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Domenico Albano, Francesco Bertagna, Mattia Bonacina, Rexhep Durmo, Elisabetta Cerudelli, Maria Gazzilli, Maria Beatrice Panarotto, Anna Maria Formenti, Gherardo Mazziotti, Andrea Giustina and Raffaele Giubbini

Objective

According to the 2015 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines, thyroid ablation by iodine-131 (I-131) therapy is absolutely recommended only in patients with high-risk differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). Often distant metastases are not recognized early and they can stay silent for long time. The aim of our study was to retrospectively analyze the prevalence of metastatic disease before and after I-131 and to evaluate the influence of the new ATA guidelines in the management of DTC.

Methods

We retrospectively analyzed 140 patients showing distant metastases. All metastases were detected by whole-body scan after I-131 and confirmed by histology and/or other imaging modalities.

Results

In 26/140 patients metastases were detected before I-131, while in 114/140 were discovered after I-131. Comparing patients with metastases detected before and after I-131, no differences were demonstrated considering age, sex, histotype, tumor size, multifocality of cancer and metastatic localization. Metastatic DTC discovered before radioiodine had higher thyroglobulin and received a higher radioiodine total activity and number of treatments. Considering patients with distant metastases, according to the 2015 ATA guidelines, 38 patients would have been categorized as high risk, 22 as low risk and 80 as intermediate risk. Among intermediate-risk patients, only in 25 cases (31%) I-131 treatment would have been appropriate according to 2015 ATA recommendations; in the remaining 56 cases (69%), I-131 would not have been recommended.

Conclusions

According to the 2015 ATA guidelines, most of metastatic patients would not have been treated after surgery, with the risk of late diagnosis and delayed treatment.

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Laurence Dumeige, Livie Chatelais, Claire Bouvattier, Marc De Kerdanet, Capucine Hyon, Blandine Esteva, Dinane Samara-Boustani, Delphine Zenaty, Marc Nicolino, Sabine Baron, Chantal Metz-Blond, Catherine Naud-Saudreau, Clémentine Dupuis, Juliane Léger, Jean-Pierre Siffroi, Bruno Donadille, Sophie Christin-Maitre, Jean-Claude Carel, Regis Coutant and Laetitia Martinerie

Objective

Few studies of patients with a 45,X/46,XY mosaicism have considered those with normal male phenotype. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome of 45,X/46,XY boys born with normal or minor abnormalities of external genitalia, notably in terms of growth and pubertal development.

Methods

Retrospective longitudinal study of 40 patients followed between 1982 and 2017 in France.

Results

Twenty patients had a prenatal diagnosis, whereas 20 patients had a postnatal diagnosis, mainly for short stature. Most patients had stunted growth, with abnormal growth spurt during puberty and a mean adult height of 158 ± 7.6 cm, i.e. −2.3 DS with correction for target height. Seventy percent of patients presented Turner-like syndrome features including cardiac (6/23 patients investigated) and renal malformations (3/19 patients investigated). Twenty-two patients had minor abnormalities of external genitalia. One patient developed a testicular embryonic carcinoma, suggesting evidence of partial gonadal dysgenesis. Moreover, puberty occurred spontaneously in 93% of patients but 71% (n = 5) of those evaluated at the end of puberty presented signs of declined Sertoli cell function (low inhibin B levels and increased FSH levels).

Conclusion

This study emphasizes the need to identify and follow-up 45,X/46,XY patients born with normal male phenotype until adulthood, as they present similar prognosis than those born with severe genital anomalies. Currently, most patients are diagnosed in adulthood with azoospermia, consistent with our observations of decreased testicular function at the end of puberty. Early management of these patients may lead to fertility preservation strategies.

