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Open access

Kranti Khadilkar, Vijaya Sarathi, Rajeev Kasaliwal, Reshma Pandit, Manjunath Goroshi, Gaurav Malhotra, Abhay Dalvi, Ganesh Bakshi, Anil Bhansali, Rajesh Rajput, Vyankatesh Shivane, Anurag Lila, Tushar Bandgar and Nalini S Shah

Background and aims

Malignant transformation of pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas (PCC/PGL) is a rare occurrence, and predictive factors for the same are not well understood. This study aims to identify the predictors of malignancy in patients with PCC/PGL.

Materials and methods

We performed a retrospective analysis of 142 patients with either PCC or PGL registered at our institute between 2000 and 2015. Records were evaluated for clinical parameters like age, gender, familial/syndromic presentation, symptomatic presentation, biochemistry, size, number and location of tumours and presence of metastases and mode of its diagnosis.

Results

Twenty patients were found to have metastases; 13 had metastases at diagnosis and seven during follow-up. Metastases were detected by radiology (CT-neck to pelvis) in 11/20 patients (5/13 synchronous and 6/7 metachronous), 131I-metaiodobenzylguanidine in five (2/12 synchronous and 3/6 metachronous) patients and 18F-flurodeoxyglucose PET/CT in 15 (12/12 synchronous and 3/3 metachronous) patients. Malignant tumours were significantly larger than benign tumours (8.3 ± 4.1 cm, range: 3–22 cm vs 5.7 ± 2.3 cm, range: 2–14 cm, P = 0.0001) and less frequently metanephrine secreting. On linear regression analysis, tumour size and lack of metanephrine secretion were the independent predictors of malignancy.

Conclusions

Patients with primary tumour size >5.7 cm and lack of metanephrine secretory status should be evaluated for possible malignancy not only at diagnosis but also in the postoperative period. As compared to CT and 131I-MIBG scan, 18F-flurodeoxyglucose PET/CT analyses are better (sensitivity: 100%) for the diagnosis of metastases in our study.

Open access

Anastasia P Athanasoulia-Kaspar, Kathrin H Popp and Gunter Karl Stalla

The dopaminergic treatment represents the primary treatment in prolactinomas, which are the most common pituitary adenomas and account for about 40% of all pituitary tumours with an annual incidence of six to ten cases per million population. The dopaminergic treatment includes ergot and non-ergot derivatives with high affinity for the dopamine receptors D1 or/and D2. Through the activation of the dopaminergic pathway on pituitary lactotrophs, the dopamine agonists inhibit the prolactin synthesis and secretion, therefore normalizing the prolactin levels and restoring eugonadism, but they also lead to tumour shrinkage. Treatment with dopamine agonists has been associated – apart from the common side effects such as gastrointestinal symptoms, dizziness and hypotension – with neuropsychiatric side effects such as impulse control disorders (e.g. pathological gambling, compulsive shopping, hypersexuality and binge eating) and also with behavioral changes from low mood, irritability and verbal aggressiveness up to psychotic and manic symptoms and paranoid delusions not only in patients with prolactinomas but also in patients with Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome. They usually have de novo onset after initiation of the dopaminergic treatment and have been mainly reported in patients with Parkinson’s disease, who are being treated with higher doses of dopamine agonists. Moreover, dopamine and prolactin seem to play an essential role in the metabolic pathway. Patients with hyperprolactinemia tend to have increased body weight and an altered metabolic profile with hyperinsulinemia and increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus in comparison to healthy individuals and patients with non-functioning pituitary adenomas. Treatment with dopamine agonists in these patients in short-term studies seems to lead to weight loss and amelioration of the metabolic changes. Together these observations provide evidence that dopamine and prolactin have a crucial role both in the regard and metabolic system, findings that merit further investigation in long-term studies.

Open access

Nilesh Lomte, Tushar Bandgar, Shruti Khare, Swati Jadhav, Anurag Lila, Manjunath Goroshi, Rajeev Kasaliwal, Kranti Khadilkar and Nalini S Shah

Background

Bilateral adrenal masses may have aetiologies like hyperplasia and infiltrative lesions, besides tumours. Hyperplastic and infiltrative lesions may have coexisting hypocortisolism. Bilateral tumours are likely to have hereditary/syndromic associations. The data on clinical profile of bilateral adrenal masses are limited.

