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L T van Hulsteijn, A Louisse, B Havekes, A A Kaptein, J C Jansen, F J Hes, J W A Smit and E P M Corssmit

Context

Germline mutations in succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) genes predispose carriers for developing paragangliomas, and studies on their quality of life (QoL) are scarce.

Objectives

The objectives of this study were to assess QoL in patients with paragangliomas (PGL), to evaluate long-term QoL, and to explore potential differences in QoL between SDH mutation carriers and paraganglioma patients without an SDH mutation.

Design

Cross-sectional, case–control study.

Setting

Tertiary referral center.

Subjects

One hundred and seventy four paraganglioma patients were included: 25 SDHB, two SDHC, and 122 SDHD mutation carriers and 25 patients without an SDH mutation. They provided 100 peers as control persons. Furthermore, patients were compared with age-adjusted reference populations.

Main outcome measures

QoL was assessed using three validated health-related QoL questionnaires: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Multidimensional Fatigue Index 20, and the Short Form 36.

Results

Patients reported a significantly impaired QoL compared with their own controls, mainly on fatigue and physical condition subscales. Compared with age-adjusted literature values, patients had significantly impaired scores on physical, psychological, and social subscales. A decreased QoL was mainly related to paraganglioma-associated complaints.

There was no difference in QoL between the various SDH mutation carriers or paraganglioma patients without an SDH mutation. QoL in asymptomatic mutation carriers, i.e. without manifest disease, did not differ from QoL of the general population. Long-term results in 41 patients showed no alteration in QoL besides a reduced level of activity.

Conclusion

QoL is decreased in paraganglioma patients but stable when measured over time.

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B Havekes, A A van der Klaauw, H C Hoftijzer, J C Jansen, A G L van der Mey, A H J T Vriends, J W A Smit, J A Romijn and E P M Corssmit

Objective

The objective of this study was to assess the quality of life (QoL) in patients with head-and-neck paragangliomas (‘glomus tumors’).

Design

We conducted a case–control study.

Methods

We assessed QoL in 82 patients with head-and-neck paragangliomas using four validated health-related questionnaires: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Multidimensional Fatigue Index (MFI-20), Short Form-36 (SF-36), and Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). Patient outcomes were compared with controls provided by the patients and with a large age- and sex-adjusted control group.

Results

The QoL scores in the paraganglioma patients were significantly reduced in 12 out of the 21 subscales compared with own controls, and in 18 out of the 21 subscales compared with age- and sex-adjusted values derived from the previous studies. In the MFI-20 questionnaire, patients reported more general fatigue, physical fatigue, mental fatigue, and a reduction in activity and motivation. The scores in the NHP showed a difference in energy, emotional reaction, and social isolation. General health perception, pain, and physical functioning were reported to be worse in the paraganglioma patients on the SF-36 scale. Although anxiety and depression did not reveal any significant differences between patients and their own controls, an increased score on both anxiety and depression was seen when compared with the extended control group. Especially, dysphonia contributes to a reduced QoL.

Conclusion

QoL is considerably reduced in patients with head-and-neck paragangliomas.

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Lutske Lodewijk, Pim J Bongers, Jakob W Kist, Elfi B Conemans, Joanne M de Laat, Carla R C Pieterman, Anouk N A van der Horst-Schrivers, Ciska Jorna, Ad R Hermus, Olaf M Dekkers, Wouter W de Herder, Madeleine L Drent, Peter H Bisschop, Bas Havekes, Inne H M Borel Rinkes, Menno R Vriens and Gerlof D Valk

Objective

Currently, little is known about the prevalence of thyroid tumors in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) patients and it is unclear whether tumorigenesis of these thyroid tumors is MEN1-related. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of thyroid incidentalomas in MEN1 patients compared with nonMEN1 patients and to verify whether thyroid tumorigenesis is MEN1-related.

Design

A cross-sectional study.

Methods

The study included two groups: patients with MEN1 and a matched non-MEN1 control group without known thyroid disease, who underwent an ultrasound of the neck for the localization of parathyroid adenoma. Ninety-five MEN1 patients underwent ultrasound of the neck and were matched on gender and age with non-MEN1 patients. The prevalence of thyroid incidentalomas described in the ultrasound report was scored. Multinodular goiters, solitary nodes, and cysts were scored as incidentalomas. Presence of nuclear menin expression was evaluated by menin immunostaining of the thyroid tumors.

Results

In the MEN1 group, 43 (45%) patients had a thyroid incidentaloma compared with 48 (51%) in the non-MEN1 group, of which 14 (15%) and 16 (17%), respectively, were solitary nodes. Menin was expressed in the nuclei of all evaluated thyroid tumors.

Conclusions

MEN1 patients do not have a higher prevalence of thyroid incidentalomas compared with primary hyperparathyroidism patients without the diagnosis of MEN1. Menin was expressed in the thyroid tumors of MEN1 patients.

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E B Conemans, L Lodewijk, C B Moelans, G J A Offerhaus, C R C Pieterman, F H Morsink, O M Dekkers, W W de Herder, A R Hermus, A N van der Horst-Schrivers, M L Drent, P H Bisschop, B Havekes, L A A Brosens, K M A Dreijerink, I H M Borel Rinkes, H Th M Timmers, G D Valk and M R Vriens

Objective

Epigenetic changes contribute to pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PanNET) development. Hypermethylation of promoter DNA as a cause of tumor suppressor gene silencing is a well-established oncogenic mechanism that is potentially reversible and therefore an interesting therapeutic target. Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is the most frequent cause of inherited PanNETs. The aim of this study was to determine promoter methylation profiles in MEN1-related PanNETs.

Design and methods

Methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification was used to assess promoter methylation of 56 tumor suppressor genes in MEN1-related (n = 61) and sporadic (n = 34) PanNETs. Differences in cumulative methylation index (CMI), individual methylation percentages and frequency of promoter hypermethylation between subgroups were analyzed.

Results

We found promoter methylation of a large number of potential tumor suppressor genes. CMI (median CMI: 912 vs 876, P = 0.207) was the same in MEN1-related and sporadic PanNETs. We found higher methylation percentages of CASP8 in MEN1-related PanNETs (median: 59% vs 16.5%, P = 0.002). In MEN1-related non-functioning PanNETs, the CMI was higher in larger PanNETs (>2 cm) (median: 969.5 vs 838.5; P = 0.021) and in PanNETs with liver metastases (median: 1036 vs 869; P = 0.013). Hypermethylation of MGMT2 was more frequent in non-functioning PanNETs compared to insulinomas (median: 44.7% vs 8.3%; P = 0.022). Hypermethylation of the Von Hippel–Lindau gene promoter was observed in one MEN1-related PanNET and was associated with loss of protein expression.

Conclusion

Promoter hypermethylation is a frequent event in MEN1-related and sporadic PanNETs. Targeting DNA methylation could be of therapeutic value in MEN1 patients with advanced PanNETs.