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Aimee J Varewijck, Steven W J Lamberts, A J van der Lely, Sebastian J C M M Neggers, Leo J Hofland and Joseph A M J L Janssen

Context

Previously we demonstrated that IGF1 receptor stimulating activity (IGF1RSA) offers advantages in diagnostic evaluation of adult GH deficiency (GHD). It is unknown whether IGF1RSA can be used to monitor GH therapy.

Objective

To investigate the value of circulating IGF1RSA for monitoring GH therapy.

Design/methods

106 patients (54 m; 52 f) diagnosed with GHD were included; 22 were GH-naïve, 84 were already on GH treatment and discontinued therapy 4 weeks before baseline values were established. IGF1RSA was determined by the IGF1R kinase receptor activating assay, total IGF1 by immunoassay (Immulite). GH doses were titrated to achieve total IGF1 levels within the normal range.

Results

After 12 months, total IGF1 and IGF1RSA increased significantly (total IGF1 from 8.1 (95% CI 7.3–8.9) to 14.9 (95% CI 13.5–16.4) nmol/l and IGF1RSA from 115 (95% CI 104–127) to 181 (95% CI 162–202) pmol/l). After 12 months, total IGF1 normalized in 81% of patients, IGF1RSA in 51% and remained below normal in more than 40% of patients in whom total IGF1 had normalized.

Conclusions

During 12 months of GH treatment, changes in IGF1RSA did not parallel changes in total IGF1. Despite normalization of total IGF1, IGF1RSA remained subnormal in a considerable proportion of patients. At present our results have no short-term consequences for GH therapy of GHD patients. However, based on our findings we propose future studies to examine whether titrating GH dose against IGF1RSA results in a better clinical outcome than titrating against total IGF1.

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Ammar Muhammad, Eva C Coopmans, Patric J D Delhanty, Alof H G Dallenga, Iain K Haitsma, Joseph A M J L Janssen, Aart J van der Lely and Sebastian J C M M Neggers

Objective

To assess the efficacy and safety after 48 weeks of treatment with pasireotide long-acting-release (PAS-LAR) alone or in combination with pegvisomant in patients with acromegaly. In addition, we assessed the relation between insulin secretion and pasireotide-induced hyperglycemia.

Design

The PAPE extension study is a prospective follow-up study until 48 weeks after the core study of 24 weeks.

Methods

Fifty-nine out of 61 patients entered the extension study. Efficacy was defined as the percentage of patients achieving IGF-I normalization (≤1.2× the upper limit of normal (ULN)) at 48 weeks through protocol-based adjustment of pegvisomant and PAS-LAR doses. At baseline, insulin secretion was assessed by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

Results

At the end of the study, median IGF-I was 0.98× ULN, and 77% of patients achieved normal IGF-I levels with a mean pegvisomant dose of 64 mg/week, and an overall cumulative pegvisomant dose reduction of 52%. Frequency of diabetes mellitus increased from 68% at 24 weeks to 77% at 48 weeks, and nine patients discontinued PAS-LAR treatment, mainly because of severe hyperglycemia. Pasireotide-induced hyperglycemia was inversely correlated with baseline insulin secretion (r = −0.37, P < 0.005).

Conclusions

PAS-LAR normalizes IGF-I levels in most acromegaly patients, with a 50% pegvisomant-sparing effect. However, PAS-LAR treatment coincided with a high incidence of diabetes mellitus. The risk for developing diabetes during PAS-LAR treatment seems inversely related to insulin secretion at baseline.

Free access

Federico Gatto, Nienke R Biermasz, Richard A Feelders, Johan M Kros, Fadime Dogan, Aart-Jan van der Lely, Sebastian J C M M Neggers, Steven W J Lamberts, Alberto M Pereira, Diego Ferone and Leo J Hofland

Abstract

Objective

The high expression of somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SSTR2 also known as sst2) usually present in growth hormone (GH)-secreting adenomas is the rationale for therapy with somatostatin analogs (SSAs) in acromegaly. Although SSTR2 expression is a good predictor for biochemical response to SSA treatment, we still face tumors resistant to SSAs despite high SSTR2 expression. Recently, beta-arrestins (β-arrestins) have been highlighted as key players in the regulation of SSTR2 function.

