Acromegaly is associated with high morbidity and elevated mortality when not adequately treated. Surgery is the first-line treatment for most patients as it is the only one that can lead to immediate cure. In patients who are not cured by surgery, treatment is currently based on a trial-and-error approach. First-generation somatostatin receptor ligands (fg-SRL) are initiated for most patients, although approximately 25% of patients present resistance to this drug class. Some biomarkers of treatment outcome are described in the literature, with the aim of categorizing patients into different groups to individualize their treatments using a personalized approach. In this review, we will discuss the current status of precision medicine for the treatment of acromegaly and future perspectives on the use of personalized medicine for this purpose.
Leandro Kasuki, Luiz Eduardo Wildemberg and Mônica R Gadelha
Maria Caroline Alves Coelho, Camila Vicente Santos, Leonardo Vieira Neto and Mônica R Gadelha
Hypercortisolism is associated with various systemic manifestations, including central obesity, arterial hypertension, glucose intolerance/diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, nephrolithiasis, osteoporosis, gonadal dysfunction, susceptibility to infections, psychiatric disorders, and hypercoagulability. The activation of the hemostatic system contributes to the development of atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have identified an increased risk of both unprovoked and postoperative thromboembolic events in patients with endogenous and exogenous Cushing's syndrome (CS). The risk for postoperative venous thromboembolism in endogenous CS is comparable to the risk after total hip or knee replacement under short-term prophylaxis. The mechanisms that are involved in the thromboembolic complications in hypercortisolism include endothelial dysfunction, hypercoagulability, and stasis (Virchow's triad). It seems that at least two factors from Virchow's triad must be present for the occurrence of a thrombotic event in these patients. Most studies have demonstrated that this hypercoagulable state is explained by increased levels of procoagulant factors, mainly factors VIII, IX, and von Willebrand factor, and also by an impaired fibrinolytic capacity, which mainly results from an elevation in plasminogen activator inhibitor 1. Consequently, there is a shortening of activated partial thromboplastin time and increased thrombin generation. For these reasons, anticoagulant prophylaxis might be considered in patients with CS whenever they have concomitant prothrombotic risk factors. However, multicenter studies are needed to determine which patients will benefit from anticoagulant therapy and the dose and time of anticoagulation.
Leandro Kasuki, Luiz Eduardo Armondi Wildemberg, Leonardo Vieira Neto, Jorge Marcondes, Christina M Takiya and Mônica R Gadelha
Only one study has evaluated Ki-67 as a predictor of the response to somatostatin analog therapy in acromegaly; however, other predictors like somatostatin receptor type 2 (SSTR2) and cytokeratin pattern expressions were not considered.
To evaluate whether Ki-67 is a predictor of octreotide LAR (OCT-LAR) response in somatotropinomas independent of SSTR2 and cytokeratin expression patterns.
Protein expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. The percentage of cell nuclei that were immunolabeled for Ki-67 and the percentage of cells with positive SSTR2 staining were calculated. SSTR2 expression was considered high when ≥25%, and a cutoff of 2.3% was designated for Ki-67. Tumors were classified as densely or sparsely granulated according to the cytokeratin pattern.
Thirty-one somatotropinomas were studied. Fourteen patients (45.2%) were controlled with OCT-LAR therapy. The median Ki-67 labeling index (LI) was higher in patients not controlled with OCT-LAR than in those controlled (1.63 and 0.15 respectively, P=0.002). Higher SSTR2 expression and densely granulated tumors were correlated with control as well (P=0.04 and 0.038 respectively). There was no difference in Ki-67 levels between patients with high and low SSTR2 expression (P=0.651). After multivariate analysis, both Ki-67 and SSTR2 remained statistically significant as predictors of OCT-LAR response (P=0.017 and 0.012 respectively). The Ki-67 LI was higher in sparsely than in densely granulated tumors (P=0.047).
Ki-67 is a predictor of response to OCT-LAR in acromegaly, independent of SSTR2 expression and relates to cytokeratin patterns.
Flávia R B van Haute, Giselle F Taboada, Lívia L Corrêa, Giovanna A B Lima, Rosita Fontes, Anna Patricia Riello, Michele Dominici and Mônica R Gadelha
To determine the prevalence of sleep apnea (SA) and SA syndrome (SAS) in patients with acromegaly and correlate SA with clinical, laboratory, and cephalometric parameters.
