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Open access

Jaydira Del Rivero, Josh Mailman, Micheal W Radow, Jennifer A Chan, Sarah Creed, Hagen F. Kennecke, Janice Pasieka, Jennifer Zuar, Simron Singh, and Lauren Fishbein

This serves as a white paper by the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) on the practical considerations when providing palliative care to patients with neuroendocrine tumors in the context of routine disease management or hospice care. The authors involved in the development of this manuscript represent a multidisciplinary team of patient advocacy, palliative care, and hospice care practitioners, endocrinologist, and oncologists who performed a literature review and provided expert opinion on a series of questions often asked by our patients and patient caregivers affected by this disease. We hope this document serves as a starting point for oncologists, palliative care teams, hospice medical teams, insurers, drug manufacturers, caregivers, and patients to have a frank, well-informed discussion of what a patient needs to maximize quality of life during routine, disease-directed care as well as at the end-of-life.

Free access

Maria Riedmeier, Lester D R Thompson, Carlos Augusto Fernandes Molina, Boris Decarolis, Christoph Härtel, Paul-G Schlegel, Martin Fassnacht, and Verena Wiegering

Histopathological differentiation in pediatric adrenocortical carcinoma (pACC) is difficult and clinical prediction and stratification scores are not evaluated yet. Therefore, this review aims to summarize current evidence on the value and accuracy of the two commonly used scoring systems (Weiss/Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP)) pACC. On this base, one might be able to evaluate if patients may benefit from a unique scoring system. For this, we performed a systematic review of the published literature and included 128 patients in our analysis. The majority (72%) of the pACCs had a good clinical course. The follow-up time ranged from 0 to 420 months with a mean age of 5.6 years at diagnosis. Patients with a good clinical course were younger (mean 4.8 years) than patients with a poor outcome (mean 7.6 years). Comparing the two scoring systems, the specificity of the Weiss score was very low (25%), whereas the sensitivity was 100%. According to the AFIP score, specificity (77%) was higher than the Weiss score, whereas the sensitivity of the AFIP score was minimal lower with 92%. Age differences were recognizable as the specificity was lower in infants <4 years (20%) than in older children (32%). In contrast, the specificity of the AFIP score was higher in infants <4 years (82%) than in older age groups (76%). Summarizing our results, we could show that the Weiss score is not a suitable tool for the prediction of malignancy in pACC in comparison with the AFIP score, but further efforts may seek to ensure early and accurate stratification through augmented scoring.

Open access

Liang Zhang, Tobias Åkerström, Kazhan Mollazadegan, Felix Beuschlein, Karel Pacak, Britt Skogseid, and Joakim Crona

Core needle biopsy (CNB) has been used with caution in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) due to concerns about catecholamine-related complications. While it is unclear what scientific evidence supports this claim, it has limited the acquisition of biological samples for diagnostic purposes and research, especially in metastatic PPGL. We performed a systematic review and individual patient meta-analysis to evaluate the risk of complications after CNB in PPGL patients. The primary and secondary objectives were to investigate the risk of death and the occurrence of complications requiring intervention or hospitalization, respectively. Fifty-six articles describing 86 PPGL patients undergoing CNB were included. 34% (24/71) of patients had metastases and 53.4% (31/58) had catecholamine-related symptoms before CNB. 34.1% of patients (14/41) had catecholamine excess testing prior to biopsy. No CNB-related deaths were reported. Four patients (14.8%, 4/27) experienced CNB-related complications requiring hospitalization or intervention. One case had a temporary duodenal obstruction caused by hematoma, two cases had myocardial infarction, and one case had Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Eight patients (32%, 8/25) had CNB-related catecholamine symptoms, mainly transient hypertension, excessive diaphoresis, tachycardia, or hypertensive crisis. The scientific literature does not allow us to make any firm conclusion on safety of CNB in PPGL. However, it’s reasonable to argue that CNB could be conducted after thorough consideration, preparation and with close follow-up for PPGL patients with a strong clinical indication for such investigation.

Free access

Cesar Luiz Boguszewski, Margaret Cristina da Silva Boguszewski, and Wouter W de Herder

The association between growth hormone (GH) and carcinogenesis has long been postulated. The rationale for this association is that several components of the GH axis play an important role in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis and have been tested as targets for cancer therapy. Epidemiological and clinical studies have examined the association between height, growth patterns, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) levels with the most common types of malignancies, while genome-wide association studies have revealed several height-associated genes linked to cancer and/or metastasis-driving pathways. In this context, a permissive role of the GH–IGF signaling system in the link between height and cancer risk has also been investigated. In animal and human models, genetic defects associated with GH deficiency or resistance are associated with protection from tumor development, while the risk of malignancies in acromegaly or in patients exposed to recombinant GH therapy has long been a matter of concern and scrutiny. In this review, we present a narrative and historical review covering the potential relations among height, growth patterns, GH axis, and cancer.

