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Sonia Moretti, Elisa Menicali, Nicole Nucci, Martina Guzzetti, Silvia Morelli, and Efisio Puxeddu

Immunotherapy has arisen in use in the field of oncology with seven immune checkpoint inhibitors approved for the treatment of a variety of cancer histologies. Depending on the cancer type, the success rate might be different, but in average it is about 20%, with some cases showing a durable response, lasting also after the interruption of the treatment, with a clear benefit on OS. The development of an efficacious cure for advanced thyroid carcinomas is still an unmet need and immunotherapy represents an interesting alternative option also for this cancer. However, very few clinical trials have been accomplished and very few studies exploring a way to overcome resistance have been performed. In this review, we will summarize the mechanisms of immune escape, with a special reference to follicular-derived thyroid carcinoma. Furthermore, we will try to speculate on the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of follicular-derived advanced thyroid carcinoma. Finally, we will summarize the ongoing clinical trials and the future directions of the field.

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Benedetta Masserini, Valentina Morelli, Silvia Bergamaschi, Federica Ermetici, Cristina Eller-Vainicher, Anna Maria Barbieri, Maria Antonia Maffini, Alfredo Scillitani, Bruno Ambrosi, Paolo Beck-Peccoz, and Iacopo Chiodini

Objective

The criteria for defining subclinical hypercortisolism (SH) are debated and a real gold standard test or combination of tests is lacking. Recently, late-night salivary cortisol (MSC) has been described as a sensitive and easy-to-perform marker for diagnosing overt hypercortisolism. No data are available on the role of MSC in the diagnosis of SH. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of MSC levels in the diagnosis of SH in patients with adrenal incidentalomas (AI).

Methods

In 103 (females/males, 69/34) patients with AI, MSC levels were studied. One milligram overnight dexamethasone suppression test (DST), urinary-free cortisol (UFC), and ACTH plasma levels were also evaluated. Patients were defined as affected by SH if they showed two of the following criteria: DST>83 nmol/l, ACTH <2.2 pmol/l, and UFC >193 nmol/24 h.

Results

No difference in MSC levels in patients with SH (3.1±3.1 nmol/l) compared with patients without SH (2.2±2.8 nmol/l) was observed. In patients with SH, MSC levels were significantly correlated with DST (r=0.4, P<0.05). Using the cut-off of 5.1 nmol/l, the sensitivity and specificity of MSC levels for diagnosis of SH is 22.7 and 87.7% respectively.

Conclusion

In patients with AI, normal levels of MSC do not exclude SH, whereas high levels may suggest the presence of SH identified by conventional tests. Thus, MSC is not suitable as a screening test, although it may be used in conjunction with other tests as the confirming test in selected patients.

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Annalisa Brozzetti, Stefania Marzotti, Daria La Torre, Maria Luisa Bacosi, Silvia Morelli, Vittorio Bini, Bruno Ambrosi, Roberta Giordano, Roberto Perniola, Annamaria De Bellis, Corrado Betterle, and Alberto Falorni

Objective

Steroid-producing cell autoantibodies (SCAs) directed against 21-hydroxylase autoantibodies (21OHAbs), 17α-hydroxylase autoantibodies (17OHAb), and cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (side-chain cleavage autoantibodies, P450sccAb) characterize autoimmune primary ovarian insufficiency (SCA-POI). The aim of the study was to analyze IgG subclass specificity of autoantibodies related to adrenal and ovarian autoimmunity.

Design

We studied 29 women with SCA-POI, 30 women with autoimmune Addison's disease (AAD) without POI, and 14 patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS1). 21OHAb isotypes were also analyzed in 14 subjects with preclinical AAD. Samples from 30 healthy women served as control group to determine the upper level of normality in the isotype assays.

Methods

Immunoradiometric assays with IgG subclass-specific secondary antibodies.

Results

In 21OHAb-positive sera, IgG1 isotype was detected in 90% SCA-POI and non-POI AAD sera and 67% APS1 patients. IgG1 isotype was found in 69% 17OHAb-positive SCA-POI and 100% 17OHAb-positive APS1 sera, and in 60% P450sccAb-positive SCA-POI and 80% P450sccAb-positive APS1 sera. For 21OHAb, IgG4 isotype was detected in 17% SCA-POI, 7% non-POI AAD, and 8% APS1 sera. None of the 17OHAb-positive sera was positive for IgG4. In P450sccAb-positive sera, 15% POI and 20% APS1 sera were positive for IgG4. Two 21OHAb-positive SCA-POI (7%), one 21OHAb-positive AAD (3%), three P450sccAb-positive SCA-POI (15%), and two P450sccAb-positive APS1 (20%) sera were positive for IgG4, in the absence of IgG1. All preclinical AAD sera resulted as positive for IgG1-21OHAb, but not for IgG4-21OHAb.

Conclusions

The autoantibody responses in POI and AAD are IgG1 dominated, which suggests a predominant Th1 response. Selective IgG4 isotype specificity identified a small subset of patients with Th2-oriented response.

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Joakim Crona, Eric Baudin, Massimo Terzolo, Alexandra Chrisoulidou, Anna Angelousi, Cristina L Ronchi, Cristina Lamas Oliveira, Els J M Nieveen van Dijkum, Filippo Ceccato, Françoise Borson-Chazot, Giuseppe Reimondo, Guido A M Tiberi, Hester Ettaieb, Andreas Kiriakopoulos, Letizia Canu, Darko Kastelan, Esthr Osher, Eugenia Yiannakopoulou, Giorgio Arnaldi, Guillaume Assié, Isabel Paiva, Isabelle Bourdeau, John Newell-Price, Karolina M Nowak, M Tous Romero, Maria Cristina De Martino, Maria João Bugalho, Mark Sherlock, Marie-Christine Vantyghem, Michael Conall Dennedy, Paula Loli, Patrice Rodien, Richard Feelders, Ronald de Krijger, Sam Van Slycke, Simon Aylwin, Valentina Morelli, Laurent Vroonen, Zulfiya Shafigullina, Irina Bancos, Małgorzata Trofimiuk-Müldner, Marcus Quinkler, Michaela Luconi, Matthias Kroiss, Mitsuhide Naruse, Peter Igaz, Radu Mihai, Silvia Della Casa, Alfredo Berruti, Martin Fassnacht, and Felix Beuschlein

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is an orphan disease lacking effective systemic treatment options. The low incidence of the disease and high cost of clinical trials are major obstacles in the search for improved treatment strategies. As a novel approach, registry-based clinical trials have been introduced in clinical research, so allowing for significant cost reduction, but without compromising scientific benefit. Herein, we describe how the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours (ENSAT) could transform its current registry into one fit for a clinical trial infrastructure. The rationale to perform randomized registry-based trials in ACC is outlined including an analysis of relevant limitations and challenges. We summarize a survey on this concept among ENSAT members who expressed a strong interest in the concept and rated its scientific potential as high. Legal aspects, including ethical approval of registry-based randomization were identified as potential obstacles. Finally, we describe three potential randomized registry-based clinical trials in an adjuvant setting and for advanced disease with a high potential to be executed within the framework of an advanced ENSAT registry. Thus we, therefore, provide the basis for future registry-based trials for ACC patients. This could ultimately provide proof-of-principle of how to perform more effective randomized trials for an orphan disease.