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Louis de Mestier, Angela Lamarca, Jorge Hernando, Wouter Zandee, Teresa Alonso-Gordoa, Marine Perrier, Annemiek ME Walenkamp, Bipasha Chakrabarty, Stefania Landolfi, Marie-Louise F Van Velthuysen, Gursah Kats-Ugurlu, Alejandra Caminoa, Maxime Ronot, Prakash Manoharan, Alejandro Garcia-Alvarez, Tessa Brabander, María Isabel García Gómez-Muriel, Guillaume Cadiot, Anne Couvelard, Jaume Capdevila, Marianne E Pavel, and Jérôme Cros

There is no standardized treatment for grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors (G3 NETs). We aimed to describe the treatments received in patients with advanced G3 NETs and compare their efficacy. Patients with advanced digestive G3 NETs treated between 2010 and 2018 in seven expert centers were retrospectively studied. Pathological samples were centrally reviewed, and radiological data were locally reviewed. We analyzed RECIST-defined objective response (OR), tumor growth rate (TGR) and progression-free survival (PFS) obtained with first- (L1) or second-line (L2) treatments. We included 74 patients with advanced G3 NETs, mostly from the duodenal or pancreatic origin (71.6%), with median Ki-67 of 30%. The 126 treatments (L1 = 74; L2 = 52) included alkylating-based (n = 32), etoposide-platinum (n = 22) or adenocarcinoma-like (n = 20) chemotherapy, somatostatin analogs (n = 21), targeted therapies (n = 22) and liver-directed therapies (n = 7). Alkylating-based chemotherapy achieved the highest OR rate (37.9%) compared to other treatments (multivariable OR 4.22, 95% CI (1.5–12.2); P = 0.008). Adenocarcinoma-like and alkylating-based chemotherapies showed the highest reductions in 3-month TGR (P < 0.001 and P = 0.008, respectively). The longest median PFS was obtained with adenocarcinoma-like chemotherapy (16.5 months (9.0–24.0)) and targeted therapies (12.0 months (8.2–15.8)), while the shortest PFS was observed with somatostatin analogs (6.2 months (3.8–8.5)) and etoposide-platinum chemotherapy (7.2 months (5.2–9.1)). Etoposide-platinum CT achieved shorter PFS than adenocarcinoma-like (multivariable HR 3.69 (1.61–8.44), P = 0.002) and alkylating-based chemotherapies (multivariable HR 1.95 (1.01–3.78), P = 0.049). Overall, adenocarcinoma-like and alkylating-based chemotherapies may be the most effective treatments for patients with advanced G3 NETs regarding OR and PFS. Etoposide-platinum chemotherapy has poor efficacy in this setting.

Open access

J T W Kwon, R J Bryant, and E E Parkes

The landscape of cancer treatment has been transformed over the past decade by the success of immune-targeting therapies. However, despite sipuleucel-T being the first-ever approved vaccine for cancer and the first immunotherapy licensed for prostate cancer in 2010, immunotherapy has since seen limited success in the treatment of prostate cancer. The tumour microenvironment of prostate cancer presents particular barriers for immunotherapy. Moreover, prostate cancer is distinguished by being one of only two solid tumours where increased T cell-infiltration correlates with a poorer, rather than improved, outlook. Here, we discuss the specific aspects of the prostate cancer microenvironment that converge to create a challenging microenvironment, including myeloid-derived immune cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts. By exploring the immune microenvironment of defined molecular subgroups of prostate cancer, we propose an immunogenomic subtyping approach to single-agent and combination immune-targeting strategies that could lead to improved outcomes in prostate cancer treatment.

Free access

Donatella Treppiedi, Genesio Di Muro, Giusy Marra, Anna Maria Barbieri, Federica Mangili, Rosa Catalano, Andreea Serban, Emanuele Ferrante, Marco Locatelli, Andrea G Lania, Maura Arosio, Anna Spada, Erika Peverelli, and Giovanna Mantovani