Design and methods
Prospective and cross-sectional study of 24 patients with active acromegaly evaluated by clinical and laboratory (GH, IGF-I) parameters, polysomnography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pharynx.
Out of 24 patients, 21 had SA (87.5%), of which 20 (95.3%) had the predominant obstructive type. Median age of these 21 patients was 54 years (range 23–75) and median estimated disease duration was 60 months (range 24–300). The frequency in SA patients of impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes mellitus (DM), and hypertension was 19, 33.3, and 71.4% respectively. Goiter was found in 10 patients (47.6%) and obesity in 18 (90%). Median GH level was 14 μg/l (1.4–198) and median %IGF-I (percentage above the upper limit of normal range of IGF-I) was 181% (−31.6 to 571.2). The prevalence of SAS was 52.4%. Apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) correlated significantly with age, waist circumference, body mass index, and hypopharynx area. The AHI was significantly higher in patients with hypertension and DM.
The prevalence of SA and SAS in acromegaly was similar to the one previously described in other series. Age was a significant risk factor, and hypertension and DM were significantly associated complications of SA. Obesity was also significantly related to SA, as a risk factor, a complication or both. Overall, cephalometric parameters by MRI did not correlate with SA.
John Newell-Price, Rosario Pivonello, Antoine Tabarin, Maria Fleseriu, Przemysław Witek, Mônica R Gadelha, Stephan Petersenn, Libuse Tauchmanova, Shoba Ravichandran, Pritam Gupta, André Lacroix and Beverly M K Biller
Monitoring of patients with Cushing’s disease on cortisol-lowering drugs is usually performed with urinary free cortisol (UFC). Late-night salivary cortisol (LNSC) has an established role in screening for hypercortisolism and can help to detect the loss of cortisol circadian rhythm. Less evidence exists regarding the usefulness of LNSC in monitoring pharmacological response in Cushing’s disease.
Exploratory analysis evaluating LNSC during a Phase III study of long-acting pasireotide in Cushing’s disease (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01374906).
Mean LNSC (mLNSC) was calculated from two samples, collected on the same days as the first two of three 24-h urine samples (used to calculate mean UFC [mUFC]). Clinical signs of hypercortisolism were evaluated over time.
At baseline, 137 patients had evaluable mLNSC measurements; 91.2% had mLNSC exceeding the upper limit of normal (ULN; 3.2 nmol/L). Of patients with evaluable assessments at month 12 (n = 92), 17.4% had both mLNSC ≤ULN and mUFC ≤ULN; 22.8% had mLNSC ≤ULN, and 45.7% had mUFC ≤ULN. There was high variability in LNSC (intra-patient coefficient of variation (CV): 49.4%) and UFC (intra-patient CV: 39.2%). mLNSC levels decreased over 12 months of treatment and paralleled changes in mUFC. Moderate correlation was seen between mLNSC and mUFC (Spearman’s correlation: ρ = 0.50 [all time points pooled]). Greater improvements in systolic/diastolic blood pressure and weight were seen in patients with both mLNSC ≤ULN and mUFC ≤ULN.
mUFC and mLNSC are complementary measurements for monitoring treatment response in Cushing’s disease, with better clinical outcomes seen for patients in whom both mUFC and mLNSC are controlled.
Annamaria Colao, Marcello D Bronstein, Thierry Brue, Laura De Marinis, Maria Fleseriu, Mirtha Guitelman, Gerald Raverot, Ilan Shimon, Jürgen Fleck, Pritam Gupta, Alberto M Pedroncelli and Mônica R Gadelha
In the Phase III PAOLA study (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01137682), enrolled patients had uncontrolled acromegaly despite ≥6 months of octreotide/lanreotide treatment before study start. More patients achieved biochemical control with long-acting pasireotide versus continued treatment with octreotide/lanreotide (active control) at month 6. The current work assessed the extent of comorbidities at baseline and outcomes during a long-term extension.
Patients receiving pasireotide 40 or 60 mg at core study end could continue on the same dose in an extension phase if biochemically controlled or receive pasireotide 60 mg if uncontrolled. Uncontrolled patients on active control were switched to pasireotide 40 mg, with the dose increased at week 16 of the extension if still uncontrolled (crossover group). Efficacy and safety are reported to 304 weeks (~5.8 years) for patients randomized to pasireotide (core + extension), and 268 weeks for patients in the crossover group (extension only).