Free access

G Michael Besser, Ronald F Pfeiffer and Michael O Thorner

Ergotism is the long-term ergot poisoning by ingestion of rye or other grains infected with the fungus Claviceps purpurea and more recently by excessive intake of ergot drugs. It has either neuropsychiatric or vascular manifestations. In the Middle Ages, the gangrenous poisoning was known as St. Anthony’s fire, after the order of the Monks of St. Anthony who were particularly skilled at treating the condition. In 1917, Prof. Arthur Stoll returned home to Switzerland from Germany, to lead the development of a new pharmaceutical department at Sandoz Chemical Company. Stoll, using the special methods of extraction learned from his work with his mentor Willstetter, started his industrial research work with ergot. He succeeded in isolating, from the ergot of rye, ergotamine as an active principle of an old popular remedy for excessive post-partum bleeding. The success of this discovery occurred in 1918 and was translated into a pharmaceutical product in 1921 under the trade name Gynergen. In subsequent work, Stoll and his team were leaders in identifying the structure of the many other alkaloids and amines produced by Claviceps purpurea. This was the cultural background and scientific foundation on which bromocriptine was discovered.

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Yingbo Lin, Hermine A van Duyvenvoorde, Hongyu Liu, Chen Yang, Dudi Warsito, Chang Yin, Sarina G Kant, Felix Haglund, Jan M Wit and Olle Larsson

Objective

The insulin-like growth factor1 receptor (IGF1R) is important in growth and development, and inactivating IGF1R mutations cause short stature and relatively high levels of serum IGF-I. We identified an unclassified IGF1R R1353H variant in a male with extreme tall height, very low levels of serum IGF-I and delayed and prolonged growth spurt. The index case’s mother and three sons all carried the variant, but so far only the eldest son (age 18 years) presented with tall height. We hypothesized that the variant could constitute an activating mutation.

Design

The IGF1R R1353H variant was investigated in Igf1r/ mouse embryonic fibroblasts (R-cells) by cell cycle, colony formation and transcriptome analyses.

Results

The IGF1R R1353H (R-1353) exhibited significantly increased cell proliferation, G1-S progression and colony formation in soft agar. RNA sequencing identified 195 differentially expressed genes between R-WT and R-1353 (adjusted P < 1E-100). Most genes were upregulated in R-1353, including the gene encoding the androgen receptor (AR). Gene expression profiling showed the most significant enrichment in extracellular matrix organization (P = 2.76E-7), collagen biosynthesis (P = 1.21E-5) and cell adhesion (P = 7.38E-5). Retrospective biochemical analysis of the index case revealed decreased testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin levels, whereas LH and FSH were within normal ranges. This profile suggests an increased sensitivity to androgen, which is compatible with the enhanced expression of Ar in R-1353 cells.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that R1353H constitutes an activating IGF1R variant. The possible deregulation of collagen turnover and increased androgen sensitivity implicates an association to tall phenotype in male carriers.

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Annika M A Berends, Michiel N Kerstens, Janne W Bolt, Thera P Links, Esther Korpershoek, Ronald R de Krijger, Annemiek M E Walenkamp, Walter Noordzij, Boudewijn van Etten, Gursah Kats-Ugurlu, Adrienne H Brouwers and Anouk N A van der Horst-Schrivers

Background/aim

PET with 6-[18F]fluor-l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (18F-FDOPA) has been shown to be a useful imaging tool with a high sensitivity for the visualization of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). 18F-FDOPA uptake in tumors other than NETs has been suggested previously, but data on this phenomenon are limited. We therefore studied the non-physiological, false-positive uptake of 18F-FDOPA in a large population of patients with a NET or with a high clinical suspicion of harboring a NET.

Patients and methods

Retrospective single-center study among adult patients in whom 18F-FDOPA PET scintigraphy was performed between January 2004 and December 2014. The original scan report was compared with the original pathology report corresponding with the 18F-FDOPA PET-positive lesion. In case this was inconsistent with the diagnosis of a NET, both the scan and the pathology slides were reassessed. Specimens of these non-NET tissues were immunohistochemically stained for AADC.

