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Open access

T P McVeigh, R J Mulligan, U M McVeigh, P W Owens, N Miller, M Bell, F Sebag, C Guerin, D S Quill, J B Weidhaas, M J Kerin and A J Lowery

Introduction

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules that exert post-transcriptional effects on gene expression by binding with cis-regulatory regions in target messenger RNA (mRNA). Polymorphisms in genes encoding miRNAs or in miRNA–mRNA binding sites confer deleterious epigenetic effects on cancer risk. miR-146a has a role in inflammation and may have a role as a tumour suppressor. The polymorphism rs2910164 in the MIR146A gene encoding pre-miR-146a has been implicated in several inflammatory pathologies, including cancers of the breast and thyroid, although evidence for the associations has been conflicting in different populations. We aimed to further investigate the association of this variant with these two cancers in an Irish cohort.

Methods

The study group comprised patients with breast cancer (BC), patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) and unaffected controls. Germline DNA was extracted from blood or from saliva collected using the DNA Genotek Oragene 575 collection kit, using crystallisation precipitation, and genotyped using TaqMan-based PCR. Data were analysed using SPSS, v22.

Results

The total study group included 1516 participants. This comprised 1386 Irish participants; 724 unaffected individuals (controls), 523 patients with breast cancer (BC), 136 patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) and three patients with dual primary breast and thyroid cancer. An additional cohort of 130 patients with DTC from the South of France was also genotyped for the variant. The variant was detected with a minor allele frequency (MAF) of 0.19 in controls, 0.22 in BC and 0.27 and 0.26 in DTC cases from Ireland and France, respectively. The variant was not significantly associated with BC (per allele odds ratio = 1.20 (0.98–1.46), P = 0.07), but was associated with DTC in Irish patients (per allele OR = 1.59 (1.18–2.14), P = 0.002).

Conclusion

The rs2910164 variant in MIR146A is significantly associated with DTC, but is not significantly associated with BC in this cohort.

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

Tiemo S Gerber, Arno Schad, Nils Hartmann, Erik Springer, Ulrich Zechner and Thomas J Musholt

Poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma (PDTC) is a rare malignancy with higher mortality than well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma. The histological diagnosis can be difficult as well as the therapy. Improved diagnosis and new targeted therapies require knowledge of DNA sequence changes in cancer-relevant genes. The TruSeq Amplicon Cancer Panel was used to screen cancer genomes from 25 PDTC patients for somatic single-nucleotide variants in 48 genes known to represent mutational hotspots. A total of 4490 variants were found in 23 tissue samples of PDTC. Ninety-eight percent (4392) of these variants did not meet the inclusion criteria, while 98 potentially pathogenic or pathogenic variants remained after filtering. These variants were distributed over 33 genes and were all present in a heterozygous state. Five tissue samples harboured not a single variant. Predominantly, variants in P53 (43% of tissue samples) were identified, while less frequently, variants in APC, ERBB4, FLT3, KIT, SMAD4 and BRAF (each in 17% of tissue samples) as well as ATM, EGFR and FBXW7 (each in 13% of tissue samples) were observed. This study identified new potential genetic targets for further research in PDTC. Of particular interest are four observed ERBB4 (alias HER4) variants, which have not been connected to this type of thyroid carcinoma so far. In addition, APC and SMAD4 mutations have not been reported in this subtype of cancer either. In contrast to other reports, we did not find CTNNB1 variants.

Open access

Nassim Ghaffari-Tabrizi-Wizsy, Christina Angelika Passegger, Laura Nebel, Fabian Krismer, Gudrun Herzer-Schneidhofer, Gert Schwach and Roswitha Pfragner

Preclinical trials of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) therapeutics require both in vitro and in vivo analyses. Human tumour xenografted rodent models, which are considered the ‘gold standard’ to study and validate the efficacy and toxicity of lead compounds before translation to clinical trials, are very expensive, subject to organismal variability and ethical controversies. The avian chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay provides an alternative versatile, cost-effective and ethically less objectionable short-term, in vivo model for reliable screening of drugs. In this work, we grafted two MTC cell lines and patient-derived MTC tumour samples onto the avian CAM and characterised the resulted tumours histologically and immunohistochemically. Our findings provide the evidence that the CAM assay is a suitable model for studying the pathophysiology of MTC and can even be used as in vivo system for drug testing.

