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Open access

Yuan Fang, Xuehong Zhang, Huilin Xu, Stephanie A Smith-Warner, Dongli Xu, Hong Fang, and Wang Hong Xu

The excess risk of cancer observed in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) may have been influenced by detection bias. The aim of this study was to examine the real association by evaluating time-varying site-specific cancer risks in newly diagnosed T2DM patients. A total of 51,324 registered cancer-free individuals newly diagnosed with T2DM between 2004 and 2014 were linked with the Shanghai Cancer Registry and the Vital Statistics through September 2015. A total of 2920 primary, invasive cancer cases were identified during 325,354 person-years period. Within 1 year following diabetes onset, participants with T2DM had higher risks of total, lung and rectal cancer in men and total, liver, pancreas, thyroid, breast and uteri cancer in women. Thereafter the incidence for overall cancer decreased and then increased along with follow-up time, with the upward trend varying by cancer, suggesting potential detection bias. After the initial 1-year period, standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and 95% CIs for overall cancer were 0.80 (95% CI 0.76–0.85) in men and 0.93 (95% CI 0.88–0.99) in women, but a higher risk of breast and thyroid cancers were observed in women, with SIR and 95% CI being 1.13 (1.01, 1.28) and 1.37 (1.11, 1.63), respectively. Our results suggest that T2DM patients are at higher risk of certain cancers; this risk particularly increases shortly after diabetes diagnosis, which is likely to be due to detection bias caused by increased ascertainment. Prevention of female breast and thyroid cancers should be paid attention in Chinese individuals with T2DM.

Open access

Yang Lv, Xu Han, Chunyan Zhang, Yuan Fang, Ning Pu, Yuan Ji, Dansong Wang, Xu Xuefeng, and Wenhui Lou

Purpose

Chromogranin A (CgA) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) are important markers for neuroendocrine tumors; however, the clinical value of combining these markers has not been well studied. In this study, we investigated the utility of each marker individually and in combination for patients with nonfunctional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NF-pNETs).

Patients and Methods

In this study, NF-pNET patients and controls were recruited from December 2011 to March 2016; 784 serum samples from peripheral vein were collected. The clinical characteristics and biomarker values of all the individuals were recorded and analyzed. Tumor burdens were calculated by CT/MRI scan. Receiver-operating characteristic curves were constructed to assess the diagnostic predictive values; sensitivity and specificity were calculated to determine the cut-off value. Therapeutic responses reflected on the changes of the biomarkers’ concentration were assessed by the RECIST criterion. Clinical relations between the prognosis and the biomarker values were also analyzed. Statistical significance was defined as P value less than 0.05.

Results

Among the 167 NF-pNETs patients, 82 were males (49.1%) and the mean age was 50.0 (17.4). The mean CgA values of G1, G2 and G3 NF-pNENs were 75, 121 and 134 μg/L (P < 0.05), respectively. In NF-pNETs, CgA correlated with the WHO tumor grade (WHO G1 vs G2, P < 0.05); the linear regression relationships were found between the tumor burdens (both in pancreas and liver) and CgA concentration (P < 0.001); changes in CgA and NSE concentrations also reflect treatment response (P < 0.001).

Conclusion

CgA and NSE are important diagnostic and follow-up markers in patients with NF-pNETs. The combined monitoring of CgA and NSE possesses more accuracy than individual values of CgA and NSE at predicting prognosis and disease progression.

Open access

Bo Zhu, Yumei Chen, Fang Xu, Xiaolu Shen, Xuanyu Chen, Jieqiang Lv, and Songying Zhang

Background: Androgens excess results in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which is an important cause of β cells dysfunction. Here, we investigated the molecular regulation of androgens excess, ER stress, and β-cell function in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Methods: PCOS mouse model was established by injection of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Primary cultured mouse islets were used to detect testosterone (TE)-induced ER stress. The response of ER stress, apoptosis, and hyperinsulinemia were analyzed in INS-1 cells with or without TE exposure. Androgen receptor (AR) antagonist and ER stress inhibitor treatment was performed to evaluate the role of TE in ER stress and proinsulin secretion of PCOS mice.