Design

To investigate whether β-arrestins might be useful predictors of responsiveness to long-term SSA treatment in acromegaly, we retrospectively evaluated 35 patients with acromegaly who underwent adenomectomy in two referral centers in The Netherlands.

Methods

β-arrestin mRNA levels were evaluated in adenoma samples, together with SSTR2 (and SSTR5) mRNA and protein expression. Biochemical response to long-term SSA treatment (median 12 months) was assessed in 32 patients.

Results

β-arrestin 1 and 2 mRNA was significantly lower in adenoma tissues from patients who achieved insulin-like growth factor 1 normalization (P = 0.024 and P = 0.047) and complete biochemical control (P = 0.047 and P = 0.039). The SSTR2 mRNA was higher in SSA responder patients compared with the resistant ones (P = 0.026). This difference was more evident when analyzing the SSTR2/β-arrestin 1 and SSTR2/β-arrestin 2 ratio (P = 0.011 and P = 0.010). β-arrestin 1 and 2 expression showed a significant trend of higher median values from full responders, partial responders to resistant patients (P = 0.045 and P = 0.021, respectively). Interestingly, SSTR2 protein expression showed a strong inverse correlation with both β-arrestin 1 and 2 mRNA (ρ = –0.69, P = 0.0011 and ρ = –0.67, P = 0.0016).

Conclusions

Low β-arrestin expression and high SSTR2/β-arrestin ratio correlate with the responsiveness to long-term treatment with SSAs in patients with acromegaly.

Free access

Mark Wijnen, Daniel S Olsson, Marry M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Casper Hammarstrand, Joseph A M J L Janssen, Aart J van der Lely, Gudmundur Johannsson and Sebastian J C M M Neggers

Objective

Most studies in patients with craniopharyngioma did not investigate morbidity and mortality relative to the general population nor evaluated risk factors for excess morbidity and mortality. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine excess morbidity and mortality, as well as their determinants in patients with craniopharyngioma.

Design

Hospital-based retrospective cohort study conducted between 1987 and 2014.

Methods

We included 144 Dutch and 80 Swedish patients with craniopharyngioma identified by a computer-based search in the medical records (105 females (47%), 112 patients with childhood-onset craniopharyngioma (50%), 3153 person-years of follow-up). Excess morbidity and mortality were analysed using standardized incidence and mortality ratios (SIRs and SMRs). Risk factors were evaluated univariably by comparing SIRs and SMRs between non-overlapping subgroups.

Results

Patients with craniopharyngioma experienced excess morbidity due to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (SIR: 4.4, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.8–6.8) and cerebral infarction (SIR: 4.9, 95% CI: 3.1–8.0) compared to the general population. Risks for malignant neoplasms, myocardial infarctions and fractures were not increased. Patients with craniopharyngioma also had excessive total mortality (SMR: 2.7, 95% CI: 2.0–3.8), and mortality due to circulatory (SMR: 2.3, 95% CI: 1.1–4.5) and respiratory (SMR: 6.0, 95% CI: 2.5–14.5) diseases. Female sex, childhood-onset craniopharyngioma, hydrocephalus and tumour recurrence were identified as risk factors for excess T2DM, cerebral infarction and total mortality.

Conclusions

Patients with craniopharyngioma are at an increased risk for T2DM, cerebral infarction, total mortality and mortality due to circulatory and respiratory diseases. Female sex, childhood-onset craniopharyngioma, hydrocephalus and tumour recurrence are important risk factors.

Free access

Mark Wijnen, Daniel S Olsson, Marry M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Casper Hammarstrand, Joseph A M J L Janssen, Aart-Jan van der Lely, Gudmundur Johannsson and Sebastian J C M M Neggers

Objective

Patients with craniopharyngioma are at an increased risk for cardio- and cerebrovascular mortality. The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is an important cardiometabolic risk factor, but barely studied in patients with craniopharyngioma. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of and risk factors for the MetS and its components in patients with craniopharyngioma.

Design

Cross-sectional study with retrospective data.

