Thyroid hormones (THs) may play a role in diseases other than hyper- and hypothyroidism. Several lines of evidence suggest tumor-promoting effects of TH and TH receptors. They are possibly mediated by phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and MAPK and involve among others stimulation of angiogenesis via αvβ3. Thus, an increased risk for colon, lung, prostate, and breast cancer with lower TSH has been demonstrated in epidemiological studies, even suggesting a TH dose effect on cancer occurrence. Furthermore, higher TH levels were associated with an advanced clinical stage of breast and prostate cancer. In rodent models, TH stimulated growth and metastasis of tumor transplants, whereas hypothyroidism had opposite effects. In clinical studies of glioblastoma and head and neck cancer, hypothyroid patients showed longer survival than euthyroid patients. Also, patients with renal cell cancer that were treated with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib and developed hypothyroidism in due course showed significantly longer survival than patients that remained euthyroid. Development of hypothyroidism was an independent predictor for survival in two studies. Yet, it is still possible that hypothyroidism is only a surrogate marker for treatment efficacy and does not positively influence treatment outcome by itself. Future cancer treatment studies, especially with substances that can induce hypothyroidism, should therefore be designed in a way that allows for an analysis of thyroid function status and its contribution on treatment outcome.
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- Author: Lars C Moeller x
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Lars C Moeller and Dagmar Führer
Birke Bausch, Ulrich Wellner, Dirk Bausch, Francesca Schiavi, Marta Barontini, Gabriela Sanso, Martin K Walz, Mariola Peczkowska, Georges Weryha, Patrizia Dall'Igna, Giovanni Cecchetto, Gianni Bisogno, Lars C Moeller, Detlef Bockenhauer, Attila Patocs, Karoly Rácz, Dmitry Zabolotnyi, Svetlana Yaremchuk, Iveta Dzivite-Krisane, Frederic Castinetti, David Taieb, Angelica Malinoc, Ernst von Dobschuetz, Jochen Roessler, Kurt W Schmid, Giuseppe Opocher, Charis Eng, and Hartmut P H Neumann
A third of patients with paraganglial tumors, pheochromocytoma, and paraganglioma, carry germline mutations in one of the susceptibility genes, RET, VHL, NF1, SDHAF2, SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, TMEM127, and MAX. Despite increasing importance, data for long-term prognosis are scarce in pediatric presentations. The European-American-Pheochromocytoma–Paraganglioma-Registry, with a total of 2001 patients with confirmed paraganglial tumors, was the platform for this study. Molecular genetic and phenotypic classification and assessment of gene-specific long-term outcome with second and/or malignant paraganglial tumors and life expectancy were performed in patients diagnosed at <18 years. Of 177 eligible registrants, 80% had mutations, 49% VHL, 15% SDHB, 10% SDHD, 4% NF1, and one patient each in RET, SDHA, and SDHC. A second primary paraganglial tumor developed in 38% with increasing frequency over time, reaching 50% at 30 years after initial diagnosis. Their prevalence was associated with hereditary disease (P=0.001), particularly in VHL and SDHD mutation carriers (VHL vs others, P=0.001 and SDHD vs others, P=0.042). A total of 16 (9%) patients with hereditary disease had malignant tumors, ten at initial diagnosis and another six during follow-up. The highest prevalence was associated with SDHB (SDHB vs others, P<0.001). Eight patients died (5%), all of whom had germline mutations. Mean life expectancy was 62 years with hereditary disease. Hereditary disease and the underlying germline mutation define the long-term prognosis of pediatric patients in terms of prevalence and time of second primaries, malignant transformation, and survival. Based on these data, gene-adjusted, specific surveillance guidelines can help effective preventive medicine.