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Free access

Sonali Thosani, Montserrat Ayala-Ramirez, Alejandro Román-González, Shouhao Zhou, Nirav Thosani, Annette Bisanz and Camilo Jimenez

Objective

Pheochromocytomas (PHs) and sympathetic paragangliomas (PGs) are tumors that produce catecholamines, predisposing patients to cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal effects such as constipation. Objectives: i) determine the prevalence of constipation, its risk factors, and its impact on survival; ii) identify whether a systematic combination of fiber, water, and laxatives was effective for treatment of constipation.

Design and methods

We retrospectively studied 396 patients with PH/PG diagnosed in 2005–2014. The study population was patients with constipation as a presenting symptom; the control group was patients without constipation as a presenting symptom. The MD Anderson Symptom Inventory was used to assess constipation and quality of life.

Results

Twenty-three patients (6%) had constipation. Constipation was associated with headaches, palpitations, diaphoresis, weight loss, and excessive noradrenaline production (P<0.0001). Eighteen of these patients had non-metastatic primary tumors larger than 5 cm and/or extensive metastases. No statistically significant differences in age, sex, and genotype were noted between the study and control groups. In patients without metastases, resection of the primary tumor led to symptom disappearance. A systematic combination of fiber, water, and laxatives was associated with symptom improvement. Two patients who presented unmanaged constipation died because of sepsis from toxic megacolon.

Conclusions

Constipation is a rare and potentially lethal complication in patients with PH/PGs. Severe constipation can be prevented by recognizing and treating mild symptoms.

Free access

Nicholas A Tritos, Philippe Chanson, Camilo Jimenez, Donna King, Peter J Jönsson, Anne Klibanski and Beverly M K Biller

Objective

To examine the effectiveness and safety of primary pegvisomant monotherapy.

Design

Retrospective analysis of data extracted from ACROSTUDY (global observational outcomes study of patients with acromegaly treated with pegvisomant).

Methods

The earliest time to insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) normalization on pegvisomant monotherapy was determined. Both the proportion of patients who achieved IGF-1 normalization and the time to IGF-1 normalization on pegvisomant monotherapy were assessed.

Results

Eligible patients included 28 subjects on primary medical therapy (PT) and 176 controls on adjunctive pegvisomant therapy treated postoperatively, including 43 who were naïve to medical therapy (NMT) and 133 who were previously treated medically and were washed out (WASH). IGF-1 normalization occurred in 76.9% (PT), 85.2% (NMT) and 78.3% (WASH) patients (P = NS). Median times to IGF-1 normalization were 0.5 year (PT), 0.7 year (NMT) and 0.6 year (WASH), P = NS. On survival analysis, the fraction of patients controlled on pegvisomant monotherapy was not different between groups. Higher baseline IGF-1 levels, obtained at study entry, predicted a lower likelihood of IGF-1 normalization on monotherapy (P = 0.012). Safety data include low prevalence of skin rashes, injection site reactions and reversible transaminase elevations. There was one patient (NMT) with a verified increase in tumor size.

Conclusions

Pegvisomant monotherapy, administered either as primary medical therapy or as adjunctive therapy according to local practice, led to IGF-1 normalization in >75% of patients. Pegvisomant monotherapy had a favorable safety profile, consistent with previous observations. Prospective data are needed to further evaluate the role of primary pegvisomant monotherapy in acromegaly.

Free access

Camilo Jimenez, Pia Burman, Roger Abs, David R Clemmons, William M Drake, Kent R Hutson, Michael Messig, Michael O Thorner, Peter J Trainer and Robert F Gagel

Objective

We examined pituitary tumor volumes in patients treated with pegvisomant for 18 months or longer, and in whom the tumors were monitored for at least 3 years. We present details on 9 of 304 patients in clinical trials with pegvisomant who experienced tumor growth within the first year of treatment.

Method

Magnetic resonance images prior to start of pegvisomant and at last follow-up were examined in 43 patients (14% of participating patients). Twenty-nine had received prior radiation therapy (18% of irradiated patients) and all but five received somatostatin analogs between periods of pegvisomant treatment.

Results

At follow-up, the median tumor volume was 0.6 cc (range 0.0–19.7 cc), in comparison with 1.6 cc (0.0–19.7 cc) at baseline (P<0.001). Twenty-five patients, of which 23 received radiation therapy, had tumor volume reduction. Seventeen patients had no significant change. One patient, who had not received radiation therapy, had an increase in tumor volume from 1.61 to 1.93 cc. Of the nine patients with tumor growth, six had progressive growth before initiating pegvisomant. Two patients with stable tumors while on octreotide experienced enlargement after octreotide discontinuation but remained stable on long-term pegvisomant therapy.