Results

1070 18F-FDOPA PET scans from 705 patients were evaluated. Focal or multiple 18F-FDOPA-avid lesions were described in 709 18F-FDOPA PET scans (66%). Histology of these 18F-FDOPA PET-positive lesions was present in 508 (72%) cases. In seven cases, the histopathology was not compatible with NET but showed squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix, multiple myeloma (two cases), hepatocellular carcinoma, Schwannoma, adrenocortical carcinoma and a skeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, with positive immunohistochemical staining for AADC in 67%.

Conclusions

Pathological uptake of 18F-FDOPA does not always indicate the presence of a NET. The possibility of 18F-FDOPA uptake by tumor types other than NETs, although rare, should be considered.

Free access

Isabelle Bourdeau, Nada El Ghorayeb, Nadia Gagnon and André Lacroix

The investigation and management of unilateral adrenal incidentalomas have been extensively considered in the last decades. While bilateral adrenal incidentalomas represent about 15% of adrenal incidentalomas (AIs), they have been less frequently discussed. The differential diagnosis of bilateral incidentalomas includes metastasis, primary bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia and bilateral cortical adenomas. Less frequent etiologies are bilateral pheochromocytomas, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), Cushing’s disease or ectopic ACTH secretion with secondary bilateral adrenal hyperplasia, primary malignancies, myelolipomas, infections or hemorrhage. The investigation of bilateral incidentalomas includes the same hormonal evaluation to exclude excess hormone secretion as recommended in unilateral AI, but diagnosis of CAH and adrenal insufficiency should also be excluded. This review is focused on the differential diagnosis, investigation and treatment of bilateral AIs.

Free access

Adrian T Billeter, Javier R de la Garza Herrera, Katharina M Scheurlen, Felix Nickel, Franck Billmann and Beat P Müller-Stich

Obesity and its associated comorbidities have become one of the largest challenges for health care in the near future. Conservative therapy for obesity and related comorbidities has a very high failure rate and poor long-term results. Similarly, the conservative and medical management of the majority of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus are only able to slow down disease progression but have no causal effect on the disease process. Obesity surgery has evolved as a highly effective therapy for severe obesity achieving long-lasting weight loss. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of obesity surgery on reduction of overall mortality, reduction of cardiovascular events and superior control of obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and also the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis compared to medical therapy. Based on these findings, the term ‘metabolic surgery’ with the focus on treating metabolic diseases independent of body weight has been coined. Of great interest are recent studies that show that even existing complications of metabolic diseases such as diabetic nephropathy or the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis can be reversed by metabolic surgery. Although metabolic surgery has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for obesity, resolution of comorbidities and enhancing quality of life, it is still uncertain and unclear, which surgical procedure is the most effective to achieve these metabolic effects. The aim of this review is to compare the effects of the two currently most widely used metabolic operations, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the sleeve gastrectomy in the treatment of obesity and its related comorbidities.

Free access

Sofia S Pereira, Mariana P Monteiro, Isabelle Bourdeau, André Lacroix and Duarte Pignatelli

Adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs) are rather rare endocrine tumors that often have a poor prognosis. The reduced survival rate associated with these tumors is due to their aggressive biological behavior, combined with the scarcity of effective treatment options that are currently available. The recent identification of the genomic alterations present in ACC have provided further molecular mechanisms to develop consistent strategies for the diagnosis, prevention of progression and treatment of advanced ACCs. Taken together, molecular and genomic advances could be leading the way to develop personalized medicine in ACCs similarly to similar developments in lung or breast cancers. In this review, we focused our attention to systematically compile and summarize the alterations in the cell cycle regulation that were described so far in ACC as they are known to play a crucial role in cell differentiation and growth. We have divided the analysis according to the major transition phases of the cell cycle, G1 to S and G2 to M. We have analyzed the most extensively studied checkpoints: the p53/Rb1 pathway, CDC2/cyclin B and topoisomerases (TOPs). We reached the conclusion that the most important alterations having a potential application in clinical practice are the ones related to p53/Rb1 and TOP 2. We also present a brief description of on-going clinical trials based on molecular alterations in ACC. The drugs have targeted the insulin-like growth factor receptor 1, TOP 2, polo-like kinase1, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, p53 reactivation and CDC25.