Almost half (49.5%; 98/198) of patients had ≥3 comorbidities at core baseline. During the extension, 173 patients received pasireotide. Pasireotide effectively and consistently reduced GH and IGF-I levels for up to 5.8 years’ treatment; 37.0% of patients achieved GH <1.0 µg/L and normal IGF-I at some point during the core or extension. Improvements were observed in key symptoms. The long-term safety profile was similar to that in the core study; 23/173 patients discontinued treatment because of adverse events.
In this patient population with a high burden of comorbid illness, pasireotide was well tolerated and efficacious, providing prolonged maintenance of biochemical control and improving symptoms.
Giselle F Taboada, Raul M Luque, Wildebranham Bastos, Renata F C Guimarães, Jorge B Marcondes, Leila M C Chimelli, Rosita Fontes, Paulo J P Mata, Paulo Niemeyer Filho, Denise P Carvalho, Rhonda D Kineman and Mônica R Gadelha
Objective: It is believed that the variable effectiveness of somatostatin analogs in post-surgical management of somatotropinomas and non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPA) may be due in part to variable expression of somatostatin receptor isoforms (SSTR1–5), within and between pituitary tumor types.
Design and methods: Quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to compare absolute mRNA copy numbers for all five SSTR isoforms in 23 somatotropinomas and 19 NFPA.
Results: Somatostatin receptor subtype 5 mRNA was present at the highest level in somatotropinomas, followed by SSTR2>SSTR3≫SSTR1⋙SSTR4. In contrast, SSTR3 mRNA was present at the highest level in NFPA, followed by SSTR2, while SSTR1, SSTR4, and SSTR5 transcripts were only detectable in select tumors. Among somatotropinomas, a positive correlation was found between SSTR2 mRNA levels and the percent decrease of GH (%GH) after 3 and 6 months of therapy with octreotide long acting repeatable (LAR) (r=0.51 and r=0.66; P=0.05 and P=0.008). Also the percent decrease of IGF-I (%IGF-I) after 3 months of octreotide LAR was negatively correlated with SSTR5 and %IGF-I after 6 months of octreotide LAR was positively correlated with SSTR2.
Conclusions: The present report is a large series examining SSTR mRNA levels in somatotropinomas and NFPA. These initial findings suggest that detailed knowledge of the SSTR mRNA expression profile in somatotropinomas can help to predict the hormonal response to therapy with LAR. Also, it appears that SSTR3 in NFPA may be a potential target for SSTR3 preferential or universal ligands such as pasireotide.
Giselle F Taboada, Raul M Luque, Leonardo Vieira Neto, Evelyn de O Machado, Bruna C Sbaffi, Romeu C Domingues, Jorge B Marcondes, Leila M C Chimelli, Rosita Fontes, Paulo Niemeyer, Denise P de Carvalho, Rhonda D Kineman and Mônica R Gadelha
To determine whether the somatostatin receptor subtype (SSTR) expression profile correlates with hormonal and tumor volume responses to postsurgical octreotide long acting repeatable (OCT LAR) treatment.
Design and methods
Quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to evaluate the absolute mRNA copy numbers for all five SSTR subtypes in 22 somatotropinomas. Response to OCT LAR was studied by hormone levels (GH and IGF-I) and tumor volume (sella turcica magnetic resonance imaging).
SSTR5 was present at the highest level followed by SSTR2, SSTR3, SSTR1, and SSTR4 (2327 (1046–5555), 2098 (194–23 954), 97 (0–460), 14 (0–29 480), and 0 (0–652) copies respectively). Positive correlations were found between SSTR2 levels and the percentage decrease of GH and IGF-I after 3 (r=0.49, P<0.027 and r=0.49, P<0.029 respectively) and 6 (r=0.59, P<0.006 and r=0.58, P<0.008 respectively) months of OCT LAR. A negative correlation was found between SSTR5 mRNA levels and the percentage decrease of GH after 3 months of OCT LAR (r=−0.52, P=0.016, n=21). A higher SSTR2/SSTR5 ratio was observed among patients who obtained hormonal control with OCT LAR, when compared with those uncontrolled (2.4 (0.7–10) vs 0.3 (0.1–7.7), P=0.001). A ROC curve analysis showed a SSTR2/SSTR5 ratio of 1.3 as the best predictor of disease control, with a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 92% – area under curve, 0.9. A positive correlation was also found between SSTR2 mRNA levels and the percentage decrease in tumor volume after 6 months of OCT LAR (r=0.79, P=0.002, n=12).
