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Theo S Plantinga, Mirela S Petrulea, Marije Oosting, Leo A B Joosten, Doina Piciu, Johannes W Smit, Romana T Netea-Maier, and Carmen E Georgescu

The NF-κB inflammatory pathway plays a major role in cancer development and clinical progression. Activation of NF-κB signaling is promoted by NFKB1 and inhibited by NFKBIA. The present study aimed to determine the relevance of NFKB1 rs4648068 and NFKBIA rs2233406 genetic variants for non-medullary thyroid cancer (NMTC) susceptibility, progression and clinical outcome. This case–control and cohort study consists of a Romanian discovery cohort (157 patients and 258 controls) and a Dutch validation cohort (138 patients and 188 controls). In addition, patient cohorts were analyzed further for the association of genetic variants with clinical parameters. Functional studies were performed on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. No associations were observed between the studied genetic variants and TC susceptibility. Although no statistically significant associations with clinical parameters were observed for NFKB1 rs4648068, the heterozygous genotype of NFKBIA rs2233406 was correlated with decreased radioactive iodide sensitivity requiring higher cumulative dosages to achieve clinical response. These findings were discovered in the Romanian cohort (P < 0.001) and confirmed in the Dutch cohort (P = 0.01). Functional studies revealed that this NFKBIA rs2233406 genotype was associated with elevated TLR4-mediated IL-1β production. In conclusion, genetic variation in NFKBIA, an inhibitor of NF-κB signaling, is associated with clinical response to RAI therapy and with increased production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β, providing a potential mechanism for the observed clinical associations. These data suggest that NF-κB signaling is involved in NMTC pathogenesis and that the inflammatory tumor microenvironment could contribute to RAI resistance.

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Angelique Huijbers, Theo S Plantinga, Leo A B Joosten, Katja K H Aben, Julius Gudmundsson, Martin den Heijer, Lambertus A L M Kiemeney, Mihai G Netea, Ad R M M Hermus, and Romana T Netea-Maier

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Elena Valassi, Frédéric Castinetti, Amandine Ferriere, Stylianos Tsagarakis, Richard A Feelders, Romana T Netea-Maier, Michael Droste, Christian J Strasburger, Dominique Maiter, Darko Kastelan, Philippe Chanson, Susan M Webb, Frank Demtröder, Valdis Pirags, Olivier Chabre, Holger Franz, Alicia Santos, and Martin Reincke

Corticotroph tumor progression after bilateral adrenalectomy/Nelson’s syndrome (CTP-BADX/NS) is a severe complication of bilateral adrenalectomy (BADX). The aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence, presentation and outcome of CTP-BADX/NS in patients with Cushing’s disease (CD) included in the European Registry on Cushing’s Syndrome (ERCUSYN). We examined data on 1045 CD patients and identified 85 (8%) who underwent BADX. Of these, 73 (86%) had follow-up data available. The median duration of follow-up since BADX to the last visit/death was 7 years (IQR 2–9 years). Thirty-three patients (45%) experienced CTP-BADX/NS after 3 years (1.5–6) since BADX. Cumulative progression-free survival was 73% at 3 years, 66% at 5 years and 46% at 10 years. CTP-BADX/NS patients more frequently had a visible tumor at diagnosis of CD than patients without CTP-BADX/NS (P < 0.05). Twenty-seven CTP-BADX/NS patients underwent surgery, 48% radiotherapy and 27% received medical therapy. The median time since diagnosis of CTP-BADX/NS to the last follow-up visit was 2 years (IQR, 1–5). Control of tumor progression was not achieved in 16 of 33 (48%) patients, of whom 8 (50%) died after a mean of 4 years. Maximum adenoma size at diagnosis of CD was associated with further tumor growth in CTP-BADX/NS despite treatment (P = 0.033). Diagnosis of CTP-BADX/NS, older age, greater UFC levels at diagnosis of CD and initial treatment predicted mortality. In conclusion, CTP-BADX/NS was reported in 45% of the ERCUSYN patients who underwent BADX, and control of tumor growth was reached in half of them. Future studies are needed to establish effective strategies for prevention and treatment.