Cushing’s disease (CD) is a rare endocrine disorder caused by an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary tumor. Pasireotide is the only pituitary-targeted drug approved for adult patients. Nevertheless, many side effects are encountered and curative therapy is still challenging. Ubiquitin-specific peptidase 8 (USP8) plays a crucial role in the modulation of corticotroph cells growth and ACTH secretion. Here, we explored the anticancer potential of the USP8 inhibitor RA-9 in USP8-WT human tumor corticotroph cells and murine AtT-20 cells. Our results showed that RA-9 causes cell proliferation decrease (−24.3 ± 5.2%, P < 0.01) and cell apoptosis increase (207.4 ± 75.3%, P < 0.05) in AtT-20 cells, as observed with pasireotide. Moreover, RA-9 reduced ACTH secretion in AtT-20 cells (−34.1 ± 19.5%, P < 0.01), as well as in AtT-20 cells transfected with USP8 mutants, and in one out of two primary cultures in vitro responsive to pasireotide (−40.3 ± 6%). An RA-9 mediated decrease of pERK1/2 levels was observed in AtT-20 cells (−52.3 ± 13.4%, P < 0.001), comparable to pasireotide, and in primary cultures, regardless of their in vitro responsiveness to pasireotide. Upregulation of p27 was detected upon RA-9 treatment only, both in AtT-20 cells (167.1 ± 36.7%, P < 0.05) and in one primary culture tested (168.4%), whilst pCREB level was similarly halved in AtT-20 cells by both RA-9 and pasireotide. Altogether, our data demonstrate that RA-9 is efficient in exerting cytotoxic effects and inhibitory actions on cell proliferation and hormone secretion by modulating the expression of pERK1/2, pCREB and p27. Inhibition of USP8 might represent a novel strategy to target both USP8-WT and USP8-mutated tumors in CD patients.

Free access

Ophélie De Rycke, Thomas Walter, Marine Perrier, Olivia Hentic, Catherine Lombard-Bohas, Romain Coriat, Guillaume Cadiot, Anne Couvelard, Philippe Ruszniewski, Jérôme Cros, and Louis de Mestier

A rechallenge is common after the initial efficacy of alkylating-based chemotherapy (ALK) in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNET). High MGMT expression seems associated with a lower response to ALK. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of ALK rechallenge in PanNET, and to assess the evolution of MGMT expression under ALK. All consecutive patients with advanced PanNETs who received initial ALK (achieving tumor control) followed by a pause of > 3 months, then an ALK rechallenge (ALK2) upon progression were retrospectively studied (cohort A). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival under ALK2 (PFS2). The MGMT expression was retrospectively assessed by immunohistochemistry (H-score) in consecutive PanNET surgically resected following ALK (cohort B). We found that Cohort A included 62 patients (median Ki67 8%), for whom ALK1 followed by a pause achieved an objective response rate of 55% and a PFS1 of 23.7 months (95% IC, 19.8–27.6). ALK2 achieved no objective response and stability in 62% of patients. The median PFS2 was 9.2 months (IC 95% 7.1–11.3). At multivariable analysis, a hormonal syndrome (P = 0.032) and a pause longer than 12 months (P = 0.041) were associated with a longer PFS2. In cohort B (17 patients), the median MGMT H-score increased from 45 (IQR 18–105) before ALK to 100 (IQR 56–180) after ALK (P = 0.003). We conclude that after the initial efficacy of ALK treatment, a pause followed by ALK rechallenge might be appropriate to prolong tumor control, improve quality of life and limit long-term adverse events. Increased MGMT expression under ALK might explain the low efficacy of ALK rechallenge.

Free access

Tung Hoang, Quy Nguyen Ngoc, Jeonghee Lee, Eun Kyung Lee, Yul Hwangbo, and Jeongseon Kim

The cumulative effect of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on thyroid cancer has been adequately defined in individuals of European ancestry; however, similar evidence in the Korean population is limited. This study aimed to investigate the influence of modifiable factors and the polygenic risk score (PRS) and their interactive and combined effects on thyroid cancer. Using data from the cancer screenee cohort, this study included 759 thyroid cancer cases and 759 age- and sex-matched controls. We examined the effects of tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, and regular exercise habits, BMI, and the PRS of six SNPs on thyroid cancer. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations were obtained using a conditional logistic regression model. The results indicated that family history, obesity, and the unweighted and weighted PRS were independently associated with susceptibility to thyroid cancer, with ORs (95% CIs) of 2.96 (1.63–5.36), 1.72 (1.20–2.48), 1.46 (1.10–1.93), and 1.56 (1.19–2.03), respectively, whereas the effect of smoking, drinking, and regular exercise was not significant. The contribution of the PRS remained after stratifying participants with healthy behaviors, such as nonsmokers/nondrinkers, and regular exercise. Although the PRS did not significantly contribute to the risk for thyroid cancer when participants were stratified according to BMI, BMI and the PRS had a cumulative effect on thyroid cancer risk. The combined effect of genetic polymorphisms on predisposition to thyroid cancer may differ based on tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, regular exercise behaviors and cumulative BMI. Larger population-based studies are needed to validate these findings.

