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Thomas G Papathomas, Jose Gaal, Eleonora P M Corssmit, Lindsey Oudijk, Esther Korpershoek, Ketil Heimdal, Jean-Pierre Bayley, Hans Morreau, Marieke van Dooren, Konstantinos Papaspyrou, Thomas Schreiner, Torsten Hansen, Per Arne Andresen, David F Restuccia, Ingrid van Kessel, Geert J L H van Leenders, Johan M Kros, Leendert H J Looijenga, Leo J Hofland, Wolf Mann, Francien H van Nederveen, Ozgur Mete, Sylvia L Asa, Ronald R de Krijger, and Winand N M Dinjens


Although the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH)-related tumor spectrum has been recently expanded, there are only rare reports of non-pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma tumors in SDHx-mutated patients. Therefore, questions still remain unresolved concerning the aforementioned tumors with regard to their pathogenesis, clinicopathological phenotype, and even causal relatedness to SDHx mutations. Absence of SDHB expression in tumors derived from tissues susceptible to SDH deficiency is not fully elucidated.

Design and methods

Three unrelated SDHD patients, two with pituitary adenoma (PA) and one with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), and three SDHB patients affected by renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) were identified from four European centers. SDHA/SDHB immunohistochemistry (IHC), SDHx mutation analysis, and loss of heterozygosity analysis of the involved SDHx gene were performed on all tumors. A cohort of 348 tumors of unknown SDHx mutational status, including renal tumors, PTCs, PAs, neuroblastic tumors, seminomas, and adenomatoid tumors, was investigated by SDHB IHC.


Of the six index patients, all RCCs and one PA displayed SDHB immunonegativity in contrast to the other PA and PTC. All immunonegative tumors demonstrated loss of the WT allele, indicating bi-allelic inactivation of the germline mutated gene. Of 348 tumors, one clear cell RCC exhibited partial loss of SDHB expression.


These findings strengthen the etiological association of SDHx genes with pituitary neoplasia and provide evidence against a link between PTC and SDHx mutations. Somatic deletions seem to constitute the second hit in SDHB-related renal neoplasia, while SDH x alterations do not appear to be primary drivers in sporadic tumorigenesis from tissues affected by SDH deficiency.

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Nicolasine D Niemeijer, Johannes A Rijken, Karin Eijkelenkamp, Anouk N A van der Horst-Schrivers, Michiel N Kerstens, Carli M J Tops, Anouk van Berkel, Henri J L M Timmers, Henricus P M Kunst, C René Leemans, Peter H Bisschop, Koen M A Dreijerink, Marieke F van Dooren, Jean-Pierre Bayley, Alberto M Pereira, Jeroen C Jansen, Frederik J Hes, Erik F Hensen, and Eleonora P M Corssmit


Succinate dehydrogenase B subunit (SDHB) gene germline mutations predispose to pheochromocytomas, sympathetic paragangliomas, head and neck paragangliomas and non-paraganglionic tumors (e.g. renal cell carcinoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumor and pituitary neoplasia). The aim of this study was to determine phenotypical characteristics of a large Dutch cohort of SDHB germline mutation carriers and assess differences in clinical phenotypes related to specific SDHB mutations.


Retrospective descriptive study.


Retrospective descriptive study in seven academic centers.


We included 194 SDHB mutation carriers consisting 65 (33.5%) index patients and 129 (66.5%) relatives. Mean age was 44.8 ± 16.0 years. Median duration of follow-up was 2.6 years (range: 0–36). Sixty persons (30.9%) carried the exon 3 deletion and 46 (23.7%) the c.423 + 1G > A mutation. Fifty-four mutation carriers (27.8%) had one or multiple head and neck paragangliomas, 4 (2.1%) had a pheochromocytoma and 26 (13.4%) had one or more sympathetic paragangliomas. Fifteen patients (7.7%) developed metastatic paraganglioma and 17 (8.8%) developed non-paraganglionic tumors. At study close, there were 111 (57.2%) unaffected mutation carriers. Statistical analyses showed no significant differences in the number and location of head and neck paragangliomas, sympathetic paragangliomas or pheochromocytomas, nor in the occurrence of metastatic disease or other tumors between carriers of the two founder SDHB mutations (exon 3 deletion vs c.423+ 1G > A).


In this nationwide study of disease-affected and unaffected SDHB mutation carriers, we observed a lower rate of metastatic disease and a relatively high number of head and neck paragangliomas compared with previously reported referral-based cohorts.