open access

Caojie Liu, Qingguo Lv, Xinlei Chen, Guangcheng Ni, Liru Hu, Nanwei Tong, and Yuwei Zhang

Purpose

Preoperative preparation for adrenalectomy for pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGL) is universally recognized as necessary, while the optimal strategy remains controversial. Our aims were to increase intraoperative hemodynamic stability, expedite postoperative recovery, decrease side effects and reduce costs for patients with PPGL undergoing adrenalectomy.

Methods

We identified 526 patients undergoing open adrenalectomy for PPGL in the West China Hospital of Sichuan University between May, 2007 and December, 2016. 149 patients received preoperative selective α-blockade with phenoxybenzamine, and 377 patients received non-selective α-blockade with prazosin, doxazosin or terazosin. There were no statistical differences between groups regarding preoperative patient and tumor characteristics. Operations were planned once hypertensive patients were well-controlled with blood pressure ≤130/85 mmHg. Intraoperatively, all patients received arterial blood pressure monitoring, and indwelling urinary catheters to record urine output. We recorded intraoperative hemodynamics, status in the postanesthesia or intensive care unit, postoperative recovery and complications.

Results

Patients in the non-selective group showed a more significant decline in postoperative systolic blood pressure than the selective group (P = 0.041). Also, patients in the non-selective group appeared to receive a long-term anti-hypertensive effect, especially for diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.037), which was a novel finding, based on the current literature.

Conclusions

Our results confirmed that non-selective α-blockade produced a more significant anti-hypertensive effect than selective α-blockade. However, we found no significant difference in intraoperative hemodynamic instability, postoperative recovery and postoperative complications between groups.

Open access

Joakim Crona, Alberto Delgado Verdugo, Dan Granberg, Staffan Welin, Peter Stålberg, Per Hellman, and Peyman Björklund

Background

Recent findings have shown that up to 60% of pheochromocytomas (PCCs) and paragangliomas (PGLs) are caused by germline or somatic mutations in one of the 11 hitherto known susceptibility genes: SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, VHL, HIF2A (EPAS1), RET, NF1, TMEM127 and MAX. This list of genes is constantly growing and the 11 genes together consist of 144 exons. A genetic screening test is extensively time consuming and expensive. Hence, we introduce next-generation sequencing (NGS) as a time-efficient and cost-effective alternative.

Methods

Tumour lesions from three patients with apparently sporadic PCC were subjected to whole exome sequencing utilizing Agilent Sureselect target enrichment system and Illumina Hi seq platform. Bioinformatics analysis was performed in-house using commercially available software. Variants in PCC and PGL susceptibility genes were identified.

Results

We have identified 16 unique genetic variants in PCC susceptibility loci in three different PCC, spending less than a 30-min hands-on, in-house time. Two patients had one unique variant each that was classified as probably and possibly pathogenic: NF1 Arg304Ter and RET Tyr791Phe. The RET variant was verified by Sanger sequencing.

Conclusions

NGS can serve as a fast and cost-effective method in the clinical genetic screening of PCC. The bioinformatics analysis may be performed without expert skills. We identified process optimization, characterization of unknown variants and determination of additive effects of multiple variants as key issues to be addressed by future studies.

Open access

Veronica Kieffer, Kate Davies, Christine Gibson, Morag Middleton, Jean Munday, Shashana Shalet, Lisa Shepherd, and Phillip Yeoh

This competency framework was developed by a working group of endocrine specialist nurses with the support of the Society for Endocrinology to enhance the clinical care that adults with an endocrine disorder receive. Nurses should be able to demonstrate that they are functioning at an optimal level in order for patients to receive appropriate care. By formulating a competency framework from which an adult endocrine nurse specialist can work, it is envisaged that their development as professional practitioners can be enhanced. This is the second edition of the Competency Framework for Adult Endocrine Nursing. It introduces four new competencies on benign adrenal tumours, hypo- and hyperparathyroidism, osteoporosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. The authors and the Society for Endocrinology welcome constructive feedback on the document, both nationally and internationally, in anticipation that further developments and ideas can be incorporated into future versions.

Open access

Enrique Soto-Pedre, Paul J Newey, John S Bevan, and Graham P Leese

Purpose

High serum prolactin concentrations have been associated with adverse health outcomes in some but not all studies. This study aimed to examine the morbidity and all-cause mortality associated with hyperprolactinaemia.

