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JA Romijn, JW Smit and SW Lamberts

Hormonal substitution therapy has been extremely successful, with respect to morbidity and mortality, in the treatment of the major syndromes of endocrine insufficiency. However, many patients treated for endocrine insufficiencies still suffer from more or less vague complaints and a decreased quality of life. It is likely that these complaints are, at least in part, caused by intrinsic imperfections of hormone replacement strategies in mimicking normal hormone secretion. Unfortunately, these complaints are often difficult to assess by clinicometric or biochemical tests, because the effects of hormones in general, and thus of hormone replacement strategies in particular, are difficult to quantify at the tIssue level. Therefore, in clinical practice we rely mostly on plasma variables - 'plasma endocrinology' - which are a poor reflection of hormone action at the tIssue level. Appreciation of these intrinsic shortcomings of endocrine therapy is of utmost importance to prevent incorrect labelling of the complaints of many endocrine patients and to achieve further improvement in endocrine replacement strategies.

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JP Schroder-van der Elst, D van der Heide, JA Romijn and JW Smit

OBJECTIVE: Natural flavonoids (plant pigments) have been shown to inhibit thyroid peroxidase (TPO) in vitro and the growth of thyroid cancer cell lines. We have studied the role of flavonoids on the iodide transport and the growth of the human follicular thyroid cancer cell line (FTC133) which was stably transfected with the human Na(+)/I(-) symporter (hNIS). DESIGN AND METHODS: Cells were treated with flavonoids (0.5-50 microM) for 0, 2, 4 and 6 days; (125)I content and (125)I efflux of the cells and DNA content were measured. RESULTS: Cell growth was inhibited significantly at day 6 by most flavonoids. Eight out of ten flavonoids decreased the (125)I content of the cells at day 4. Morin did not influence the (125)I content of the cells and, surprisingly, myricetin increased the (125)I content of the cells. Kaempferol, apigenin, luteolin and F21388 decreased NIS mRNA expression after 15, 29 and 48 h; after 96 h NIS mRNA returned to normal. CONCLUSION: As TPO is not present in this cell line, the effects of the flavonoids on the iodide uptake are not related to organification. Myricetin was the only flavonoid studied that increased the influx and decreased the efflux of iodide. The effect of myricetin (decreased growth and increased retention of iodide) can be of therapeutic value in the radioiodide treatment of thyroid carcinoma.

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SW van Thiel, JA Romijn, NR Biermasz, BE Ballieux, M Frolich, JW Smit, EP Corssmit, F Roelfsema and AM Pereira

OBJECTIVE: Recently a new depot preparation of the long-acting somatostatin analogue, lanreotide Autogel was introduced for the treatment of acromegaly. Like octreotide long-acting repeatable (LAR), it has high binding affinity for the somatostatin receptor subtype SSTR 2 and less binding affinity for SSTR 5. We hypothesized that the ability to suppress growth hormone (GH) secretion in patients with acromegaly would be similar for these depot preparations. PATIENTS AND STUDY DESIGN: Seven patients (mean age+/-S.E.M. 48.4+/-7 years) on long-term octreotide LAR treatment at a monthly injection interval for a mean of 2.8 years were enrolled in the study. They underwent a GH secretory profile study with 10 min sampling for 24 h, 28 days after an injection. At 2, 4 and 6 weeks after the next injection fasting GH profiles (every 30 min for 3.5 h) and serum IGF-I measurements were measured. These investigations were repeated 12 months later, when the patients were on an individually titrated stable dose of lanreotide Autogel. RESULTS: Secretory characteristics and total 24 h GH secretion, estimated by deconvolution analysis of the 10 min 24 h plasma GH concentrations, did not show differences between these two long-acting somatostatin analogues. Both drugs were equally effective in GH and IGF-I suppression as measured at 2, 4 and also at 6 weeks following an injection. CONCLUSION: The efficacy of lanreotide Autogel and octreotide LAR was equal, notwithstanding that these drugs are administered in a different way and have different pharmacokinetics.

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M Schlumberger, F Pacini, WM Wiersinga, A Toft, JW Smit, F Sanchez Franco, P Lind, E Limbert, B Jarzab, F Jamar, L Duntas, O Cohen and G Berg

As differentiated (follicular and papillary) thyroid cancer (DTC) may recur years after initial treatment, follow-up of patients with DTC is long term. However, this population has changed, with more individuals being discovered at an earlier stage of disease, so that previous follow-up protocols based mostly on data from high-risk patients no longer apply. We have proposed, in a previous issue of this Journal, an improved protocol for the follow-up of low-risk patients with DTC based on the findings of recent studies. We report here the case of a paradigmatic patient with papillary thyroid carcinoma, with the goal of illustrating the benefits of applying this algorithm in routine clinical practice. We also offer expanded and additional comments on various issues in the management of DTC.