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Free access

E N Klein Hesselink, D Steenvoorden, E Kapiteijn, E P Corssmit, A N A van der Horst-Schrivers, J D Lefrandt, T P Links and O M Dekkers

Context

Many tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been studied in patients with thyroid carcinoma (TC). However, the effect and toxicity of various TKIs in differentiated TC (DTC) and medullary TC (MTC) patients have not been directly compared. The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to systematically summarize response and toxicity of TKIs in TC patients.

Methods

All major databases were systematically searched for publications on TKIs in TC. Primary endpoint was objective response; secondary endpoints were clinical benefit, percentage TKI dose reduction/discontinuation, hand–foot syndrome, diarrhea, and nausea/vomiting. Meta-analysis was performed using an exact likelihood approach and a logistic regression. Pooled percentages and 95% CIs were reported.

Results

In total, 22 publications were included. For DTC patients, gefitinib induced no objective responses. Pooled percentage was highest for pazopanib, 49 (95% CI 33–64)%, and was 17 (95% CI 12–24)% for sorafenib. For MTC, gefitinib and imatinib induced no objective responses, whereas sunitinib induced objective response in 43 (95% CI 14–77)%. For vandetanib and cabozantinib, these numbers were 40 (95% CI 34–46)% and 27 (95% CI 22–32)% respectively. Clinical benefit was found in 53 (95% CI 48–59)% of DTC patients on sorafenib, and in 84 (95% CI 79–88)% and 55 (95% CI 49–61)% of MTC patients on vandetanib and cabozantinib respectively. All TKIs were associated with considerable toxicity.

Conclusion

The currently studied TKIs show a modest response, while side effects are not negligible. Therefore, we suggest to solely consider TKIs in TC patients with rapid progressive disease, for whom the benefits of treatment outweigh toxicity.

Free access

K van der Tuin, M Ventayol Garcia, W E Corver, M N Khalifa, D Ruano Neto, E P M Corssmit, F J Hes, T P Links, J W A Smit, T S Plantinga, E Kapiteijn, T van Wezel and H Morreau

Objective

Gene alterations leading to activation of the MAPK pathway are of interest for targeted therapy in patients with advanced radioactive iodine refractory (RAI-R) thyroid carcinoma. Due to technical reasons gene fusion analysis in RNA isolated from formalin-fixed tumor tissues has till now been limited. The objective of the present study was to identify targetable gene rearrangements in RNA isolated from formalin-fixed RAI-R thyroid carcinomas.

Design

Retrospective study in 132 patients with RAI-R thyroid carcinoma (59 papillary-, 24 follicular-, 35 Hürthle cell- and 14 anaplastic thyroid carcinoma).

Methods

Total nucleic acid (undivided DNA and RNA) was isolated from formalin-fixed tissue. Extensive gene fusion analysis was performed in all samples that tested negative for pathogenic BRAF, NRAS, HRAS and KRAS variants.

Results

Seven targetable gene fusions were identified in the remaining 60 samples without known DNA variants. This includes frequently reported gene fusions such as CCDC6/RET (PTC1), PRKAR1A/RET (PTC2) and ETV6/NTRK3 , and gene fusions that are less common in thyroid cancer (TPM3/NTRK1, EML4/ALK and EML4/NTRK3). Of note, most gene fusions were detected in papillary thyroid carcinoma and MAPK-associated alterations in Hürthle cell carcinomas are rare (2/35).

Conclusion

Targetable gene fusions were found in 12% of RAI-R thyroid carcinoma without DNA variants and can be effectively identified in formalin-fixed tissue. These gene fusions might provide a preclinical rationale to include specific kinase inhibitors in the treatment regimen for these patients. The latter intends to restore iodine transport and/or take advantage of the direct effect on tumor cell vitality once progressive disease is seen.

Free access

J A A Meijer, L E H Bakker, G D Valk, W W de Herder, J H W de Wilt, R T Netea-Maier, N Schaper, E Fliers, P Lips, J T Plukker, T P Links and J A Smit

Objective

Radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is applied in some centers, based on the assumption that cross-irradiation from thyroid follicular cells may be beneficial. However, no systematic studies on the effect of RAI treatment in MTC have been performed. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of RAI treatment on survival in MTC patients.

Design

Retrospective multicenter study in eight University Medical Centers in The Netherlands.

Methods

Two hundred and ninety three MTC patients without distant metastases who had undergone a total thyroidectomy were included between 1980 and 2007. Patients were stratified by clinical appearance, hereditary stage, screening status, and localization. All patients underwent regular surgical treatment with additional RAI treatment in 61 patients. Main outcome measures were disease-free survival (DFS) and disease-specific survival (DSS). Cure was defined as biochemical and radiological absence of disease.