Methods

A population-based matched cohort study in Tayside (Scotland, UK) from 1988 to 2014 was performed. Record-linkage technology was used to identify patients with hyperprolactinaemia that were compared to an age–sex-matched cohort of patients free of hyperprolactinaemia. The number of deaths and incident admissions with diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer, breast cancer, bone fractures and infectious conditions were compared by the survival analysis.

Results

Patients with hyperprolactinaemia related to pituitary tumours had no increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bone fractures, all-cause cancer or breast cancer. Whilst no increased mortality was observed in patients with pituitary microadenomas (HR = 1.65, 95% CI: 0.79–3.44), other subgroups including those with pituitary macroadenomas and drug-induced and idiopathic hyperprolactinaemia demonstrated an increased risk of death. Individuals with drug-induced hyperprolactinaemia also demonstrated increased risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and bone fracture. However, these increased risks were not associated with the degree of serum prolactin elevation (P trend > 0.3). No increased risk of cancer was observed in any subgroup.

Conclusions

No excess morbidity was observed in patients with raised prolactin due to pituitary tumours. Although the increased morbidity and mortality associated with defined patient subgroups are unlikely to be directly related to the elevation in serum prolactin, hyperprolactinaemia might act as a biomarker for the presence of some increased disease risk in these patients.

Open access

G Giuffrida, F Ferraù, R Laudicella, O R Cotta, E Messina, F Granata, F F Angileri, A Vento, A Alibrandi, S Baldari, and S Cannavò

In aggressive pituitary tumors (PT) showing local invasion or growth/recurrence despite multimodal conventional treatment, temozolomide (TMZ) is considered a further therapeutic option, while little data are available on peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT). We analyzed PRRT effectiveness, safety and long-term outcome in three patients with aggressive PT, also reviewing the current literature. Patient #1 (F, giant prolactinoma) received five cycles (total dose 37 GBq) of 111In-DTPA-octreotide over 23 months, after unsuccessful surgery and long-term dopamine-agonist treatment. Patient #2 (M, giant prolactinoma) underwent two cycles (12.6 GBq) of 177Lu-DOTATOC after multiple surgeries, radiosurgery and TMZ. In patient #3 (F, non-functioning PT), five cycles (29.8 GBq) of 177Lu-DOTATOC followed five surgeries, radiotherapy and TMZ. Eleven more cases of PRRT-treated aggressive PT emerged from literature. Patient #1 showed tumor shrinkage and visual/neurological amelioration over 8-year follow-up, while the other PTs continued to grow causing blindness and neuro-cognitive disorders (patient #2) or monolateral amaurosis (patient #3). No adverse effects were reported. Including the patients from literature, 4/13 presented tumor shrinkage and clinical/biochemical improvement after PRRT. Response did not correlate with patients’ gender or age, neither with used radionuclide/peptide, but PRRT failure was significantly associated with previous TMZ treatment. Overall, adverse effects occurred only in two patients. PRRT was successful in 1/3 of patients with aggressive PT, and in 4/5 of those not previously treated with TMZ, representing a safe option after unsuccessful multimodal treatment. However, at present, considering the few data, PRRT should be considered only in an experimental setting.

Open access

Abdul K Siraj, Rong Bu, Maham Arshad, Kaleem Iqbal, Sandeep Kumar Parvathareddy, Tariq Masoodi, Laila Omar Ghazwani, Saif S Al-Sobhi, Fouad Al-Dayel, and Khawla S Al-Kuraya

Thyroid cancer is the most frequent endocrine cancer with an increasing incidence rate worldwide and is the second most common malignancy among females in Saudi Arabia. Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the most common subtype. Germline pathogenic variants in the proofreading domain of the POLE and POLD1 genes predispose to several types of cancers. However, the role of pathogenic variants of these two genes in PTC remains unknown. Capture sequencing, Sanger sequencing and immunohistochemistry were performed on 300 PTC cases from the Middle Eastern region. One germline pathogenic variant each of POLE (1/300, 0.33%) and POLD1 (1/300, 0.33%) genes was identified. Low expression of POLD1 was detected in 46.5% (133/286) of cases and was significantly associated with the follicular variant of PTC (P = 0.0006), distant metastasis (P = 0.0033) and stage IV tumours (P = 0.0081). However, no somatic pathogenic variant was detected in POLE gene. Furthermore, low expression of POLE was noted in 61.7% (175/284) of cases with no significant clinicopathological associations. Our study shows that pathogenic variant in the POLE and POLD1 proofreading domain is a cause of PTC and low expression of POLD1 is associated with poor prognostic markers in the Middle Eastern population. Further studies from different geographic populations are needed to determine the frequency and spectrum of proofreading domain pathogenic variants in POLE and POLD1 genes and in PTC from different ethnicities.