Aims

To analyse clinical, biochemical and radiological features, and management outcomes in patients with bilateral adrenal masses.

Methods

Retrospective analysis of 70 patients with bilateral adrenal masses presenting to a single tertiary care endocrine centre from western India (2002–2015).

Results

The most common aetiology was pheochromocytoma (40%), followed by tuberculosis (27.1%), primary adrenal lymphoma (PAL) (10%), metastases (5.7%), non-functioning adenomas (4.3%), primary bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (4.3%), and others (8.6%). Age at presentation was less in patients with pheochromocytoma (33 years) and tuberculosis (41 years) compared with PAL (48 years) and metastases (61 years) (P<0.001). The presenting symptoms for pheochromocytoma were hyperadrenergic spells (54%) and abdominal pain (29%), whereas tuberculosis presented with adrenal insufficiency (AI) (95%). The presenting symptoms for PAL were AI (57%) and abdominal pain (43%), whereas all cases of metastasis had abdominal pain. Mean size of adrenal masses was the largest in lymphoma (5.5cm) followed by pheochromocytoma (4.8cm), metastasis (4cm) and tuberculosis (2.1cm) (P<0.001). Biochemically, most patients with pheochromocytoma (92.8%) had catecholamine excess. Hypocortisolism was common in tuberculosis (100%) and PAL (71.4%) and absent with metastases (P<0.001).

Conclusion

In evaluation of bilateral adrenal masses, age at presentation, presenting symptoms, lesion size, and biochemical features are helpful in delineating varied underlying aetiologies.

Open access

Felix Haglund, Gustaf Rosin, Inga-Lena Nilsson, C Christofer Juhlin, Ylva Pernow, Sophie Norenstedt, Andrii Dinets, Catharina Larsson, Johan Hartman and Anders Höög

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common endocrinopathy, frequently caused by a parathyroid adenoma, rarely by a parathyroid carcinoma that lacks effective oncological treatment. As the majority of cases are present in postmenopausal women, oestrogen signalling has been implicated in the tumourigenesis. Oestrogen receptor beta 1 (ERB1) and ERB2 have been recently identified in parathyroid adenomas, the former inducing genes coupled to tumour apoptosis. We applied immunohistochemistry and slide digitalisation to quantify nuclear ERB1 and ERB2 in 172 parathyroid adenomas, atypical adenomas and carcinomas, and ten normal parathyroid glands. All the normal parathyroid glands expressed ERB1 and ERB2. The majority of tumours expressed ERB1 (70.6%) at varying intensities, and ERB2 (96.5%) at strong intensities. Parathyroid carcinomas expressed ERB1 in three out of six cases and ERB2 in five out of six cases. The intensity of tumour nuclear ERB1 staining significantly correlated inversely with tumour weight (P=0.011), and patients whose tumours were classified as ERB1-negative had significantly greater tumour weight as well as higher serum calcium (P=0.002) and parathyroid hormone levels (P=0.003). Additionally, tumour nuclear ERB1 was not expressed differentially with respect to sex or age of the patient. Levels of tumour nuclear ERB2 did not correlate with clinical characteristics. In conclusion, decreased ERB1 immunoreactivity is associated with increased tumour weight in parathyroid adenomas. Given the previously reported correlation with tumour-suppressive signalling, selective oestrogen receptor modulation (SERMs) may play a role in the treatment of parathyroid carcinomas. Future studies of SERMs and oestrogen treatment in PHPT should consider tumour weight as a potential factor in pharmacological responsiveness.

Open access

Magaly Zappa, Olivia Hentic, Marie-Pierre Vullierme, Matthieu Lagadec, Maxime Ronot, Philippe Ruszniewski and Valérie Vilgrain

Background

Visual semi-quantitative assessment of liver tumour burden for neuroendocrine tumour liver metastases is often used in patient management and outcome. However, published data on the reproducibility of these evaluations are lacking.