Somatostatin receptor subtype 2 mRNA expression levels in somatotropinomas correlate positively with in vivo hormonal and tumor volume responses to OCT LAR.
Sebastian JCMM Neggers, Vyacheslav Pronin, Inga Balcere, Moon-Kyu Lee, Liudmila Rozhinskaya, Marcello D Bronstein, Mônica R Gadelha, Pascal Maisonobe, Caroline Sert, Aart Jan van der Lely and on behalf of the LEAD Study Group
To evaluate extended dosing intervals (EDIs) with lanreotide Autogel 120 mg in patients with acromegaly previously biochemically controlled with octreotide LAR 10 or 20 mg.
Design and methods
Patients with acromegaly had received octreotide LAR 10 or 20 mg/4 weeks for ≥6 months and had normal IGF1 levels. Lanreotide Autogel 120 mg was administered every 6 weeks for 24 weeks (phase 1); depending on week-24 IGF1 levels, treatment was then administered every 4, 6 or 8 weeks for a further 24 weeks (phase 2). Hormone levels, patient-reported outcomes and adverse events were assessed. Primary endpoint: proportion of patients on 6- or 8-week EDIs with normal IGF1 levels at week 48 (study end).
107/124 patients completed the study (15 withdrew from phase 1 and two from phase 2). Of 124 patients enrolled, 77.4% were allocated to 6- or 8-week EDIs in phase 2 and 75.8% (95% CI: 68.3–83.3) had normal IGF1 levels at week 48 with the EDI (primary analysis). A total of 88.7% (83.1–94.3) had normal IGF1 levels after 24 weeks with 6-weekly dosing. GH levels were ≤2.5 μg/l in >90% of patients after 24 and 48 weeks. Patient preferences for lanreotide Autogel 120 mg every 4, 6 or 8 weeks over octreotide LAR every 4 weeks were high.
Patients with acromegaly achieving biochemical control with octreotide LAR 10 or 20 mg/4 weeks are possible candidates for lanreotide Autogel 120 mg EDIs. EDIs are effective and well received among such patients.
Luis G Pérez-Rivas, Marily Theodoropoulou, Troy H Puar, Julia Fazel, Mareike R Stieg, Francesco Ferraù, Guillaume Assié, Monica R Gadelha, Timo Deutschbein, Maria C Fragoso, Benno Kusters, Wolfgang Saeger, Jürgen Honegger, Michael Buchfelder, Márta Korbonits, Jérôme Bertherat, Günter K Stalla, Ad R Hermus, Felix Beuschlein and Martin Reincke
Somatic mutations in the ubiquitin-specific protease 8 (USP8) gene are frequent in corticotroph tumors causing Cushing’s disease (CD). Corticotroph tumor progression, the so-called Nelson’s syndrome (NS), is a potentially life-threatening complication of bilateral adrenalectomy in patients with refractory CD that is caused by the development of an ACTH-secreting tumor of the pituitary gland. Whether USP8 alterations are also present in progressive Nelson’s tumors has not been studied in detail so far.
Design and Methods
Retrospective, multicenter study involving tumors from 33 patients with progressive corticotroph tumors (29 females) and screening for somatic mutations on the mutational hotspot of the USP8 gene in the exon 14 with Sanger sequencing.
Fifteen out of 33 tumors (45%) presented with a mutation in the exon 14 of USP8, with c.2159C>A (p.Pro720Gln) being the most frequent (9/33), followed by c.2155_2157delTCC (p.Ser718del, 4/33) and c.2152T>C (p.Ser718Pro, 2/33). This prevalence is similar to that previously reported for CD. Mutations were found exclusively in females. Other variables, such as age at diagnosis with NS, body mass index, hyperpigmentation, visual field defects, adenoma size or mortality, did not significantly differ between patients with wild-type and mutant tumors. Patients with USP8 mutant tumors exhibited higher levels of plasma ACTH after surgery (median: 640 vs 112 pg/mL, P = 0.03). No differences were observed in ACTH normalization (<50 pg/mL) and tumor control after surgery for Nelson’s tumor.
Somatic mutations in USP8 are common in Nelson’s tumors, indicating that they do not drive the corticotroph tumor progression that leads to NS, and may be associated with a less favorable biochemical outcome after surgery for Nelson’s tumor.