Open access

Peter J Trainer, John D C Newell-Price, John Ayuk, Simon J B Aylwin, Aled Rees, William Drake, Philippe Chanson, Thierry Brue, Susan M Webb, Carmen Fajardo, Javier Aller, Ann I McCormack, David J Torpy, George Tachas, Lynne Atley, David Ryder and Martin Bidlingmaier

Objective

ATL1103 is a second-generation antisense oligomer targeting the human growth hormone (GH) receptor. This phase 2 randomised, open-label, parallel-group study assessed the potential of ATL1103 as a treatment for acromegaly.

Design

Twenty-six patients with active acromegaly (IGF-I >130% upper limit of normal) were randomised to subcutaneous ATL1103 200 mg either once or twice weekly for 13 weeks and monitored for a further 8-week washout period.

Methods

The primary efficacy measures were change in IGF-I at week 14, compared to baseline and between cohorts. For secondary endpoints (IGFBP3, acid labile subunit (ALS), GH, growth hormone-binding protein (GHBP)), comparison was between baseline and week 14. Safety was assessed by reported adverse events.

Results and conclusions

Baseline median IGF-I was 447 and 649 ng/mL in the once- and twice-weekly groups respectively. Compared to baseline, at week 14, twice-weekly ATL1103 resulted in a median fall in IGF-I of 27.8% (P = 0.0002). Between cohort comparison at week 14 demonstrated the median fall in IGF-I to be 25.8% (P = 0.0012) greater with twice-weekly dosing. In the twice-weekly cohort, IGF-I was still declining at week 14, and remained lower at week 21 than at baseline by a median of 18.7% (P = 0.0005). Compared to baseline, by week 14, IGFBP3 and ALS had declined by a median of 8.9% (P = 0.027) and 16.7% (P = 0.017) with twice-weekly ATL1103; GH had increased by a median of 46% at week 14 (P = 0.001). IGFBP3, ALS and GH did not change with weekly ATL1103. GHBP fell by a median of 23.6% and 48.8% in the once- and twice-weekly cohorts (P = 0.027 and P = 0.005) respectively. ATL1103 was well tolerated, although 84.6% of patients experienced mild-to-moderate injection-site reactions. This study provides proof of concept that ATL1103 is able to significantly lower IGF-I in patients with acromegaly.

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Jessica Pepe, Cristiana Cipriani, Mario Curione, Federica Biamonte, Luciano Colangelo, Vittoria Danese, Veronica Cecchetti, Chiara Sonato, Federica Ferrone, Mirella Cilli and Salvatore Minisola

Objective

Hypercalcemia may induce arrhythmias. There are no data on the prevalence of arrhythmias in primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) in daily life. Aim of the study was to investigate both the prevalence of arrhythmias in patients with PHPT compared to controls and the impact of parathyroidectomy, evaluated by 24-h electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring.

Design

This is a randomized study.

Methods

Twenty-six postmenopausal women with PHPT and 26 controls were enrolled. PHPT patients were randomized to two groups: 13 underwent parathyroidectomy (Group A) and 13 were followed up conservatively (Group B). After 6 months, patients were studied again. Each patient underwent mineral metabolism biochemical evaluation, bone mineral density measurement, standard ECG and 24-h ECG monitoring.

Results

PHPT patients showed higher calcium and parathyroid hormone compared to controls and a higher prevalence of both supraventricular (SVBPs) and ventricular premature beats (VPBs) during 24-h ECG monitoring. Groups A and B showed no differences in mean baseline biochemical values and ECG parameters. Mean value of QTc in PHPT groups was in the normal range at baseline, but significantly shorter than controls. A negative correlation was found between QTc and ionized calcium levels (r = −0.48, P < 0.05). After parathyroidectomy, Group A had a significant reduction in SVPBs and VPBs compared to baseline and restored normal QTc. Group B showed no significant changes after a 6-month period.

Conclusions

The increased prevalence of SVPBs and VPBs is significantly reduced by parathyroidectomy, and it is mainly related to the short QTc caused by hypercalcemia.