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Catherine M Olsen, Adèle C Green, Christina M Nagle, Susan J Jordan, David C Whiteman, Christopher J Bain, Penelope M Webb, and on behalf of the Australian Cancer Study Group (Ovarian Cancer) and the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group

In 1998, Risch proposed a hypothesis for the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer relating to the role of androgens in stimulating epithelial cell proliferation. Although this hypothesis has been widely discussed, direct evidence to support it is scant. To address this issue, we have conducted a detailed analysis of factors possibly associated with high circulating levels of androgens, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hirsutism and acne (all clinically associated with hyperandrogenism) using the data collected in an Australia-wide, population-based case-control study. Cases aged 18–79 years with a new diagnosis of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (n=1276) or borderline malignant tumour (n=315) were identified through a network of clinics and cancer registries throughout Australia. Controls (n=1508) were selected from the National Electoral Roll. Women self-reported a history of PCOS, acne, hirsutism and also use of testosterone supplements or the androgenic medication Danazol. We found no evidence that a history of PCOS, acne or hirsutism was associated with ovarian cancer overall, or with specific subtypes, with the exception of serous borderline tumours that were positively associated with a history of PCOS (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.0–6.1). Women who had ever used testosterone supplements had an increased risk of ovarian cancer (OR 3.7; 95% CI 1.1–12.0); however, use of the androgenic medication Danazol did not increase risk (OR 1.0; 95% CI 0.4–2.9). Overall, our results do not support the hypothesis that androgen-related disorders increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

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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.

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Pedro Iglesias, Inmaculada Peiró, Betina Biagetti, Miguel Paja-Fano, Diana Ariadel Cobo, Carlos García Gómez, Manuel Mateu-Salat, Idoia Genua, Margarita Majem, Mariona Riudavets, Javier Gavira, Cristina Lamas, Antía Fernández Pombo, Fernando Guerrero-Pérez, Carles Villabona, José Manuel Cabezas Agrícola, Susan M Webb, and Juan J Díez

Central adrenal insufficiency (AI) due to isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) deficiency (IAD) has been recently associated with immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy. Our aim was to analyze the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and therapeutic outcomes in cancer patients with IAD induced by ICI therapy. A retrospective and multicenter study was performed. From a total of 4447 cancer patients treated with ICI antibodies, 37 (0.8%) (23 men (62.2%), mean age 64.7 ± 8.3 years (range 46–79 years)) were diagnosed with IAD. The tumor most frequently related to IAD was lung cancer (n = 20, 54.1%), followed by melanoma (n = 8, 21.6%). The most common ICI antibody inhibitors reported were nivolumab (n = 18, 48.6%), pembrolizumab (n = 16, 43.2%), and ipilimumab (n = 8, 21.6%). About half of the patients (n = 19, 51.4%) had other immune-related adverse events, mainly endocrine adverse effects (n = 10, 27.0%). IAD was diagnosed at a median time of 7.0 months (IQR, 5–12) after starting immunotherapy. The main reported symptom at presentation was fatigue (97.3%), followed by anorexia (81.8%) and general malaise (81.1%). Mean follow-up time since IAD diagnosis was 15.2 ± 12.5 months (range 0.3–55 months). At last visit, all patients continued with hormonal deficiency of ACTH. Median overall survival since IAD diagnosis was 6.0 months. In conclusion, IAD is a rare but a well-established complication associated with ICI therapy in cancer patients. It develops around 7 months after starting the treatment, mainly anti-PD1 antibodies. Recovery of the corticotropic axis function should not be expected.

Free access

Iulia Potorac, Patrick Petrossians, Adrian F Daly, Orsalia Alexopoulou, Sophie Borot, Mona Sahnoun-Fathallah, Frederic Castinetti, France Devuyst, Marie-Lise Jaffrain-Rea, Claire Briet, Florina Luca, Marion Lapoirie, Flavius Zoicas, Isabelle Simoneau, Alpha M Diallo, Ammar Muhammad, Fahrettin Kelestimur, Elena Nazzari, Rogelio Garcia Centeno, Susan M Webb, Marie-Laure Nunes, Vaclav Hana, Véronique Pascal-Vigneron, Irena Ilovayskaya, Farida Nasybullina, Samia Achir, Diego Ferone, Sebastian J C M M Neggers, Brigitte Delemer, Jean-Michel Petit, Christof Schöfl, Gerald Raverot, Bernard Goichot, Patrice Rodien, Bernard Corvilain, Thierry Brue, Franck Schillo, Luaba Tshibanda, Dominique Maiter, Jean-François Bonneville, and Albert Beckers

GH-secreting pituitary adenomas can be hypo-, iso- or hyper-intense on T2-weighted MRI sequences. We conducted the current multicenter study in a large population of patients with acromegaly to analyze the relationship between T2-weighted signal intensity on diagnostic MRI and hormonal and tumoral responses to somatostatin analogs (SSA) as primary monotherapy. Acromegaly patients receiving primary SSA for at least 3 months were included in the study. Hormonal, clinical and general MRI assessments were performed and assessed centrally. We included 120 patients with acromegaly. At diagnosis, 84, 17 and 19 tumors were T2-hypo-, iso- and hyper-intense, respectively. SSA treatment duration, cumulative and mean monthly doses were similar in the three groups. Patients with T2-hypo-intense adenomas had median SSA-induced decreases in GH and IGF-1 of 88% and 59% respectively, which were significantly greater than the decreases observed in the T2-iso- and hyper-intense groups (P < 0.001). Tumor shrinkage on SSA was also significantly greater in the T2-hypo-intense group (38%) compared with the T2-iso- and hyper-intense groups (8% and 3%, respectively; P < 0.0001). The response to SSA correlated with the calculated T2 intensity: the lower the T2-weighted intensity, the greater the decrease in random GH (P < 0.0001, r = 0.22), IGF-1 (P < 0.0001, r = 0.14) and adenoma volume (P < 0.0001, r = 0.33). The T2-weighted signal intensity of GH-secreting adenomas at diagnosis correlates with hormone reduction and tumor shrinkage in response to primary SSA treatment in acromegaly. This study supports its use as a generally available predictive tool at diagnosis that could help to guide subsequent treatment choices in acromegaly.