Free access

Milena Simões Peixoto, Andressa de Vasconcelos e Souza, Iris Soares Andrade, Carolina de Carvalho el Giusbi, Caroline Coelho Faria, Fabio Hecht, Leandro Miranda-Alves, Andrea Claudia Freitas Ferreira, Denise Pires Carvalho, and Rodrigo S Fortunato

Breast cancer and thyroid dysfunctions have been associated for decades. Although many studies suggest a biological correlation, the mechanisms linking these two pathologies have not been elucidated. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can oxidize lipids, proteins, and DNA molecules and may promote tumor initiation. Hence, we aimed at evaluating the mammary redox balance and genomic instability in a model of experimental hypothyroidism. Female Wistar rats were treated with 0.03% methimazole for 7 or 21 days to evaluate ROS generation, antioxidant enzyme activities, and oxidative stress biomarkers, as well as genomic instability. After 7 days, lower catalase, GPX, and DUOX activities were detected in the breast of hypothyroid group compared to the control while the levels of 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) were higher. In addition, hypothyroid group showed an increase in γH2Ax/H2Ax ratio. Twenty-one days hypothyroid group had increased catalase and SOD activities, without significant differences between groups in the levels of oxidative stress biomarkers and DNA damage. TSH-treated MCF10A cells showed a higher extracellular, intracellular, and mitochondrial ROS production. Additionally, greater DNA damage was observed in these cells, demonstrated by a higher comet tail DNA percentage and increased 53BP1 foci. Finally, we found that TSH treatment was not able to alter cell viability. The Genome Cancer Atlas (TGCA) data showed that high TSHR expression is associated with more invasive breast cancer types. In conclusion, we demonstrate that oxidative stress and DNA damage in breast are early events of experimental hypothyroidism. Moreover, high TSH levels induce oxidative stress and genomic instability in mammary cells.

Open access

Ha Nguyen, Komal Shah, Steven G Waguespack, Mimi I Hu, Mouhammed Amir Habra, Maria E Cabanillas, Naifa L Busaidy, Roland Bassett, Shouhao Zhou, Priyanka C Iyer, Garrett Simmons, Diana Kaya, Marie Pitteloud, Sumit K Subudhi, Adi Diab, and Ramona Dadu

Data on the diagnosis, natural course and management of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-related hypophysitis (irH) are limited. We propose this study to validate the diagnostic criteria, describe characteristics and hormonal recovery and investigate factors associated with the occurrence and recovery of irH. A retrospective study including patients with suspected irH at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 5/2003 to 8/2017 was conducted. IrH was defined as: (1) ACTH or TSH deficiency plus MRI changes or (2) ACTH and TSH deficiencies plus headache/fatigue in the absence of MRI findings. We found that of 83 patients followed for a median of 1.75 years (range 0.6–3), the proposed criteria used at initial evaluation accurately identified 61/62 (98%) irH cases. In the irH group (n = 62), the most common presentation was headache (60%), fatigue (66%), central hypothyroidism (94%), central adrenal insufficiency (69%) and MRI changes (77%). Compared with non-ipilimumab (ipi) regimens, ipi has a stronger association with irH occurrence (P = 0.004) and a shorter time to irH development (P < 0.01). Thyroid, gonadal and adrenal axis recovery occurred in 24, 58 and 0% patients, respectively. High-dose steroids (HDS) or ICI discontinuation was not associated with hormonal recovery. In the non-irH group (n = 19), one patient had isolated central hypothyroidism and six had isolated central adrenal insufficiency. All remained on hormone therapy at the last follow-up. We propose a strict definition of irH that identifies the vast majority of patients. HDS and ICI discontinuation is not always beneficial. Long-term follow-up to assess recovery is needed.

Free access

Murali Kesavan, Piyush Grover, Wei-sen Lam, Phillip G Claringbold, and J Harvey Turner