Restricted access

Nicola Viola, Laura Agate, Sonia Caprio, Loredana Lorusso, Alessandro Brancatella, Debora Ricci, Daniele Sgrò, Clara Ugolini, Paolo Piaggi, Paolo Vitti, Rossella Elisei, Ferruccio Santini, and Francesco Latrofa

Relevance of thyroid autoimmunity to prognosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma is still unsettled. We decided to investigate the impact of thyroid autoimmunity on prognosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma and the handling of TgAbs. We evaluated the clinical course of a large group of patients according to the presence (PTC-LT) or absence (PTC) of lymphocytic thyroiditis at histology.

We studied 194 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of PTC and treated with total thyroidectomy plus ¹³¹I ablation between 2007 and 2009. Median follow-up (with 25th-75th percentiles) was 84·0 (56·4-118·0) months. The remission criteria were: basal Tg <0·2 ng/mL (or stimulated Tg <1), TgAbs <8 IU/mL (otherwise “decreasing TgAb trend”, a decline of ≥20% in sequential TgAb measurements) and unremarkable imaging.

PTC-LT and PTC patients had comparable treatment.TgAbs were detectable in 72·5% of PTC-LT and 16·5% of PTC patients. Time to remission was longer in the detectable than in the undetectable TgAb cohort (28·5 vs· 7·5 months [median]; HR 0·54, CI 0·35-0·83, p=0·005). When comparing PTC-LT to PTC patients the difference was maintained in the detectable TgAb (29·3 vs 13·0 months; HR 0·38, CI 0·18-0·80; p=0·01), but not in the undetectable TgAb cohort (7·7 vs 7·3 months; HR 0·90, CI 0·55-1·47; p=0·68). Using the decreasing TgAb trend, the influence of detectable TgAbs on time to remission was abolished.

Thyroid autoimmunity does not influence the prognosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma. A decreasing TgAb trend seems an appropriate criterion to establish the remission of papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Open access

Anne-Paule Gimenez-Roqueplo, Mercedes Robledo, and Patricia L M Dahia

Paragangliomas (PGL) of the adrenal (also known as pheochromocytomas) or extra-adrenal neural crest-derived cells are highly heritable tumors, usually driven by single pathogenic variants that occur mutually exclusively in genes involved in multiple cellular processes, including the response to hypoxia, MAPK/ERK signaling, and WNT signaling. The discovery of driver mutations has led to active clinical surveillance with outcome implications in familial PGL. The spectrum of mutations continues to grow and reveal unique mechanisms of tumorigenesis that inform tumor biology and provide the rationale for targeted therapy. Here we review recent progress in the genetics and molecular pathogenesis of PGLs and discuss new prospects for advancing research with new disease models and ongoing clinical trials presented at the recent International Symposium of Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas (ISP2022) held in October 2022 in Prague.

Restricted access

Chiara Villa, Bertrand Baussart, Guillaume Assié, Gerald Raverot, and Frederico Roncaroli

The classification of tumours of the pituitary gland has recently been revised in the 2021 5th edition World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of Central Nervous System Tumours (CNS5) and 2022 5th edition WHO Classification of Endocrine and Neuroendocrine Tumours (ENDO5). This brief review aims to appraise the most relevant changes and updates introduced in the two classifications. A new nomenclature has been introduced in CNS5 and ENDO5 to align adenohypophyseal tumours with the classification framework of neuroendocrine neoplasia. The term Pituitary Neuroendocrine Tumour (PitNET) with subtype information has therefore been adopted and preferred to adenoma. Pituitary carcinoma has been replaced by metastatic PitNET. The ICD-O coding has been changed from benign to malignant in line with NETs from other organs. Histological typing and subtyping based on immunohistochemistry for lineage restricted pituitary transcription factors is regarded as the cornerstone for an accurate classification. Such approach does not fully reflect the complexity and dynamics of pituitary tumorigenesis and the variability of transcription factors expression. ENDO5 does not supported a grading and/or staging system and argues that histological typing and subtyping is more robust than proliferation rate and invasiveness to stratify tumours with low or high risk of recurrence. However, the prognostic and predictive relevance of histotype is not fully validated. Recent studies suggest the existence of clinically relevant molecular subgroups and emphasize the need of a standardized, histo-molecular integrated approach to the diagnosis of PitNETs to further our understanding of their biology and overcome the unsolved issue of grading and/or staging system.

