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P F Plouin, L Amar, O M Dekkers, M Fassnacht, A P Gimenez-Roqueplo, J W M Lenders, C Lussey-Lepoutre, O Steichen, and on behalf of the Guideline Working Group

Phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are rare neuroendocrine tumours. Standard treatment is surgical resection. Following complete resection of the primary tumour, patients with PPGL are at risk of developing new tumoural events. The present guideline aims to propose standardised clinical care of long-term follow-up in patients operated on for a PPGL. The guideline has been developed by The European Society of Endocrinology and based on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) principles. We performed a systematic review of the literature and analysed the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours (ENS@T) database. The risk of new events persisted in the long term and was higher for patients with genetic or syndromic diseases. Follow-up in the published cohorts and in the ENS@T database was neither standardised nor exhaustive, resulting in a risk of follow-up bias and in low statistical power beyond 10 years after complete surgery. To inform patients and care providers in this context of low-quality evidence, the Guideline Working Group therefore prepared recommendations on the basis of expert consensus. Key recommendations are the following: we recommend that all patients with PPGL be considered for genetic testing; we recommend assaying plasma or urinary metanephrines every year to screen for local or metastatic recurrences or new tumours; and we suggest follow-up for at least 10 years in all patients operated on for a PPGL. High-risk patients (young patients and those with a genetic disease, a large tumour and/or a paraganglioma) should be offered lifelong annual follow-up.

Free access

L Oudijk, C M Neuhofer, U D Lichtenauer, T G Papathomas, E Korpershoek, H Stoop, J W Oosterhuis, M Smid, D F Restuccia, M Robledo, A A de Cubas, M Mannelli, A P Gimenez-Roqueplo, W N M Dinjens, F Beuschlein, and R R de Krijger

Objective

Pheochromocytomas (PCCs) are neuroendocrine tumors that occur in the adrenal medulla, whereas paragangliomas (PGLs) arise from paraganglia in the head, neck, thorax, or abdomen. In a variety of tumors, cancer cells with stem cell-like properties seem to form the basis of tumor initiation because of their ability to self-renew and proliferate. Specifically targeting this small cell population may lay the foundation for more effective therapeutic approaches. In the present study, we intended to identify stem cells in PCCs/PGLs.

Design

We examined the immunohistochemical expression of 11 stem cell markers (SOX2, LIN28, NGFR, THY1, PREF1, SOX17, NESTIN, CD117, OCT3/4, NANOG, and CD133) on tissue microarrays containing 208 PCCs/PGLs with different genetic backgrounds from five European centers.

Results

SOX2, LIN28, NGFR, and THY1 were expressed in more than 10% of tumors, and PREF1, SOX17, NESTIN, and CD117 were expressed in <10% of the samples. OCT3/4, NANOG, and CD133 were not detectable at all. Double staining for chromogranin A/SOX2 and S100/SOX2 demonstrated SOX2 immunopositivity in both tumor and adjacent sustentacular cells. The expression of SOX2, SOX17, NGFR, LIN28, PREF1, and THY1 was significantly associated with mutations in one of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) genes. In addition, NGFR expression was significantly correlated with metastatic disease.

Conclusion

Immunohistochemical expression of stem cell markers was found in a subset of PCCs/PGLs. Further studies are required to validate whether some stem cell-associated markers, such as SOX2, could serve as targets for therapeutic approaches and whether NGFR expression could be utilized as a predictor of malignancy.