Objective

The aim of this study was to evaluate the interobserver and intraobserver agreement of a visual semi-quantitative assessment of liver tumour burden using CT scan.

Methods

Fifty consecutive patients (24 men and 26 women, mean aged 54 years) were retrospectively reviewed by four readers (two senior radiologists, one junior radiologist and one gastroenterologist) who assessed the liver tumour burden based on a visual semi-quantitative method with four classes (0–10, 11–25, 26–50 and ≥50%). Interobserver and intraobserver agreement were assessed by weighted kappa coefficient and percentage of agreement. The intraclass correlation was calculated.

Results

Agreement among the four observers for the evaluation of liver tumour burden was substantial, ranging from 0.62 to 0.73 (P < 0.0001). The intraclass coefficient was 0.977 (P < 0.0001). Intraobserver agreement was 0.78 and ICC was 0.97.

Conclusion

Reproducibility of the visual semi-quantitative evaluation of liver tumour burden is good and is independent of the level of experience of the readers. We therefore suggest that clinical studies in patients with neuroendocrine liver metastases use this method to categorise liver tumour burden.

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

K E Lines, R P Vas Nunes, M Frost, C J Yates, M Stevenson and R V Thakker

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterised by occurrence of parathyroid tumours and neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) of the pancreatic islets and anterior pituitary. The MEN1 gene, encoding menin, is a tumour suppressor, but its precise role in initiating in vivo tumourigenesis remains to be elucidated. The availability of a temporally controlled conditional MEN1 mouse model would greatly facilitate the study of such early tumourigenic events, and overcome the limitations of other MEN1 knockout models, in which menin is lost from conception or tumour development occurs asynchronously. To generate a temporally controlled conditional mouse model, we crossbred mice with the MEN1 gene floxed by LoxP sites (Men1 L/L), and mice expressing tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase under the control of the rat insulin promoter (RIP2-CreER), to establish a pancreatic β-cell-specific NET model under temporal control (Men1 L/L/RIP2-CreER). Men1 L/L/RIP2-CreER mice aged ~3 months were given tamoxifen in the diet for 5 days, and pancreata harvested 2–2.5, 2.9–3.5 and 4.5–5.5 months later. Control mice did not express Cre and did not receive tamoxifen. Immunostaining of pancreata from tamoxifen-treated Men1 L/L/RIP2-CreER mice, compared to control mice, showed at all ages: loss of menin in all islets; increased islet area (>4.2-fold); increased proliferation of insulin immunostaining β-cells (>2.3-fold) and decreased proliferation of glucagon immunostaining α-cells (>1.7-fold). There were no gender and apoptotic or proliferation differences, and extra-pancreatic tumours were not detected. Thus, we have established a mouse model (Men1 L/L/RIP2-CreER) to study early events in the development of pancreatic β-cell NETs.

Open access

Benjamin G Challis, Andrew S Powlson, Ruth T Casey, Carla Pearson, Brian Y Lam, Marcella Ma, Deborah Pitfield, Giles S H Yeo, Edmund Godfrey, Heok K Cheow, V Krishna Chatterjee, Nicholas R Carroll, Ashley Shaw, John R Buscombe and Helen L Simpson

Objective

In adults with hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia (HH), in particular those with insulinoma, the optimal diagnostic and management strategies remain uncertain. Here, we sought to characterise the biochemical and radiological assessment, and clinical management of adults with HH at a tertiary centre over a thirteen-year period.

Design

Clinical, biochemical, radiological and histological data were reviewed from all confirmed cases of adult-onset hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia at our centre between 2003 and 2016. In a subset of patients with stage I insulinoma, whole-exome sequencing of tumour DNA was performed.

Results

Twenty-nine patients were identified (27 insulinoma, including 6 subjects with metastatic disease; 1 pro-insulin/GLP-1 co-secreting tumour; 1 activating glucokinase mutation). In all cases, hypoglycaemia (glucose ≤2.2 mmol/L) was achieved within 48 h of a supervised fast. At fast termination, subjects with stage IV insulinoma had significantly higher insulin, C-peptide and pro-insulin compared to those with insulinoma staged I–IIIB. Preoperative localisation of insulinoma was most successfully achieved with EUS. In two patients with inoperable, metastatic insulinoma, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) with 177Lu-DOTATATE rapidly restored euglycaemia and lowered fasting insulin. Finally, in a subset of stage I insulinoma, whole-exome sequencing of tumour DNA identified the pathogenic Ying Yang-1 (YY1) somatic mutation (c.C1115G/p.T372R) in one tumour, with all tumours exhibiting a low somatic mutation burden.

