Tumourigenesis is a relatively common event in endocrine tissues. Currently, specific guidelines have been developed for common malignant endocrine tumours, which also incorporate advances in molecular targeted therapies (MTT), as in thyroid cancer and in gastrointestinal neuroendocrine malignancies. However, there is little information regarding the role and efficacy of MTT in the relatively rare malignant endocrine tumours mainly involving the adrenal medulla, adrenal cortex, pituitary, and parathyroid glands. Due to the rarity of these tumours and the lack of prospective studies, current guidelines are mostly based on retrospective data derived from surgical, locoregional and ablative therapies, and studies with systemic chemotherapy. In addition, in many of these malignancies the prognosis remains poor with individual patients responding differently to currently available treatments, necessitating the development of new personalised therapeutic strategies. Recently, major advances in the molecular understanding of endocrine tumours based on genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptome analysis have emerged, resulting in new insights into their pathogenesis and molecular pathology. This in turn has led to the use of novel MTTs in increasing numbers of patients. In this review, we aim to present currently existing and evolving data using MTT in the treatment of adrenal, pituitary and malignant parathyroid tumours, and explore the current utility and effectiveness of such therapies and their future evolution.
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- Author: Georgios K. Dimitriadis x
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Anna Angelousi, Georgios K Dimitriadis, Georgios Zografos, Svenja Nölting, Gregory Kaltsas, and Ashley Grossman
Georgios K Dimitriadis, Martin O Weickert, Harpal S Randeva, Gregory Kaltsas, and Ashley Grossman
Although recent epidemiological evidence indicates that the prevalence of non-functioning gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) is rising, a significant number of GEP-NETs still present with symptoms related to the secretion of biologically active substances leading to the development of distinct clinical syndromes. In the past, these syndromes were associated with substantial morbidity and mortality due to the lack of specific therapies; however, since the introduction of long-acting somatostatin analogues and medications such as proton pump inhibitors, their control has been greatly improved. As a result, nowadays, the main cause of morbidity and mortality in GEP-NETs is mostly directly related to tumour growth and the extent of metastatic disease. However, in some patients with functioning tumours and extensive disease, control of the secretory syndrome still remains problematic, necessitating the employment of several cytoreductive techniques, which may not always be sufficient. Recently, new agents directed against tumour growth, or exerting increased binding activity to receptors expressed in these tumours, or interfering with the synthetic pathway of some of the compounds secreted by these tumours, have been developed. Since there are no specific guidelines addressing the totality of the management of the secretory syndromes related to GEP-NETs, this review aims at critically analysing the medical management of previously recognised secretory syndromes; it also addresses areas of uncertainty, assesses the newer therapeutic developments and also addresses recently described but poorly characterised secretory syndromes related to GEP-NETs.
Georgios K Dimitriadis, Anna Angelousi, Martin O Weickert, Harpal S Randeva, Gregory Kaltsas, and Ashley Grossman
The majority of neoplasms are responsible for symptoms caused by mass effects to surrounding tissues and/or through the development of metastases. However, occasionally neoplasms, with or without endocrine differentiation, acquire the ability to secrete a variety of bioactive substances or induce immune cross-reactivity with the normal tissues that can lead to the development of characteristic clinical syndromes. These syndromes are named endocrine paraneoplastic syndromes when the specific secretory components (hormones, peptides or cytokines) are unrelated to the anticipated tissue or organ of origin. Endocrine paraneoplastic syndromes can complicate the patient’s clinical course, response to treatment, impact prognosis and even be confused as metastatic spread. These syndromes can precede, occur concomitantly or present at a later stage of tumour development, and along with the secreted substances constitute the biological ‘fingerprint’ of the tumour. Their detection can facilitate early diagnosis of the underlying neoplasia, monitor response to treatment and/or detect early recurrences following successful initial management. Although when associated with tumours of low malignant potential they usually do not affect long-term outcome, in cases of highly malignant tumours, endocrine paraneoplastic syndromes are usually associated with poorer survival outcomes. Recent medical advances have not only improved our understanding of paraneoplastic syndrome pathogenesis in general but also enhanced their diagnosis and treatment. Yet, given the rarity of endocrine paraneoplastic syndromes, there is a paucity of prospective clinical trials to guide management. The development of well-designed prospective multicentre trials remains a priority in the field in order to fully characterise these syndromes and provide evidence-based diagnostic and therapeutic protocols.
Pia Roser, Bianca M Leca, Claudia Coelho, Klaus-Martin Schulte, Jackie Gilbert, Eftychia E Drakou, Christos Kosmas, Ling Ling Chuah, Husam Wassati, Alexander D Miras, James Crane, Simon J B Aylwin, Ashley B Grossman, and Georgios K Dimitriadis
Parathyroid carcinoma is one of the least common endocrine malignancies and accounts for approximately 1% of all patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature published between January 2000 and March 2022 via Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EudraCT, ClinicalTrials.gov, CINAHL and SCOPUS was conducted. Manuscripts were eligible if they included data on adult non-pregnant populations with parathyroid carcinoma. No restrictions regarding interventions, comparators or duration of follow-up were imposed. Single case reports, reviews or meta-analyses were excluded. Outcomes of interest were molecular pathogenesis, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and overall survival. Study quality was evaluated using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale for observational studies.
This review included 75 studies from 17 countries, reporting on more than 3000 patients with parathyroid carcinoma. CDC73 mutation has been recognised as playing a pivotal role in molecular pathogenesis. Parathyroid carcinoma typically presents with markedly increased calcium and parathyroid hormone levels. The most frequently described symptoms were bone and muscle pain or weakness. En bloc resection remains the gold standard for the surgical approach. The 5-year overall survival ranged from 60 to 93%, with resistant hypercalcaemia a significant cause of mortality. Emerging evidence indicating that targeted therapy, based on molecular biomarkers, presents a novel treatment option. The rarity of PC and need for personalised treatment warrant multidisciplinary management in a ‘centre of excellence’ with a track record in PC management.