Conclusion

The present data indicate that pegvisomant does not promote tumor growth and suggest that the nine observed cases of tumor progression, which occurred within 8 months after commencing pegvisomant, are likely rebound expansions after discontinuation of somatostatin analogs and/or the natural history of aggressively growing pituitary tumors. Continued long-term surveillance of tumor volume, particularly in non-irradiated patients, is recommended.

Restricted access

Nicholas A Tritos, Anders F Mattsson, Greisa Vila, Beverly M K Biller, Anne Klibanski, Srinivas Valluri, Judith Hey-Hadavi, Nicky Kelepouris and Camilo Jimenez

Objective

To examine all-cause mortality rates in patients with acromegaly on pegvisomant and identify pertinent risk factors, including insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I).

Design

Retrospective cohort analysis of data from ACROSTUDY (global surveillance study of patients with acromegaly treated with pegvisomant).

Methods

Kaplan–Meier analyses and Cox regression techniques were used to examine survival rates. Standardized mortality ratios (SMR) with reference to general population (WHO GBD 2016) were estimated. Multiplicative multiple Poisson regression models were used to characterize the association between SMR, IGF-I, and other risk factors associated with mortality risk.

Results

The study consisted of 2077 subjects who were followed for a median interval of 4.1 years, contributing to 8957 patient-years. Higher on-treatment IGF-I (P = 0.0035), older attained age (P < 0.0001), and longer duration of acromegaly (>10 years) before starting pegvisomant (P = 0.05) were associated with higher mortality rates. In reference to general population rates, higher SMR (1.10, 1.42, and 2.62, at attained age 55 years) were observed with higher serum IGF-I category (SMR trend: 1.44 (44%)/per fold level of IGF-I/ULN (95% CI: 1.10, 1.87), P = 0.0075). SMR increased per year of younger attained age (1.04 (1.02–1.04), P < 0.0001) and were higher for longer disease duration (>10 years) before starting pegvisomant (1.57 (1.02, 2.43), P = 0.042). Serum IGF-I levels within the normal range during pegvisomant therapy were associated with all-cause mortality rates that were indistinguishable from the general population.

Conclusions

Higher on-treatment IGF-I, older attained age, and longer duration of acromegaly before starting pegvisomant are associated with higher all-cause mortality rates. Younger patients with uncontrolled acromegaly have higher excess all-cause mortality rates in comparison with older patients.

Free access

Eric Baudin, Mouhammed Amir Habra, Frederic Deschamps, Gilbert Cote, Frederic Dumont, Maria Cabanillas, J Arfi-Roufe, A Berdelou, Bryan Moon, Abir Al Ghuzlan, Shreyaskumar Patel, Sophie Leboulleux and Camilo Jimenez

Metastatic pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (MPPs) present clinicians with three major challenges: scarcity, complexity of characterization, and heterogeneous behavior and prognosis. As with the treatment for all neuroendocrine tumors, the control of hormonal symptoms and tumor growth is the main therapeutic objective in MPP patients. A significant number of MPP patients still die from uncontrolled hormone secretion. In addition, the management of MPPs remains palliative. Steps forward include proper characterization of MPP patients at large cancer referral centers with multidisciplinary teams; improved strategies to stratify patients prognostically; and implementation of trials within national and international networks. Progress in the molecular characterization and staging of MPPs constitutes the basis for significant treatment breakthroughs.

Free access

Montserrat Ayala-Ramirez, Sina Jasim, Lei Feng, Shamim Ejaz, Ferhat Deniz, Naifa Busaidy, Steven G Waguespack, Aung Naing, Kanishka Sircar, Christopher G Wood, Lance Pagliaro, Camilo Jimenez, Rena Vassilopoulou-Sellin and Mouhammed Amir Habra

Objective

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy with a poor prognosis. Herein, we describe the clinical features and outcomes for a large series of ACC patients.

Design and methods

Retrospective review of ACC patients seen at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1998 through 2011.

Results

A total of 330 patients with median age at diagnosis of 48.5 years; 12 (3.6%) patients were under 18 years. Hormonally functioning tumors represented 41.8% (n=138) of all cases. Surgical resection for the primary tumor was done in 275 (83.3%) patients (45 at MD Anderson (16.4%)). For those who had surgical resection, the median local-recurrence-free time was 1.04 years. Factors associated with local recurrence included positive surgical margins (P=0.007) and advanced disease stage (P=0.026). Median overall survival time for all patients was 3.21 years. Median survival times were 24.1, 6.08, 3.47, and 0.89 years for stages I, II, III, and IV respectively. In multivariable analysis, older age, functioning tumors, and higher disease stage remained significant prognostic factors associated with poor survival.

Conclusion

ACC prognosis remains poor with the use of currently available treatments. Older age, functioning tumors, and incomplete resections are clinical factors associated with poor survival. Surgical expertise is important to achieve complete resections and to improve outcome.