Conclusion

Our study highlights, in particular, the utility of the 48-h fast in the diagnosis of insulinoma, EUS for tumour localisation and the value of PRRT therapy in the treatment of metastatic disease.

Open access

Ashley K Clift, Oskar Kornasiewicz, Panagiotis Drymousis, Omar Faiz, Harpreet S Wasan, James M Kinross, Thomas Cecil and Andrea Frilling

Goblet cell carcinomas (GCC) are a rare, aggressive sub-type of appendiceal tumours with neuroendocrine features, and controversy exists with regards to therapeutic strategy. We undertook a retrospective review of GCC patients surgically treated at two tertiary referral centres. Clinical and histopathological data were extracted from a prospectively maintained database. Survival analyses utilised Kaplan–Meier methodology. Twenty-one patients were identified (9 females). Median age at diagnosis was 55 years (range 32–77). There were 3, 6 and 9 grade 1, 2 and 3 tumours, respectively. One, 10, 5 and 5 patients had stage I, II, III and IV disease at diagnosis, respectively. There were 8, 10 and 3 Tang class A, B and C tumours, respectively. Index operation was appendectomy (n = 12), right hemicolectomy (n = 6) or resections including appendix/right colon, omentum and the gynaecological system (n = 3). Eight patients underwent completion right hemicolectomy. Surgery for recurrence included small bowel resection (n = 2), debulking with peritonectomy and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy, and hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (all n = 1). Median follow-up was 30 months (range 2.5–123). One-, 3- and 5-year OS was 79.4, 60 and 60%, respectively. Mean OS (1-, 3-, and 5-year OS) for Tang class A, B and C tumours were 73.1 months (85.7, 85.7, 51.4%), 83.7 months (all 66.7%) and 28.5 months (66.7, 66.7%, not reached), respectively. Chromogranin A/B and 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT were not useful in follow-up, but CEA, CA 19-9, CA 125 and 18F-FDG PET/CT identified tumour recurrence. GCC must be clearly discriminated from relatively indolent appendiceal neuroendocrine neoplasms. 18F-FDG PET/CT and CEA/CA19-9/CA 125 are useful in detecting recurrence of GCC.

Open access

Ruth Therese Casey, Deborah Saunders, Benjamin George Challis, Deborah Pitfield, Heok Cheow, Ashley Shaw and Helen Lisa Simpson

Context

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a hereditary condition characterised by the predisposition to hyperplasia/tumours of endocrine glands. MEN1-related disease, moreover, malignancy related to MEN1, is increasingly responsible for death in up to two-thirds of patients. Although patients undergo radiological and biochemical surveillance, current recommendations for radiological monitoring are based on non-prospective data with little consensus or evidence demonstrating improved outcome from this approach. Here, we sought to determine whether cumulative radiation exposure as part of the recommended radiological screening programme posed a distinct risk in a cohort of patients with MEN1.

Patients and study design

A retrospective review of 43 patients with MEN1 attending our institution between 2007 and 2015 was performed. Demographic and clinical information including phenotype was obtained for all patients. We also obtained details regarding all radiological procedures performed as part of MEN1 surveillance or disease localisation. An estimated effective radiation dose (ED) for each individual patient was calculated.

Results

The mean ED for the total patient cohort was 121 mSv, and the estimated mean lifetime risk of cancer secondary to radiation exposure was 0.49%. Patients with malignant neuroendocrine tumours (NETS) had significantly higher ED levels compared to patients without metastatic disease (P < 0.0022).

Conclusions

In MEN1, radiological surveillance is associated with clinically significant exposure to ionising radiation. In patients with MEN1, multi-modality imaging strategies designed to minimise this exposure should be considered.