Free access

Manel Puig-Domingo, Joan Gil, Miguel Sampedro-Nuñez, Mireia Jordà, Susan M Webb, Guillermo Serra, Laura Pons, Isabel Salinas, Alberto Blanco, Montserrat Marques-Pamies, Elena Valassi, Antonio Picó, Araceli García-Martínez, Cristina Carrato, Raquel Buj, Carlos del Pozo, Gabriel Obiols, Carles Villabona, Rosa Cámara, Carmen Fajardo-Montañana, Clara V Alvarez, Ignacio Bernabéu, and Mónica Marazuela

Pharmacologic treatment of acromegaly is currently based upon assay-error strategy, the first-generation somatostatin receptor ligands (SRL) being the first-line treatment. However, about 50% of patients do not respond adequately to SRL. Our objective was to evaluate the potential usefulness of different molecular markers as predictors of response to SRL. We used somatotropinoma tissue obtained after surgery from a national cohort of 100 acromegalic patients. Seventy-one patients were treated with SRL during at least 6 months under maximal therapeutic doses according to IGF1 values. We analyzed the expression of SSTR2, SSTR5, AIP, CDH1 (E-cadherin), MKI67 (Ki-67), KLK10, DRD2, ARRB1, GHRL, In1-Ghrelin, PLAGL1 and PEBP1 (RKIP) by RT-qPCR and mutations in GNAS gene by Sanger sequencing. The response to SRL was categorized as complete response (CR), partial (PR) or non-response (NR) if IGF1 was normal, between >2<3 SDS or >3 SDS IGF1 at 6 months of follow-up, respectively. From the 71 patients treated, there were 27 CR (38%), 18 PR (25%) and 26 NR (37%). SSTR2, Ki-67 and E-cadherin were associated with SRL response (P < 0.03, P < 0.01 and P < 0.003, respectively). E-cadherin was the best discriminator for response prediction (AUC = 0.74, P < 0.02, PPV of 83.7%, NPV of 72.6%), which was validated at protein level. SSTR5 expression was higher in patients pre-treated with SRL before surgery. We conclude that somatotropinomas showed heterogeneity in the expression of genes associated with SRL response. E-cadherin was the best molecular predictor of response to SRL. Thus, the inclusion of E-cadherin in subsequent treatment-decision after surgical failure may be useful in acromegaly.

Free access

Catherine M Olsen, Christina M Nagle, David C Whiteman, Roberta Ness, Celeste Leigh Pearce, Malcolm C Pike, Mary Anne Rossing, Kathryn L Terry, Anna H Wu, The Australian Cancer Study (Ovarian Cancer), Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group, Harvey A Risch, Herbert Yu, Jennifer A Doherty, Jenny Chang-Claude, Rebecca Hein, Stefan Nickels, Shan Wang-Gohrke, Marc T Goodman, Michael E Carney, Rayna K Matsuno, Galina Lurie, Kirsten Moysich, Susanne K Kjaer, Allan Jensen, Estrid Hogdall, Ellen L Goode, Brooke L Fridley, Robert A Vierkant, Melissa C Larson, Joellen Schildkraut, Cathrine Hoyo, Patricia Moorman, Rachel P Weber, Daniel W Cramer, Allison F Vitonis, Elisa V Bandera, Sara H Olson, Lorna Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Melony King, Louise A Brinton, Hannah Yang, Montserrat Garcia-Closas, Jolanta Lissowska, Hoda Anton-Culver, Argyrios Ziogas, Simon A Gayther, Susan J Ramus, Usha Menon, Aleksandra Gentry-Maharaj, and Penelope M Webb

Whilst previous studies have reported that higher BMI increases a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer, associations for the different histological subtypes have not been well defined. As the prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically, and classification of ovarian histology has improved in the last decade, we sought to examine the association in a pooled analysis of recent studies participating in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. We evaluated the association between BMI (recent, maximum and in young adulthood) and ovarian cancer risk using original data from 15 case–control studies (13 548 cases and 17 913 controls). We combined study-specific adjusted odds ratios (ORs) using a random-effects model. We further examined the associations by histological subtype, menopausal status and post-menopausal hormone use. High BMI (all time-points) was associated with increased risk. This was most pronounced for borderline serous (recent BMI: pooled OR=1.24 per 5 kg/m2; 95% CI 1.18–1.30), invasive endometrioid (1.17; 1.11–1.23) and invasive mucinous (1.19; 1.06–1.32) tumours. There was no association with serous invasive cancer overall (0.98; 0.94–1.02), but increased risks for low-grade serous invasive tumours (1.13, 1.03–1.25) and in pre-menopausal women (1.11; 1.04–1.18). Among post-menopausal women, the associations did not differ between hormone replacement therapy users and non-users. Whilst obesity appears to increase risk of the less common histological subtypes of ovarian cancer, it does not increase risk of high-grade invasive serous cancers, and reducing BMI is therefore unlikely to prevent the majority of ovarian cancer deaths. Other modifiable factors must be identified to control this disease.