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L Nguyen, P Niccoli-Sire, P Caron, D Bastie, B Maes, G Chabrier, O Chabre, V Rohmer, P Lecomte, JF Henry and B Conte-Devolx

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this prospective study is to update our knowledge of the chronology of pheochromocytoma occurrence in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2), and to better manage MEN 2 patients after the genetic diagnosis. DESIGN: Eighty-seven non-index gene carrier MEN 2 patients were included in this prospective study: 84 patients with MEN 2A (from 52 families) and 3 with MEN 2B (from 3 families). METHODS: Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) was diagnosed by measuring plasma calcitonin in basal conditions or after pentagastrin stimulation. The search for pheochromocytoma consisted of clinical evaluation, 24 h determination of urinary catecholamines and adrenal imaging. The mean age at genetic diagnosis of MEN 2 was 14.0+/-7.0 years, the mean duration for the follow-up was 7.6+/-2.8 years. RESULTS: All 87 patients had a MTC detected at the same time as the genetic diagnosis was made. Urinary catecholamine measurements led to the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma and a combination of imaging techniques enabled the correct localization of both unilateral or bilateral adrenal involvement. Pheochromocytoma was detected simultaneously with MTC in only seven patients, and seven others were detected throughout the follow-up. Of the 14 patients with pheochromocytoma, 11 had bilateral involvement: nine were initially bilateral and two became so during follow-up. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that in MEN 2, MTC is the lesion which appears earliest. Pheochromocytoma develops later during the evolution of the disease, and necessitates regular clinical and biological monitoring throughout follow-up. Determination of urinary and/or plasma catecholamines and metanephrines should be performed to detect pheochromocytoma. Imaging techniques lead to the detection of both unilateral and bilateral pheochromocytoma, thus making video-assisted laparoscopic adrenalectomy possible.

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P Goudet, C Bonithon-Kopp, A Murat, P Ruszniewski, P Niccoli, F Ménégaux, G Chabrier, F Borson-Chazot, A Tabarin, P Bouchard, G Cadiot, A Beckers, I Guilhem, O Chabre, P Caron, H Du Boullay, B Verges and C Cardot-Bauters

Context

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) disease is an autosomal dominant syndrome that is believed to equally affect men and women. This assumption has never been confirmed.

Objective

The aims of this study were to evaluate the impact of gender on the prevalence of MEN1 lesions, on their lifetime probability of occurrence, and on the diagnosis of MEN1.

Design

Data regarding a study of 734 cases of MEN1 from the multicenter ‘Groupe d'étude des Tumeurs Endocrines’ were analyzed.

Results

There were 57.8% females. The prevalence and probability of pancreatic tumors were higher in males than in females (P=0.06, P=0.0004). This difference was due to gastrinomas. The prevalence and probability of developing pituitary tumors were significantly greater in females (P<0.001, P<0.0001). Thymic tumors were exclusively found in men. There were no significant gender differences in the prevalence and the probability of developing hyperparathyroidism, or adrenal and bronchial tumors, or in the proportion of positive genetic tests. A family history of MEN1 was more frequently found in men than in women at the time of diagnosis (P=0.02). In the case of pituitary tumor, the proportion of patients diagnosed with MEN1 at the time of the first lesion was lower in women (44.2%) than in men (67.3%).

Conclusion

The phenotype expression of the MEN1 disease gene was different in males and females. In female patients, the possibility of MEN1 is not sufficiently taken into account. Any patient presenting a lesion that belongs to the MEN1 spectrum, such as a pituitary tumor, should be closely questioned about their family history and should be tested for hypercalcemia.

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P Niccoli-Sire, A Murat, E Baudin, JF Henry, C Proye, JC Bigorgne, B Bstandig, E Modigliani, S Morange, M Schlumberger and B Conte-Devolx