Results: PCOS mice had higher ER stress in islets. TE exposure induced ER stress and apoptosis significantly through sustaining insulin overexpression in β cells, which in turn impaired proinsulin maturation and secretion. Blocking this process could significantly relieve ER stress and apoptosis and improve insulin homeostasis.

Conclusion: ER stress activated by androgens excess in PCOS contributes to β cell dysfunction and hyperinsulinemia.

Open access

Xiao-Ping Qi, Jian-Zhong Peng, Xiao-Wei Yang, Zhi-Lie Cao, Xiu-Hua Yu, Xu-Dong Fang, Da-Hong Zhang, and Jian-Qiang Zhao

Background

Cutaneous lichen amyloidosis (CLA) has been reported in some multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A) families affected by specific germline RET mutations C634F/G/R/W/Y or V804M, as a characteristic of the clinical manifestation in ‘MEN 2A with CLA’, one of four variants of MEN 2A, which was strictly located in the scapular region of the upper back.

Patient Findings

This study reports a large south-eastern Chinese pedigree with 17 individuals carrying the MEN 2A-harboring germline C611Y (c.1832G>A) RET mutation by Sanger sequencing. One individual presented MEN 2A-related clinical features, including typical CLA in the interscapular region; another individual exhibited neurological pruritus and scratching in the upper back but lacked CLA skin lesions. Both subjects presented with CLA or pruritic symptoms several years before the onset of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and/or pheochromocytoma. The remaining 15 RET mutation carriers did not exhibit CLA; of these, one presented with MTC and pheochromocytoma, nine with MTC only, two with elevated serum calcitonin and three younger subjects with normal serum calcitonin levels. This family’s clinical data revealed a later diagnosis of MTC (mean age, 45.9 (range: 23–73) years), a lower penetrance of pheochromocytoma (2/17, 11.8%) and CLA (1/17, 5.9%). However, no hyperparathyroidism and Hirschsprung disease were reported in this family.

Summary and Conclusions

This is the first description of a family with MEN 2A-related CLA due to a germline RET C611Y mutation, which might exhibit a novel and diversified genotype–phenotype spectrum in MEN 2A.

Open access

Peng Fan, Chao-Xia Lu, Di Zhang, Kun-Qi Yang, Pei-Pei Lu, Ying Zhang, Xu Meng, Su-Fang Hao, Fang Luo, Ya-Xin Liu, Hui-Min Zhang, Lei Song, Jun Cai, Xue Zhang, and Xian-Liang Zhou

Liddle syndrome (LS), a monogenetic autosomal dominant disorder, is mainly characterized by early-onset hypertension and hypokalemia. Clinically, misdiagnosis or missing diagnosis is common, since clinical phenotypes of LS are variable and nonspecific. We report a family with misdiagnosis of primary aldosteronism (PA), but identify as LS with a pathogenic frameshift mutation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) β subunit. DNA samples were collected from a 32-year-old proband and 31 other relatives in the same family. A designed panel including 41 genes associated with monogenic hypertension was screened using next-generation sequencing. The best candidate disease-causing variants were verified by Sanger sequencing. Genetic analysis of the proband revealed a novel frameshift mutation c.1838delC (p.Pro613Glnfs*675) in exon 13 of SCNN1B. This heterozygous mutation involved the deletion of a cytosine from a string of three consecutive cytosines located at codons 612 to 613 and resulted in deletion of the crucial PY motif and elongation of the β-ENaC protein. The identical mutation was also found in 12 affected family members. Amiloride was effective in alleviating LS for patients. There were no SCNN1A or SCNN1G mutations in this family. Our study emphasizes the importance of considering LS in the differential diagnosis of early-onset hypertension. The identification of a novel frameshift mutation of SCNN1B enriches the genetic spectrum of LS and has allowed treatment of this affected family to prevent severe complications.