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Jiaqiang Xiong, Liru Xue, Ya Li, Weicheng Tang, Dan Chen, Jinjin Zhang, Jun Dai, Su Zhou, Zhiyong Lu, Meng Wu, and Shixuan Wang

Fertility and ovarian protection against chemotherapy-associated ovarian damage has formed a new field called oncofertility, which is driven by the pursuit of fertility protection as well as good life quality for numerous female cancer survivors. However, the choice of fertility and ovarian protection method is a difficult problem during chemotherapy and there is no uniform guideline at present. To alleviate ovarian toxicity caused by anticancer drugs, effective methods combined with an individualized treatment plan that integrates an optimal strategy for preserving and restoring reproductive function should be offered from well-established to experimental stages before, during, and after chemotherapy. Although embryo, oocyte, and ovarian tissue cryopreservation are the major methods that have been proven effective and feasible for fertility protection, they are also subject to many limitations. Therefore, this paper mainly discusses the future potential methods and corresponding mechanisms for fertility protection in chemotherapy-associated ovarian damage.

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Yanli Li, Ying Peng, Xiuli Jiang, Yulong Cheng, Weiwei Zhou, Tingwei Su, Jing Xie, Xu Zhong, Dalong Song, Luming Wu, Liwen Fan, Min Li, Jie Hong, Weiqing Wang, Guang Ning, and Yanan Cao

Objective

Thymic neuroendocrine tumor is the second-most prevalent cause of ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) syndrome (EAS), which is a rare disease characterized by ectopic ACTH oversecretion from nonpituitary tumors. However, the genetic abnormalities of thymic neuroendocrine tumors with EAS remain largely unknown. We aim to elucidate the genetic abnormalities and identify the somatic mutations of potential tumor-related genes of thymic neuroendocrine tumors with EAS by whole exome sequencing.

Design and methods

Nine patients with thymic neuroendocrine tumors with EAS who were diagnosed at Shanghai Clinical Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases in Ruijin Hospital between 2002 and 2014 were enrolled. We performed whole exome sequencing on the DNA obtained from thymic neuroendocrine tumors and matched peripheral blood using the Hiseq2000 platform.

Results

We identified a total of 137 somatic mutations (median of 15.2 per tumor; range, 1–24) with 129 single-nucleotide mutations (SNVs). The predominant substitution in these mutations was C:G > T:A transition. Approximately 80% of detected mutations resulted in amino acid changes. However, we failed to discover any recurrent mutations in these nine patients. By functional predictions, HRAS, PAK1 and MEN1, previously reported in neuroendocrine tumors, were identified as candidate tumor-related genes associated with thymic neuroendocrine tumors.

Conclusions

Using whole exome sequencing, we identified genetic abnormalities in thymic neuroendocrine tumors with EAS. Thereby, this study acts as a further supplement of the genetic features of neuroendocrine tumors. Somatic mutations of three potential tumor-related genes (HRAS, PAK1 and MEN1) might contribute to the tumorigenesis of thymic neuroendocrine tumors with EAS.