BACKGROUND: Once genetic testing accurately identifies MEN 2 gene carriers, affected children are given the opportunity to undergo thyroidectomy at the earliest stages of the C-cell disease. OBJECTIVE: To define reliable parameters by which to identify the best moment for thyroidectomy in patients who are carriers of the MEN 2 gene. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventy-one MEN 2/FMTC gene carriers, collected through the national register of the French Calcitonin Tumours Study Group, were evaluated. All the patients included were younger than 20 years of age and underwent total thyroidectomy. Basal and pentagastrin-stimulated calcitonin were assayed using an immunoradiometric method (sensitivity less than 2pg/ml). Calcitonin measurement was evaluated on the basis of histopathological findings in surgical thyroid specimens. RESULTS: We found C-cell hyperplasia or medullary thyroid carcinoma in all the 71 gene carriers - even for the youngest patients - and nodal metastases were present in four cases. Calcitonin measurement (basal or pentagastrin-stimulated) detected C-cell disease preoperatively in all patients. Six of the 71 patients were not surgically cured: one had nodal metastases, one had an advanced staged disease and four had an incomplete nodal dissection or had not undergone lymph node surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Determination of calcitonin forms an integral part of the management of MEN 2 gene carriers. Thyroidectomy is undisputably indicated when basal calcitonin is abnormal. When basal calcitonin is undetectable, a pentagastrin-stimulated increase in calcitonin to more than 10 pg/ml indicates an early thyroidectomy to cure the patient.

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L Leenhardt, MO Bernier, MH Boin-Pineau, B Conte Devolx, R Marechaud, P Niccoli-Sire, M Nocaudie, J Orgiazzi, M Schlumberger, JL Wemeau, L Cherie-Challine and F De Vathaire

OBJECTIVE: To analyse trends in diagnostic practices of thyroid diseases and to relate them to the increase in thyroid cancer incidence in France over time. DESIGN: From 1980 to 2000, a French retrospective multicentric (three endocrinology and three nuclear medicine centres) study of thyroid diseases was conducted on 20 consecutive unselected patients' records, sampled every 5 years in each centre. METHODS: Characteristics of the population and diagnosis procedures (thyroid ultrasonography (US), radionuclide scan, cytology and hormonal measurements) were described over time. Changing trends in operated patients and in cancer prevalence were analysed as well as the impact of practices on cancer incidence. RESULTS: The study included 471 patients (82% female, mean age 46.7, range 9-84 years), referred for nodular thyroid diseases (66.7%) or thyroid dysfunctions (33.3%). A significant increase in US (3 to 84.8%) and cytological practices (4.5 to 23%), and a decrease (89.4 to 49.6%) in radionuclide scan procedures were observed over time. Although the proportion of patients undergoing surgery remained constant (24.8%), the prevalence of cancer increased among operated patients from 12.5 to 37% (P=0.006). In a Cox's proportional hazard model stratified on the clinical characteristics of patients, only the cytological practice, regardless of its results, was significantly associated with the occurrence of cancer: relative risk (RR)=4.4 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1-16; P=0.04). CONCLUSIONS: From 1980 to 2000, a major evolution in clinical practices has led to the increase in thyroid cancer reported in France. Such changes in medical, as well as in surgical and pathological, practices must be taken into account in incidence measurement.

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B Gatta-Cherifi, O Chabre, A Murat, P Niccoli, C Cardot-Bauters, V Rohmer, J Young, B Delemer, H Du Boullay, M F Verger, J M Kuhn, J L Sadoul, Ph Ruszniewski, A Beckers, M Monsaingeon, E Baudin, P Goudet and A Tabarin

Objective

Limited data regarding adrenal involvement in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is available. We describe the characteristics of MEN1-associated adrenal lesions in a large cohort to provide a rationale for their management.

Methods

Analysis of records from 715 MEN1 patients from a multicentre database between 1956 and 2008. Adrenal lesions were compared with those from a multicentre cohort of 144 patients with adrenal sporadic incidentalomas.

Results

Adrenal enlargement was reported in 20.4% (146/715) of patients. Adrenal tumours (>10 mm in size) accounted for 58.1% of these cases (10.1% of the whole patient cohort). Tumours were bilateral and >40 mm in size in 12.5 and 19.4% of cases respectively. Hormonal hypersecretion was restricted to patients with tumours and occurred in 15.3% of them. Compared with incidentalomas, MEN1-related tumours exhibited more cases of primary hyperaldosteronism, fewer pheochromocytomas and more adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs; 13.8 vs 1.3%). Ten ACCs occurred in eight patients. Interestingly, ACCs occurred after several years of follow-up of small adrenal tumours in two of the eight affected patients. Nine of the ten ACCs were classified as stage I or II according to the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors. No evident genotype/phenotype correlation was found for the occurrence of adrenal lesions, endocrine hypersecretion or ACC.

