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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


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.


A cross-sectional study.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.