Nicola Tufton, Lucy Shapiro, Anju Sahdev, Ajith V Kumar, Lee Martin, William M Drake, Scott A Akker and Helen L Storr
Phaeochromocytomas (PCC) and paragangliomas (PGL) are rare in children. A large proportion of these are now understood to be due to underlying germline mutations. Here we focus on succinate dehydrogenase subunit B (SDHB) gene mutation carriers as these tumours carry a high risk of malignant transformation. There remains no current consensus with respect to optimal surveillance for asymptomatic carriers and those in whom the presenting tumour has been resected.
We undertook a retrospective analysis of longitudinal clinical data of all children and adolescents with SDHB mutations followed up in a single UK tertiary referral centre. This included index cases that pre-dated the introduction of surveillance screening and asymptomatic carriers identified through cascade genetic testing. We also conducted a literature review to inform a suggested surveillance protocol for children and adolescents harbouring SDHB mutations.
Clinical outcomes of a total of 38 children are presented: 8 index cases and 30 mutation-positive asymptomatic carriers with 175 patient years of follow-up data. Three of the eight index cases developed metachronous disease and two developed metastatic disease. Of the 30 asymptomatic carriers, 3 were found to have PGLs on surveillance screening.
Surveillance screening was well tolerated in our paediatric cohort and asymptomatic paediatric subjects. Screening can identify tumours before they become secretory and/or symptomatic, thereby facilitating surgical resection and reducing the chance of distant spread. We propose a regular screening protocol commencing at age 5 years in this at-risk cohort of patients.
Eugenie S Lim, Shanty G Shah, Mona Waterhouse, Scott Akker, William Drake, Nick Plowman, Daniel M Berney, Polly Richards, Ashok Adams, Ewa Nowosinska, Carmel Brennan and Maralyn Druce
Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is usually treated by thyroidectomy followed by radioiodine ablation and generally has a good prognosis. It may now be possible to limit the amount of treatment without impacting on efficacy. It is not known whether coexistent thyroiditis impacts on radioiodine uptake or on its potential efficacy, but this could provide a rationale for modification to current therapeutic protocols.
This was a retrospective cohort study of radioiodine uptake on imaging after radioiodine ablation for DTC in patients with and without concurrent thyroiditis. All patients with histologically confirmed DTC treated with radioiodine ablation after thyroidectomy in a single centre from 2012 to 2015 were included. The primary outcome assessed was the presence of low or no iodine uptake on post-ablation scan, as reported by a nuclear medicine physician blinded to the presence or absence of thyroiditis.
One hundred thirty patients with available histopathology results were included. Thyroiditis was identified in 42 post-operative specimens and 15 of these patients had low or no iodine uptake on post-ablation scan, compared to only 2 of 88 patients without thyroiditis (P < 0.0001) with further data analysis dividing the groups by ablation activity received (1100 MBq or 3000 MBq).
Concurrent thyroiditis may impair the uptake of radioactive iodine in management of DTC. Given that patients with DTC and thyroiditis already have a good prognosis, adopting a more selective approach to this step in therapy may be indicated. Large, longitudinal studies would be required to determine if omitting radioactive iodine therapy from those patients with concurrent thyroiditis has a measurable impact on mortality from thyroid cancer.