Conclusions

Adrenal pathology in MEN1 differs from that observed in sporadic incidentalomas. In the absence of relevant symptoms, endocrine biology can be restricted to patients with adrenal tumours and should focus on steroid secretion including the aldosterone–renin system. MEN1 is a high-risk condition for the occurrence of ACCs. It should be considered regardless of the size of the tumour.

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J Thevenon, A Bourredjem, L Faivre, C Cardot-Bauters, A Calender, M Le Bras, S Giraud, P Niccoli, M F Odou, F Borson-Chazot, A Barlier, C Lombard-Bohas, E Clauser, A Tabarin, E Pasmant, O Chabre, E Castermans, P Ruszniewski, J Bertherat, B Delemer, S Christin-Maitre, A Beckers, I Guilhem, V Rohmer, B Goichot, P Caron, E Baudin, P Chanson, L Groussin, H Du Boullay, G Weryha, P Lecomte, F Schillo, H Bihan, F Archambeaud, V Kerlan, N Bourcigaux, J M Kuhn, B Vergès, M Rodier, M Renard, J L Sadoul, C Binquet and P Goudet

Background

MEN1, which is secondary to the mutation of the MEN1 gene, is a rare autosomal-dominant disease that predisposes mutation carriers to endocrine tumors. Most studies demonstrated the absence of direct genotype-phenotype correlations. The existence of a higher risk of death in the Groupe d'étude des Tumeurs Endocrines-cohort associated with a mutation in the JunD interacting domain suggests heterogeneity across families in disease expressivity. This study aims to assess the existence of modifying genetic factors by estimating the intrafamilial correlations and heritability of the six main tumor types in MEN1.

Methods

The study included 797 patients from 265 kindred and studied seven phenotypic criteria: parathyroid and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and pituitary, adrenal, bronchial, and thymic (thNET) tumors and the presence of metastasis. Intrafamilial correlations and heritability estimates were calculated from family tree data using specific validated statistical analysis software.

Results

Intrafamilial correlations were significant and decreased along parental degrees distance for pituitary, adrenal and thNETs. The heritability of these three tumor types was consistently strong and significant with 64% (s.e.m.=0.13; P<0.001) for pituitary tumor, 65% (s.e.m.=0.21; P<0.001) for adrenal tumors, and 97% (s.e.m.=0.41; P=0.006) for thNETs.

Conclusion

The present study shows the existence of modifying genetic factors for thymus, adrenal, and pituitary MEN1 tumor types. The identification of at-risk subgroups of individuals within cohorts is the first step toward personalization of care. Next generation sequencing on this subset of tumors will help identify the molecular basis of MEN1 variable genetic expressivity.

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Jacques Young, Jérôme Bertherat, Marie Christine Vantyghem, Olivier Chabre, Salima Senoussi, Rita Chadarevian, Frédéric Castinetti and the Compassionalte use Programme

Objective

Ketoconazole (KTZ) is one of few available treatments for Cushing’s syndrome (CS). Although KTZ has been associated with severe hepatotoxicity, little information is available about hepatic safety in CS. The aim of this study was to document changes in liver function in patients with CS treated with KTZ.

Design

An observational prospective French cohort study (Compassionate Use Programme (CUP)).

Methods

Enrolled patients were stratified into a KTZ-naive cohort and a cohort already treated by another formulation of ketoconazole (KTZ-switch cohort). Liver function markers (alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyltransferase and bilirubin) were monitored at regular intervals. Patients with ALT > 3 × ULN (upper limit of normal), total bilirubin > 2 × ULN or both ALP > 2 × ULN and ALT > ULN were considered to have liver injury.

Results

Overall, 108 patients were analysed (47 KTZ-naïve; 61 KTZ-switch). The median KTZ dose was 600 mg/day. Most abnormalities observed were asymptomatic mild increases of liver enzymes. Four patients in the KTZ-naïve cohort (8.5%) and two in the KTZ-switch cohort (3.3%) developed liver injury, considered related to KTZ in three cases (all KTZ-naïve in the first month of treatment). Five patients had mild liver function abnormalities at baseline and two had proven liver metastases. Two patients recovered on discontinuation of KTZ and the remaining patient died of unrelated causes.

Conclusions

These findings highlight the need for close monitoring of liver enzymes especially during the first six months of treatment. Liver enzyme abnormalities usually occurred within four weeks were asymptomatic and could be reversed on timely discontinuation of KTZ.