Results

In multivariate analysis, stratification according to clinical appearance (P=0.72), hereditary stage (P=0.96), localization (P=0.69), and screening status (P=0.31) revealed no significant effects of RAI treatment on DFS. Multivariate analysis showed no significant difference in DSS for the two groups stratified according to clinical appearance (P=0.14). Owing to limited number of events, multivariate analysis was not possible for DSS in the other groups of stratification.

Conclusions

Based on the results of the present analysis, we conclude that RAI has no place in the treatment of MTC.

Free access

Ha T T Phan, Pieter L Jager, Jacqueline E van der Wal, Wim J Sluiter, John T M Plukker, Rudi A J O Dierckx, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel and Thera P Links

Objective

This retrospective study describes the role of serum thyroglobulin (Tg) in relation to tumor characteristics in the prediction of persistent/recurrent disease in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) with negative Tg at the time of ablation.

Design

Between 1989 and 2006, 94 out of 346 (27%) patients with DTC had undetectable Tg at the time of 131I ablation and were included in this evaluation. The group of 94 patients consisted of 15 males and 79 females in the age range of 16–89 years with a median follow-up of 8 years (range 1–17). All medical records and follow-up parameters of the 94 patients were evaluated for the occurrence of persistent/recurrent disease. In patients with persistent/recurrent disease hematoxylin-eosin-stained slides of the primary tumors and/or metastatic lesions were also reviewed for histological features including immunostains for Tg.

Results

During follow-up, 8 out of 94 (8.5%) patients showed persistent/recurrent disease: in the course of the disease two patients showed Tg positivity, three showed Tg antibody (TgAb) positivity, and the other three showed persistently undetectable Tg and TgAb. Patients who developed Tg and/or TgAb positivity during follow-up had a significantly shorter disease-free survival period when compared with patients with persistently undetectable Tg and TgAb (P<0.006). Histological features were not able to predict the recurrent status.

Conclusions

Follow-up of Tg and TgAb in patients with initially negative Tg and TgAb is useful since a number of patients had shown detectable Tg or TgAb during follow-up indicative for persistent/recurrent disease. Tg and TgAb negativity at the time of ablation is not a predictive determinant for future recurrent status.

Free access

J W B de Groot, T P Links, A P N Themmen, L H Looijenga, R R de Krijger, P M van Koetsveld, J Hofland, G van den Berg, L J Hofland and R A Feelders

Objective

Aberrant adrenal expression of various hormone receptors has been identified in ACTH-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (AIMAH) causing cortisol hypersecretion regulated by hormones other than ACTH. We aimed to determine aberrant expression of multiple hormone receptors in vivo and in vitro in adrenal tissue of a patient with AIMAH.

Design

The design of the study includes clinical case description, and biochemical and immunohistochemical analysis to demonstrate aberrant expression of multiple hormone receptors in AIMAH.

Methods

The subject of the study is a male diagnosed with Cushing's syndrome because of AIMAH. Directly after laparoscopic removal of the adrenals, adrenal tissue was incubated with and without test substances (ACTH, forskolin, arginine vasopressin (AVP), desmopressin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, purified human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), metoclopramide and the combinations of AVP with ACTH, epinephrine and metoclopramide). LH/hCG-receptor (hCG-R) immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR analyses were performed to demonstrate aberrant expression of LH/hCG-R and V1–3-AVPR.

Results

AIMAH was characterized by in vivo cortisol responsiveness to AVP and in vitro cortisol responses to AVP, hCG, epinephrine, and norepinephrine suggesting aberrant adrenal expression of the receptors for AVP (the V1–3-AVPRs), catecholamines (the β-AR), and LH (the LH/hCG-R). Incubation with combinations of AVP and ACTH and of AVP with epinephrine induced a stronger cortisol response compared with incubation with the individual agents. Moreover, we demonstrated adrenal V1–3-AVPR and LH/hCG-R expression.

Conclusions

AIMAH tissue may simultaneously express multiple aberrant hormone receptors, and individual ligands may potentiate each other regarding cell proliferation and cortisol production.

Restricted access

M D Aydemirli, E Kapiteijn, K R M Ferrier, P B Ottevanger, T P Links, A N A van der Horst-Schrivers, K E Broekman, R H H Groenwold and J Zwaveling

Objective

The SELECT trial showed progression-free survival (PFS) benefit for lenvatinib for advanced radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (RAI-refractory or RR-DTC) patients, on which current clinical practice is based. We assessed whether the effectiveness and toxicity of lenvatinib in real-life clinical practice in the Netherlands were comparable to the pivotal SELECT trial.

Methods

From three Dutch centres Electronic Health Records (EHRs) of patients treated in the lenvatinib compassionate use program or as standard of care were reviewed and checked for SELECT eligibility criteria. Baseline characteristics, safety, and efficacy measures were compared and PFS and overall survival (OS) were calculated. Furthermore, PFS was compared to estimates of PFS reported in other studies.