Open access

Jes Sloth Mathiesen, Jens Peter Kroustrup, Peter Vestergaard, Per Løgstrup Poulsen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Sten Schytte, Stefano Christian Londero, Henrik Baymler Pedersen, Christoffer Holst Hahn, Jens Bentzen, Sören Möller, Mette Gaustadnes, Maria Rossing, Finn Cilius Nielsen, Kim Brixen, Christian Godballe and Danish Thyroid Cancer Group (DATHYRCA)

A recent study proposed new TNM groupings for better survival discrimination among stage groups for medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and validated these groupings in a population-based cohort in the United States. However, it is unknown how well the groupings perform in populations outside the United States. Consequently, we conducted the first population-based study aiming to evaluate if the recently proposed TNM groupings provide better survival discrimination than the current American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM staging system (seventh and eighth edition) in a nationwide MTC cohort outside the United States. This retrospective cohort study included 191 patients identified from the nationwide Danish MTC cohort between 1997 and 2014. In multivariate analysis, hazard ratios for overall survival under the current AJCC TNM staging system vs the proposed TNM groupings with stage I as reference were 1.32 (95% CI: 0.38–4.57) vs 3.04 (95% CI: 1.38–6.67) for stage II, 2.06 (95% CI: 0.45–9.39) vs 3.59 (95% CI: 1.61–8.03) for stage III and 5.87 (95% CI: 2.02–17.01) vs 59.26 (20.53–171.02) for stage IV. The newly proposed TNM groupings appear to provide better survival discrimination in the nationwide Danish MTC cohort than the current AJCC TNM staging. Adaption of the proposed TNM groupings by the current AJCC TNM staging system may potentially improve accurateness in survival discrimination. However, before such an adaption further population-based studies securing external validity are needed.

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.

Open access

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

Introduction Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is the most frequently occurring endocrine cancer and its incidence has been increasing steadily in men and women over the last few decades ( 1 , 2 , 3 ). DTC includes papillary thyroid cancer

Open access

Carina Hasenoehrl, Gert Schwach, Nassim Ghaffari-Tabrizi-Wizsy, Robert Fuchs, Nadine Kretschmer, Rudolf Bauer and Roswitha Pfragner

JC Hoff PM. A phase I study of imatinib, dacarbazine, and capecitabine in advanced endocrine cancers . BMC Cancer 2014 14 561 . ( doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-561 ) 26 Carlomagno F Salvatore D Santoro M de Franciscis V

Open access

Huy Gia Vuong, Nguyen Phuoc Long, Nguyen Hoang Anh, Tran Diem Nghi, Mai Van Hieu, Le Phi Hung, Tadao Nakazawa, Ryohei Katoh and Tetsuo Kondo

Introduction Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and its incidence has been steadily increasing over the last few decades ( 1 ). There are several subtypes of thyroid carcinoma: papillary, follicular, poorly differentiated

Open access

Marco Marino, Valentina Cirello, Valentina Gnarini, Carla Colombo, Elisa Pignatti, Livio Casarini, Chiara Diazzi, Vincenzo Rochira, Katia Cioni, Bruno Madeo, Cesare Carani, Manuela Simoni and Laura Fugazzola

. ( doi:10.3275/8332 ). 11 Smith VE Franklyn JA McCabe CJ . Pituitary tumor-transforming gene and its binding factor in endocrine cancer . Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine 2010 12 e38 . ( doi:10.1017/S1462399410001699 ). 12 Löfgren SE