Restricted access

Xiang Zhang, Ya Hu, Ming Cui, Mengyi Wang, Xiaobin Li, Yalu Zhang, Sen Yang, Surong Hua, Meiping Shen, and Quan Liao

Tumour microenvironment has been recognized as a crucial factor influencing disease progression. However, relevant features and functions are insufficiently understood in parathyroid neoplasia. Single-cell RNA sequencing was performed to profile the transcriptome of 27,251 cells from 4 parathyroid adenoma (PA) tissue samples. External transcriptomic datasets and immunofluorescence staining of a tissue microarray were set for expression validation. Eight major cell types and various subpopulations were finely identified in PA. We found that a subcluster of tumour endocrine cells with low copy number variation probably presented as a resting state. Diverse infiltrating immune cell subtypes were identified, constructing an immunosuppressive microenvironment. Tumour-associated macrophages, which indicated an anti-inflammatory phenotype, were significantly increased in PA. Inflammatory tumour-associated fibroblasts (iTAFs) were newly verified and highlighted on the role of stromal-immune crosstalk. Positive correlation between iTAFs and increased CD163+ macrophages was uncovered. Moreover, CXCL12 receptor signalling is important for tumour angiogenesis and immune infiltration. Our findings provide a comprehensive landscape interpreting tumour cell heterogeneity, cell diversity, and immune regulation in parathyroid neoplasia. The valuable resources may promote the understanding of parathyroid tumour microenvironment.

Restricted access

Audrey Ziverec, Marie Chanal, Perrine Raymond, Mirela Diana Ilie, Dario De Alcubierre, Arja Pasternack, Olli Ritvos, Gerald Raverot, and Philippe Bertolino

Pituitary tumours are benign neoplasms that derive from hormone-producing cells of the pituitary gland. While medical treatments have emerged for most subtypes, gonadotroph tumours that express follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and/or luteinizing hormone still lack therapeutic options apart from surgery and radiotherapy. Activin ligands are physiological regulators of production and secretion of FSH by gonadotroph cells, but their role in gonadotroph tumourigenesis remains little explored. Using the LβT2 mouse gonadotroph cell line which produces FSH under activin stimulation, we first tested whether subcutaneous xenografts of LβT2 cells resulted in tumour formation in Rag2KO mice. Histological analysis confirmed the presence of LβT2 tumours with endothelial cells and macrophages in their microenvironment. FSH expression was found in a subset of clusters of LβT2 cells in the tumours. We subsequently addressed the consequences of targeting activin signalling via injection of a soluble activin decoy receptor (sActRIIB-Fc). sActRIIB-Fc treatment resulted in significantly decreased LβT2 tumour volume. Reduced Smad2 phosphorylation as well as inhibition of tumour-induced FSH production confirmed the efficient targeting of activin-downstream signalling in treated tumours. More interestingly, treated tumours showed significantly fewer endothelial cells associated with reduced Vegfa expression. In vitro treatment of LβT2 cells with sActRIIB-Fc had no effect on cell proliferation or apoptosis, but Vegfa expression was inhibited, pointing to a likely paracrine effect of LβT2 cells on endothelial cells through activin-mediated Vegfa regulation. Further in vitro and in vivo studies are now needed to pinpoint the exact roles of activin signalling in these processes prior to translating these observations to the clinic.

Open access

Xiaoli Liu, Chunhai Zhang, Xiaomiao Wang, Can Cui, Hanwen Cui, Baishu Zhu, Anqi Chen, Lu Zhang, Jingwei Xin, Qingfeng Fu, Gianlorenzo Dionigi, and Hui Sun

Lymphatic metastasis is the leading cause responsible for recurrence and progression in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), where dysregulation of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) has been extensively demonstrated to be implicated. However, the specific lymphatic node metastatsis-related lncRNAs remain not identified in PTC yet. Lymphatic node metastatsis-related lncRNA, MFSD4A-AS1, was explored in the PTC dataset from The Cancer Genome Atlas and our clinical samples. The roles of MFSD4A-AS1 in lymphatic metastasis were investigated in vitro and in vivo. Bioinformatic analysis, luciferase assay and RNA immunoprecipitation assay were performed to identify the potential targets and the underlying pathway of MFSD4A-AS1 in lymphatic metastasis of PTC. MFSD4A-AS1 was specifically upregulated in PTC tissues with lymphatic metastasis. Upregulating MFSD4A-AS1 promoted mesh formation and migration of human umbilical vein endothelial cells and invasion and migration of PTC cells. Importantly and consistently, MFSD4A-AS1 promoted lymphatic metastasis of PTC cells in vivo by inducing the lymphangiogenic formation and enhancing the invasive capability of PTC cells. Mechanistic dissection further revealed that MFSD4A-AS1 functioned as competing endogenous RNA to sequester miR-30c-2-3p, miR-145-3p and miR-139-5p to disrupt the miRNA-mediated inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factors A and C, and further activated transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling by sponging miR-30c-2-3p that targeted TGFBR2 and USP15, both of which synergistically promoted lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis of PTC. Our results unravel novel dual mechanisms by which MFSD4A-AS1 promotes lymphatic metastasis of PTC, which will facilitate the development of anti-lymphatic metastatic therapeutic strategy in PTC.