Methods

We studied the prevalence of and risk factors for the MetS and its components in 110 Dutch (median age 47 years, range 18–92) and 68 Swedish (median age 50 years, range 20–81) patients with craniopharyngioma with ≥3 years of follow-up (90 females (51%); 83 patients with childhood-onset craniopharyngioma (47%); median follow-up after craniopharyngioma diagnosis 16 years (range 3–62)). In Dutch patients aged 30–70 years and Swedish patients aged 45–69 years, we examined the prevalence of the MetS and its components relative to the general population.

Results

Sixty-nine (46%) of 149 patients with complete data demonstrated the MetS. Prevalence of the MetS was significantly higher in patients with craniopharyngioma compared with the general population (40% vs 26% (P < 0.05) for Dutch patients; 52% vs 15% (P < 0.05) for Swedish patients). Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified visual impairment as a borderline significant predictor of the MetS (OR 2.54, 95% CI 0.95–6.81; P = 0.06) after adjustment for glucocorticoid replacement therapy and follow-up duration. Age, female sex, tumor location, radiological hypothalamic damage, 90Yttrium brachytherapy, glucocorticoid replacement therapy and follow-up duration significantly predicted components of the MetS.

Conclusions

Patients with craniopharyngioma are at an increased risk for the MetS, especially patients with visual impairment.

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Laila Füchtbauer, Daniel S Olsson, Eva C Coopmans, Bengt-Åke Bengtsson, Lise-Lott Norrman, Sebastian J C M M Neggers, Ann Hellström and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective

Excess of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), as in acromegaly, is associated with increased risk of diabetes, but whether retinal vessels are altered is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate retinal vessel morphology in patients with acromegaly at diagnosis and after treatment and to describe the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in patients with long-standing acromegaly and diabetes.

Design

Two independent observational studies, one being prospective and the other retrospective and cross-sectional.

Methods

Retinal vessel morphology of 26 patients with acromegaly was examined at diagnosis and 1 year after treatment and compared to 13 healthy controls. Cross-sectional evaluation of 39 patients with long-standing acromegaly and diabetes was performed. Fundus photographs were digitally analyzed for vessel morphology.

Results

Patients with acromegaly had a median (interquartile range) of 34.3 (30.0–39.0) vessel branching points compared to 27.0 (24.0–29.0) for healthy controls (P < 0.001). Tortuosity of arterioles and venules remained unchanged. Vessel morphology did not change significantly after treatment. Patients with acromegaly and diabetes for a median of 14 years also had a high number of branching points (34.2 (32.5–35.6)), but the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was not higher than expected in diabetic patients without acromegaly.

Conclusions

Patients with acromegaly have an increased number of vascular branching points in the retina without an alteration of macroscopic vessel morphology. This is consistent with an angiogenic effect of GH/IGF-1 in humans. The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was not increased in patients with acromegaly and diabetes.

Free access

Mark Wijnen, Marry M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Joseph A M J L Janssen, Coriene E Catsman-Berrevoets, Erna M C Michiels, Marie-Lise C van Veelen-Vincent, Alof H G Dallenga, J Herbert van den Berge, Carolien M van Rij, Aart-Jan van der Lely and Sebastian J C M M Neggers

Objective

Studies investigating long-term health conditions in patients with craniopharyngioma are limited by short follow-up durations and generally do not compare long-term health effects according to initial craniopharyngioma treatment approach. In addition, studies comparing long-term health conditions between patients with childhood- and adult-onset craniopharyngioma report conflicting results. The objective of this study was to analyse a full spectrum of long-term health effects in patients with craniopharyngioma according to initial treatment approach and age group at craniopharyngioma presentation.

Design

Cross-sectional study based on retrospective data.

Methods

We studied a single-centre cohort of 128 patients with craniopharyngioma treated from 1980 onwards (63 patients with childhood-onset disease). Median follow-up since craniopharyngioma presentation was 13 years (interquartile range: 5–23 years). Initial craniopharyngioma treatment approaches included gross total resection (n = 25), subtotal resection without radiotherapy (n = 44), subtotal resection with radiotherapy (n = 25), cyst aspiration without radiotherapy (n = 8), and 90Yttrium brachytherapy (n = 21).