Open access

D A Dart, K Ashelford, and W G Jiang

Advanced prostate cancer is often treated with AR antagonists which target the androgen receptor (AR) on which the growth of the tumour depends. Prostate cancer often develops AR-antagonist resistance via a plethora of mechanisms, many of which are as yet unknown, but it is thought that AR upregulation or AR ligand-binding site mutations, may be responsible. Here we describe the production of cell lines based on LNCaP and VCaP, with acquired resistance to the clinically relevant AR antagonists, bicalutamide and enzalutamide. In these resistant cells, we observed, via RNA-seq, that new variants in the 3′UTR of the AR mRNA were detectable and that the levels were increased both with AR-antagonist treatment and with hormonal starvation. Around 20% of AR transcripts showed a 3 kb deletion within the 6.7 kb 3′UTR sequence. Actinomycin D and luciferase fusion studies indicated that this shorter mRNA variant was inherently more stable in anti-androgen-resistant cell lines. Of additional interest was that the AR UTR variant could be detected in the sera of prostate cancer patients in a cohort of serum samples collected from patients of Gleason grades 6–10, with an increasing level correlated to increasing grade. We hypothesise that the shorter AR UTR variant is a survival adaptation to low hormone levels and/or AR-antagonist treatment in these cells, where a more stable mRNA may allow higher levels of AR expression under these conditions.

Open access

Stefano Mangiola, Ryan Stuchbery, Patrick McCoy, Ken Chow, Natalie Kurganovs, Michael Kerger, Anthony Papenfuss, Christopher M Hovens, and Niall M Corcoran

Prostate cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and cancer-related death worldwide. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the cornerstone of management for advanced disease. The use of these therapies is associated with multiple side effects, including metabolic syndrome and truncal obesity. At the same time, obesity has been associated with both prostate cancer development and disease progression, linked to its effects on chronic inflammation at a tissue level. The connection between ADT, obesity, inflammation and prostate cancer progression is well established in clinical settings; however, an understanding of the changes in adipose tissue at the molecular level induced by castration therapies is missing. Here, we investigated the transcriptional changes in periprostatic fat tissue induced by profound ADT in a group of patients with high-risk tumours compared to a matching untreated cohort. We find that the deprivation of androgen is associated with a pro-inflammatory and obesity-like adipose tissue microenvironment. This study suggests that the beneficial effect of therapies based on androgen deprivation may be partially counteracted by metabolic and inflammatory side effects in the adipose tissue surrounding the prostate.

Open access

Logan Mills, Panagiotis Drymousis, Yogesh Vashist, Christoph Burdelski, Andreas Prachalias, Parthi Srinivasan, Krishna Menon, Corina Cotoi, Saboor Khan, Judith Cave, Thomas Armstrong, Martin O Weickert, Jakob Izbicki, Joerg Schrader, Andreja Frilling, John K Ramage, and Raj Srirajaskanthan

Small non-functioning pancreatic NETs (pNETs) ≤2 cm can pose a management dilemma in terms of surveillance or resection. There is evidence to suggest that a surveillance approach can be considered since there are no significant radiological changes observed in lesions during long-term follow-up. However, other studies have suggested loco-regional spread can be present in ≤2 cm pNETs. The aim of this study was to characterise the prevalence of malignant features and identify any useful predictive variables in a surgically resected cohort of pNETs. 418 patients with pNETs were identified from 5 NET centres. Of these 227 were included for main analysis of tumour characteristics. Mean age of patients was 57 years, 47% were female. The median follow-up was 48.2 months. Malignant features were identified in 38% of ≤2 cm pNETs. ROC analysis showed that the current cut-off of 20 mm had a sensitivity of 84% for malignancy. The rate of malignant features is in keeping with other surgical series and challenges the belief that small pNETs have a low malignant potential. This study does not support a 20 mm size cut-off as being a solitary safe parameter to exclude malignancy in pNETs.