Thirty-seven patients with advanced gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEPNETs) were treated on a prospective phase II single-center study with four cycles of 7.8 GBq 177Lu-octreotate combined with capecitabine and temozolomide chemotherapy (CAPTEM). Each 8-week cycle combined radiopeptide therapy with 14 days of capecitabine (1500 mg/m2) and 5 days of temozolomide (200 mg/m2). The incidence of grade ≥ 3 hematologic toxicity was analyzed. At a median follow-up of 7-years (range 1–10), six (16%) patients developed persistent hematologic toxicity (PHT) (defined as sustained grade ≥ 3 hematologic toxicity beyond 36-months follow-up) and three (8%) developed MDS/AL with a median time-to-event of 46 and 34 months, respectively. The estimated cumulative incidence of MDS/AL was 11% (95% CI: 3.45–24.01). Development of PHT was the only significant risk factor for secondary MDS/AL (RR, 16; 95% CI: 2.53 to 99.55; P < 0.001). The median PFS was 48 months (95% CI: 40.80–55.20), and the median OS was 86 months (95% CI: 56.90–115.13). Twenty-one deaths were recorded, including 13 (62%) due to progressive disease and all 3 (14%) patients with MDS/AL. 177Lu-octreotate CAPTEM therapy for GEPNETs is associated with a risk of long-term hematologic toxicity. The rising cumulative incidence of MDS/AL > 10% mandates the long-term monitoring of treated patients. However, time to onset is unpredictable, and incidence does not correlate with conventional baseline risk factors. Novel methods are required for the stratification of prospective patients based on genetic risk.

Free access

Huy Gia Vuong, Truong P X Nguyen, Hanh T T Ngo, Lewis Hassell, and Kennichi Kakudo

Malignant thyroid teratoma (MTT) is a very rare thyroid malignancy. These neoplasms have been reported only in case reports and small-sized case series so far. In this study, we searched for MTTs in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Result (SEER) program during 1975–2016. Subsequently, we incorporated the SEER data with published MTT cases in the literature to analyze the characteristics and prognostic factors of MTTs. Integrated data were analyzed using chi-square or Fisher’s exact test for categorical covariates, and t-test or Mann-Whitney test for continuous variables. We included 28 studies with 36 MTT cases and found additional 8 cases from the SEER program for final analyses. Our results showed that MTT is typically seen in adult females. These neoplasms were associated with an aggressive clinical course with high rates of extrathyroidal extension (80%) and nodal involvement (62%). During follow-up, the development of recurrence and metastases were common (42% and 46%, respectively), and one-third of patients died at the last follow-up. Large tumor size (P  = 0.022) and the presence of metastases during follow-up (P  = 0.008) were associated with a higher mortality rate. In conclusion, our study demonstrated the characteristic features of MTT patients and outlined some parameters associated with a negative outcome which could help clinicians better predict the clinical course of these neoplasms.

Free access

Xiong Wang, Li Ma, Qiao-yan Ding, Wen-yu Zhang, Yong-gang Chen, Jin-hu Wu, Hong-feng Zhang, and Xiu-li Guo

Prolactinomas have harmful effects on human health, and the pathogenesis is still unknown. Furthermore, 25% of prolactinoma patients do not respond to the therapy of dopamine receptor agonist in the clinic. Thus, it is important to reveal the pathogenesis and develop new therapeutic methods for prolactinomas. Herein, two animal models of prolactinomas, namely oestrogen-treated rats and transgenic D2 dopamine receptor-deficient mice, were used. PET/CT imaging detection showed that translocator protein-mediated microglia activation and inflammation significantly increased in the pituitary glands of prolactinomas rats. Messenger RNA microarrays were used to analyze and compare the differential gene and signal pathways of the pituitary glands between control and prolactinomas rats. Statistical results pertaining to gene enrichment showed that the innate immune response genes were upregulated in the pituitary glands of prolactinoma rats. This suggested that the innate immune response was activated. We analyzed the NLRP3 (NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containing protein 3) inflammasome that is one of the most important members of the innate immune system in mammals and found that the expressions of NLRP3, Caspase-1, apoptosis-associated speck-like, interleukin 1B (IL1B) and IL18 proteins of pituitary glands in prolactinomas rats were increased considerably compared with those in control rats. This suggested the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome during the emergence and evolution of prolactinomas. Immunohistochemistry results also confirmed that the NLRP3 expression was elevated in human prolactinoma tissues, and the microglia marker-ionised calcium binding adaptor molecule-1 was co-located with the NLRP3 protein in prolactinomas by immunofluorescence assay. Finally, compared with the WT mice, NLRP3−/− mice had smaller pituitary glands (weight/body weight) and diminished prolactin (PRL) expressions and secretions. These findings were associated with a reduction in the caspase-1 activation and maturation of IL1B. Furthermore, MCC950 decreased the PRL expression and secretion following the inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome activation in GH3 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide and nigericin. And MCC950 inhibited the pituitary tumor overgrowth and PRL expression and secretion in prolactinoma rats. These data confirm that the microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation upregulates the inflammatory cytokines IL1/IL18 in the pituitary glands and induces prolactinomas. Our findings showed that microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation-mediated IL1B-related inflammation promoted the development of prolactinomas and identified the inflammasome as a new therapeutic target for prolactinomas.