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Open access

Roxanne C S van Adrichem, Aart Jan van der Lely, Martin Huisman, Piet Kramer, Richard A Feelders, Patric J D Delhanty, and Wouter W de Herder

To date, the value of fasting plasma acylated ghrelin (AG) and unacylated ghrelin (UAG) as potential novel biomarkers in patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is unknown. The aims of this study are to (i) compare fasting AG and UAG levels between nonobese, nondiabetic NET patients (N=28) and age- (±3 years) and sex-matched nonobese, nondiabetic controls (N=28); and (ii) study the relationship between AG, UAG, and AG/UAG ratios and biochemical (chromogranin-A (CgA) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) levels) and clinical parameters (age at diagnosis, sex, primary tumor location, carcinoid syndrome, ENETS TNM classification, Ki-67 proliferation index, grading, prior incomplete surgery) in NET patients. Fasting venous blood samples (N=56) were collected and directly stabilized with 4-(2-aminoethyl) benzenesulfonyl fluoride hydrochloride after withdrawal. Plasma AG and UAG levels were determined by ELISA. Expression of ghrelin was examined in tumor tissue by immunohistochemistry. There were no significant differences between NET patients and controls in AG (median: 62.5 pg/mL, IQR: 33.1–112.8 vs median: 57.2pg/mL, IQR: 26.7–128.3, P=0.66) and UAG in levels (median: 76.6pg/mL, IQR: 35.23–121.7 vs median: 64.9, IQR: 27.5–93.1, P=0.44). No significant correlations were found between AG, UAG, and AG/UAG ratios versus biochemical and clinical parameters in NET patients with the exception of age at diagnosis (AG: ρ= −0.47, P=0.012; AG/UAG ratio: ρ= −0.50, P=0.007) and baseline chromogranin-A levels (AG/UAG ratio: ρ= −0.44, P=0.019). In our view, fasting plasma acylated and unacylated ghrelin appear to have no value as diagnostic biomarkers in the clinical follow-up of patients with NETs.

Open access

Lisette Van Alewijk, Kirsten Davidse, Karlijn Pellikaan, Judith Van Eck, A.c.s Hokken-Koelega, Theo C.j. Sas, Sabine Hannema, Aart J Van der Lely, and Laura C.g. de Graaff

Objective: Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with common endocrine disorders show a high dropout (up to 50%) after the transfer from paediatric to adult endocrinology. Little is known about transition readiness in rare endocrine conditions (rEC). This study aims to assess medical Self-Management Skills (SMS) among AYA with rEC in relation to age and gender, in order to understand dropout and increase transition readiness.

Design: Cross-sectional study using web-based medical self-management questionnaires.

Methods: Questionnaires consisting of 54 questions in seven domains were filled out by the adolescents before the first shared appointment with both paediatric and adult endocrinologist.

Results: Fifty-seven patients (median age 17 y, 25/57 females) participated and generally scored well on most items. However, one out of seven did not know the name of their disorder, one sixth of the glucocorticoid users did not know that dose should be adapted in case of illness or surgery, over one fifth had never ordered their repeat prescriptions themselves and two thirds had never had a conversation alone with their doctor.

Conclusions: Several SMS among patients with rEC are insufficient, with regard to medical knowledge, practical skills and communication. As SMS are only weakly related to non-modifiable factors like age and gender, we recommend focussing on other factors to increase transition readiness. The timing, amount and ‘mode’ of medical information should be individualised. Transition checklists should be used to detect shortcomings in practical skills and communication, which can subsequently be trained with the help of parents, caregivers and / or e-technology.

Open access

Mônica R Gadelha, Feng Gu, Marcello D Bronstein, Thierry C Brue, Maria Fleseriu, Ilan Shimon, Aart J van der Lely, Shoba Ravichandran, Albert Kandra, Alberto M Pedroncelli, and Annamaria A L Colao

Pasireotide, a multireceptor-targeted somatostatin analog with highest affinity for somatostatin receptor subtype (SST) 5, has demonstrated superior efficacy over the SST2-preferential somatostatin analogs octreotide and lanreotide. The safety profile is similar to those of octreotide and lanreotide, except for a higher frequency and degree of hyperglycemia. This analysis investigated baseline characteristics and occurrence and management of hyperglycemia during pasireotide treatment in patients with acromegaly treated in two prospective clinical studies, SOM230C2305 (C2305) and SOM230C2402 (C2402; PAOLA). One hundred and seventy-eight patients naïve to medical therapy at baseline (C2305) and 125 uncontrolled on first-generation somatostatin analogs at baseline (C2402) received long-acting pasireotide in these studies. Of patients treated with pasireotide in studies C2305 and C2402, respectively, 75.3 (134/178) and 65.6% (82/125) developed hyperglycemia or experienced worsening of existing hyperglycemia. Occurrence of hyperglycemia during pasireotide treatment was less frequent in patients with lower age (<40 years, C2402; <30 years, C2305), normal glucose tolerance, and no history of hypertension or dyslipidemia at baseline. Thirteen (4%) patients discontinued pasireotide because of hyperglycemia-related adverse events. Metformin alone or in combination with other oral antidiabetic medications controlled elevations in glucose levels in most pasireotide-treated patients; 78% of C2305 patients and 73 (pasireotide 40 mg) and 60% (pasireotide 60 mg) of C2402 patients achieved the ADA/EASD goal of HbA1c <7% (<53 mmol/mol) at the end of the core phase. Not all patients develop hyperglycemia, and it is reversible upon pasireotide withdrawal. Close monitoring, patient education and prompt action remain key elements in addressing hyperglycemia during pasireotide treatment.