Results

Pituitary hormone deficiencies (98%), visual disturbances (75%) and obesity (56%) were the most common long-term health conditions observed. Different initial craniopharyngioma treatment approaches resulted in similar long-term health effects. Patients with childhood-onset craniopharyngioma experienced significantly more growth hormone deficiency, diabetes insipidus, panhypopituitarism, morbid obesity, epilepsy and psychiatric conditions compared with patients with adult-onset disease. Recurrence-/progression-free survival was significantly lower after initial craniopharyngioma treatment with cyst aspiration compared with other therapeutic approaches. Survival was similar between patients with childhood- and adult-onset craniopharyngioma.

Conclusions

Long-term health conditions were comparable after different initial craniopharyngioma treatment approaches and were generally more frequent in patients with childhood- compared with adult-onset disease.

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Selvetta S van Santen, Daniel S Olsson, Casper Hammarstrand, Mark Wijnen, Marry M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Aart J van der Lely, Gudmundur Johannsson, Joseph A M J L Janssen and Sebastian J C M M Neggers

Objective

Craniopharyngioma patients often have poor metabolic profiles due to hypothalamic–pituitary damage. Previously, using BMI as obesity marker, the occurrence of the metabolic syndrome in these patients was estimated at 46%. Our aim was to determine if dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan in evaluation of obesity and metabolic syndrome would be superior.

Design

Retrospective study of craniopharyngioma patients for whom DXA scan results were available.

Methods

BMI, fat percentage and fat mass index were used to evaluate obesity and as components for obesity in metabolic syndrome.

Results

Ninety-five craniopharyngioma patients were included (51% female, 49% childhood-onset disease). Metabolic syndrome occurred in 34–53 (45–51%) subjects (depending on the definition of obesity, although all definitions occurred in higher frequency than in the general population). Metabolic syndrome frequency was higher if obesity was defined by fat percentage (52 vs 42%) or fat mass index (51 vs 43%) compared to BMI. Misclassification appeared in 9% (fat percentage vs BMI) and 7% (fat mass index vs BMI) for metabolic syndrome and 29 and 13% for obesity itself, respectively. For metabolic syndrome, almost perfect agreement was found for BMI compared with fat percentage or fat mass index. For obesity, agreement was fair to moderate (BMI vs fat percentage).

Conclusion

Using BMI to evaluate obesity underestimates the true prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with craniopharyngioma. Furthermore, fat percentage contributes to a better evaluation of obesity than BMI. The contribution of DXA scan might be limited for identification of the metabolic syndrome.

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Eva C Coopmans, Sebastiaan W F van Meyel, Kay J Pieterman, Jolique A van Ipenburg, Leo J Hofland, Esther Donga, Adrian F Daly, Albert Beckers, Aart-Jan van der Lely and Sebastian J C M M Neggers

Prolactinomas are the most commonly encountered pituitary adenomas in the clinical setting. While most can be controlled by dopamine agonists, a subset of prolactinomas are dopamine-resistant and very aggressive. In such tumors, the treatment of choice is neurosurgery and radiotherapy, with or without temozolomide. Here, we report a patient with an highly aggressive, dopamine-resistant prolactinoma, who only achieved biochemical and tumor control during pasireotide long-acting release (PAS-LAR) therapy, a second-generation somatostatin receptor ligand (SRL). Interestingly, cystic degeneration, tumor cell necrosis or both was observed after PAS-LAR administration suggesting an antitumor effect. This case shows that PAS-LAR therapy holds clinical potential in selective aggressive, dopamine-resistant prolactinomas that express somatostatin (SST) receptor subtype 5 and appears to be a potential new treatment option before starting temozolomide. In addition, PAS-LAR therapy may induce cystic degeneration, tumor cell necrosis or both in prolactinomas.

Free access

Behiye Özcan, Sebastian J C M M Neggers, Anne Reifel Miller, Hsiu-Chiung Yang, Virginia Lucaites, Thierry Abribat, Soraya Allas, Martin Huisman, Jenny A Visser, Axel P N Themmen, Eric J G Sijbrands, Patric J D Delhanty and Aart Jan van der Lely