MEN2B is a very rare autosomal dominant hereditary tumor syndrome associated with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in 100% cases, pheochromocytoma in 50% cases and multiple extra-endocrine features, many of which can be quite disabling. Only few data are available in the literature. The aim of this review is to try to give further insights into the natural history of the disease and to point out the missing evidence that would help clinicians optimize the management of such patients. MEN2B is mainly characterized by the early occurrence of MTC, which led the American Thyroid Association to recommend preventive thyroidectomy before the age of 1 year. However, as the majority of mutations are de novo, improved knowledge of the nonendocrine signs would help to lower the age of diagnosis and improve long-term outcomes. Future large-scale studies will be aimed at characterizing more in detail the main characteristics and outcomes of MEN2B.
Frederic Castinetti, Jeffrey Moley, Lois Mulligan, and Steven G Waguespack
Elizabeth Grubbs, Daniel Halperin, Steven G Waguespack, and Robert F Gagel
The multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) workshops had their beginnings at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in June 1984. This initial meeting brought clinicians and scientists together to focus on mapping the gene for multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2). These efforts culminated in the identification of the RET protooncogene as the causative gene a decade later. Over the next 35 years there were a total of 16 international workshops focused on the several MEN syndromes. Importantly, these workshops were instrumental in efforts to define the molecular basis for multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), MEN2, von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL), Carney Complex, hereditary pheochromocytoma and hyperparathyroidism. In this same spirit some 150 scientists and clinicians met at MD Anderson Cancer Center, 27–29 March 2019, for the 16th International Workshop on Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN2019). Appropriate to its location in a cancer centre, the workshop focused on important issues in the causation and treatment of malignant aspects of the MEN syndromes: medullary thyroid carcinoma, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours, malignant pheochromocytoma and parathyroid carcinoma. Workshops at the meeting focused on a better understanding of how the identified molecular defects in these genetic syndromes lead to transformation, how to apply targeted kinase inhibitors and immunotherapy to treat these tumours and important clinical management issues. This issue of Endocrine-Related Cancer describes these discussions and recommendations.