Results

A total of 39 DTC patients with a median age of 62 years were analysed. Of these, 27 patients (69%) did not fulfil the SELECT eligibility criteria. The most common grade ≥3 toxicities were hypertension (n = 11, 28%), diarrhoea (n = 7, 18%), vomiting (n = 4, 10%), and gallbladder disease (n = 3, 8%). Median PFS and median OS were 9.7 (95% confidence interval (CI): 4.0–15.5) and 18.3 (95% CI: 4.9–31.7) months, respectively, response rate was 38% (95% CI: 23–54%). PFS in the Dutch real-life situation was comparable to previous real-life studies, but inferior to PFS as shown in the SELECT trial (P = 0.04).

Conclusions

PFS in our non-trial population was significantly shorter than in the SELECT trial population. In the interpretation of results, differences in the real-life population and the SELECT study population regarding patient characteristics should be taken into account.

Free access

Edward Buitenwerf, Tijmen Korteweg, Anneke Visser, Charlotte M S C Haag, Richard A Feelders, Henri J L M Timmers, Letizia Canu, Harm R Haak, Peter H L T Bisschop, Elisabeth M W Eekhoff, Eleonora P M Corssmit, Nanda C Krak, Elise Rasenberg, Janneke van den Bergh, Jaap Stoker, Marcel J W Greuter, Robin P F Dullaart, Thera P Links and Michiel N Kerstens

Background

A substantial proportion of all pheochromocytomas is currently detected during the evaluation of an adrenal incidentaloma. Recently, it has been suggested that biochemical testing to rule out pheochromocytoma is unnecessary in case of an adrenal incidentaloma with an unenhanced attenuation value ≤10 Hounsfield Units (HU) at computed tomography (CT).

Objectives

We aimed to determine the sensitivity of the 10 HU threshold value to exclude a pheochromocytoma.

Methods

Retrospective multicenter study with systematic reassessment of preoperative unenhanced CT scans performed in patients in whom a histopathologically proven pheochromocytoma had been diagnosed. Unenhanced attenuation values were determined independently by two experienced radiologists. Sensitivity of the 10 HU threshold was calculated, and interobserver consistency was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).

Results

214 patients were identified harboring a total number of 222 pheochromocytomas. Maximum tumor diameter was 51 (39–74) mm. The mean attenuation value within the region of interest was 36 ± 10 HU. Only one pheochromocytoma demonstrated an attenuation value ≤10 HU, resulting in a sensitivity of 99.6% (95% CI: 97.5–99.9). ICC was 0.81 (95% CI: 0.75–0.86) with a standard error of measurement of 7.3 HU between observers.

Conclusion

The likelihood of a pheochromocytoma with an unenhanced attenuation value ≤10 HU on CT is very low. The interobserver consistency in attenuation measurement is excellent. Our study supports the recommendation that in patients with an adrenal incidentaloma biochemical testing for ruling out pheochromocytoma is only indicated in adrenal tumors with an unenhanced attenuation value >10 HU.

Open access

Marloes Nies, Bernadette L Dekker, Esther Sulkers, Gea A Huizinga, Mariëlle S Klein Hesselink, Heleen Maurice-Stam, Martha A Grootenhuis, Adrienne H Brouwers, Johannes G M Burgerhof, Eveline W C M van Dam, Bas Havekes, Marry M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Eleonora P M Corssmit, Leontien C M Kremer, Romana T Netea-Maier, Heleen J H van der Pal, Robin P Peeters, John T M Plukker, Cécile M Ronckers, Hanneke M van Santen, Anouk N A van der Horst-Schrivers, Wim J E Tissing, Gianni Bocca and Thera P Links

Objective

The impact of childhood differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) on psychosocial development has not yet been studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the achievement of psychosocial developmental milestones in long-term survivors of childhood DTC.

Design and methods

Survivors of childhood DTC diagnosed between 1970 and 2013 were included. Reasons for exclusion were age <18 or >35 years at follow-up, a follow-up period <5 years or diagnosis with DTC as a second malignant neoplasm. Survivors gathered peer controls of similar age and sex (n = 30). A comparison group non-affected with cancer (n = 508) and other childhood cancer survivors (CCS) were also used to compare psychosocial development. To assess the achievement of psychosocial milestones (social, autonomy and psychosexual development), the course of life questionnaire (CoLQ) was used.

Results

We included 39 survivors of childhood DTC (response rate 83.0%, mean age at diagnosis 15.6 years, and mean age at evaluation 26.1 years). CoLQ scores did not significantly differ between survivors of childhood DTC and the two non-affected groups. CoLQ scores of childhood DTC survivors were compared to scores of other CCS diagnosed at similar ages (n = 76). DTC survivors scored significantly higher on social development than other CCS, but scores were similar on autonomy and psychosexual developmental scales.

Conclusions

Survivors of childhood DTC showed similar development on social, autonomy, and psychosexual domains compared to non-affected individuals. Social development was slightly more favorable in DTC survivors than in other CCS, but was similar on autonomy and psychosexual domains.