Publications by authors named "Amit Tirosh"

68 Publications

Low risk for all-cause mortality among patients with lung neuroendocrine tumors co-diagnosed with pituitary adenomas.

Endocrine 2021 May 12. Epub 2021 May 12.

Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-HaShomer, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

Purpose: Lung neoplasms often co-occur with pituitary adenoma (PA). However, whether co-diagnosis of lung neuroendocrine tumors (LNETs) and PA constitute a unique entity and the impact of such co-diagnosis on patients' outcome is yet to be defined. The study objective was to compare patients' clinical characteristics with LNET to patients co-diagnosed with PA.

Methods: A Retrospective, case-control study based on the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry database between 2000 and 2016. A total of 2947 patients with LNET, including 2913 with LNET alone ("Sporadic") and 34 patients with both LNET and PA ("LNET-PA").

Results: PA preceded LNET diagnosis in 85.3% of patients and had higher rates among LNET patients (34/2947) than with any cancer (p < 0.00001) and compared to patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (15/2378, p = 0.047). LNET-PA patients were younger at diagnosis compared with NSCLC patients and PA (p = 0.04). Among patients <60 years with LNET, co-diagnosis with PA was associated with lower all-cause mortality (ACM) risk (Log-rank test, p = 0.03). Adjusted ACM risk of patients with LNET-PA was lower than sporadic LNET (hazard ratio 0.553, 95% confidence interval 0.309-0.99, p = 0.046), especially among Caucasians, and lower overall-mortality risk in patients <60 years with borderline statistical significance (p = 0.071).

Conclusions: Patients with both LNET and PA constitute a distinct morbidity and mortality profile than sporadic LNET, possibly suggesting an undefined MEN syndrome. Additional studies to further investigate patients' natural course and genetic profile with these neoplasms are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12020-021-02740-yDOI Listing
May 2021

Distinct Prognostic Factors in Sporadic and Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1-Related Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors.

Horm Metab Res 2021 May 20;53(5):319-325. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Tel Hashomer, Israel.

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNET) may develop sporadically or in the context of hereditary syndromes. In patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), PNET is the leading cause of death. Our aim was to compare the mortality risk in sporadic and MEN1-related PNETs and identify high-risk populations. A retrospective Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database analysis of patients with PNET was used. Patients with MEN1 were defined by syn/metachronous pituitary adenoma. Clinical data were retrieved, and all-cause mortality (ACM) risk was compared in univariate and multivariable analyses. The cohort included 569 patients (46.6% males) with sporadic (n=542) and MEN1-related (n=27) PNETs. Age at diagnosis of MEN1-related PNET was significantly younger than with sporadic PNETs (mean age 49.2±16.7 vs. 61.6±12.7 years, respectively; p < 0.001). Survival analysis showed a trend for a better outcome in patients with MEN1-related vs. sporadic PNET (Log-rank, p=0.09) and in subgroup analysis for patients with advanced disease (p=0.08). Furthermore, among patients followed expectantly, those with MEN1-related PNET had lower ACM risk than their sporadic counterparts (p=0.08). Multivariable analysis demonstrated lower ACM risk in patients diagnosed with MEN1 (hazard ratio 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.11-1.2, p=0.09), further supporting the trend detected in the univariate analysis. In conclusion, our study demonstrates the distinct clinical profile of patients with MEN1-related PNET compared to sporadic disease and emphasizes the expertise required to accurately manage patients with PNET in this rare context. The cautious decision-making required before embarking on surgical intervention is further emphasized in this robust analysis of a large cancer database.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1464-1276DOI Listing
May 2021

Impact of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor on Mortality in Patients with von Hippel-Lindau Disease.

Endocr Pract 2021 Mar 15. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Neuroendocrine Tumors Service, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, a VHL Alliance Clinical Care Center;; Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Electronic address:

Objective: The main causes for morbidity and mortality in von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease are central nervous system hemangioblastoma and clear cell renal cell carcinoma, whereas the effect of VHL-related pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNET) on patient outcome is unclear. We assessed the impact of PNET diagnosis in patients with VHL on all-cause mortality (ACM) risk METHODS: We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database. Of 16,344 patients, 170 had VHL based on clinical diagnostic criteria, and 510 patients had PNET (91 VHL-related and 419 sporadic).

Results: Survival analysis demonstrated a lower ACM among patients with VHL-related PNET compare to patients with sporadic PNET (Log-rank test, p=0.011). Among patients with VHL, ACM risk was higher with vs. without PNET (p=0.029). Subgroup analysis revealed higher ACM risk with metastatic PNET (sporadic p=0.0031 and VHL-related p=0.08) and similar trend for PNET diameter >=3 cm (p=0.06 and p=0.1 in sporadic and VHL-related PNET, respectively). In multivariable analysis of patients with VHL, diagnosis with PNET by itself was associated with a trend of lower risk for ACM (HR 0.3, 95% CI 0.06-1.1, p=0.07), while presence of metastatic PNET was independently associated with increased ACM risk (HR 4.1, 95% CI 1.5-11.4, p=0.008).

Conclusion: Diagnosis with PNET is not associated with a higher ACM risk in VHL by itself. The independent association of advanced PNET stage with higher mortality risk emphasizes the importance of active surveillance for detecting high-risk PNET at early stage, to allow timely intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eprac.2021.03.005DOI Listing
March 2021

Intercellular Transmission of Hepatic ER Stress in Obesity Disrupts Systemic Metabolism.

Cell Metab 2021 02 18;33(2):319-333.e6. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Sabri Ülker Center for Metabolic Research, Molecular Metabolism, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. Electronic address:

Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) has a pathophysiological role in obesity-associated insulin resistance. Yet, the coordinated tissue response to ERS remains unclear. Increased connexin 43 (Cx43)-mediated intercellular communication has been implicated in tissue-adaptive and -maladaptive response to various chronic stresses. Here, we demonstrate that in hepatocytes, ERS results in increased Cx43 expression and cell-cell coupling. Co-culture of ER-stressed "donor" cells resulted in intercellular transmission of ERS and dysfunction to ERS-naive "recipient" cells ("bystander response"), which could be prevented by genetic or pharmacologic suppression of Cx43. Hepatocytes from obese mice were able to transmit ERS to hepatocytes from lean mice, and mice lacking liver Cx43 were protected from diet-induced ERS, insulin resistance, and hepatosteatosis. Taken together, our results indicate that in obesity, the increased Cx43-mediated cell-cell coupling allows intercellular propagation of ERS. This novel maladaptive response to over-nutrition exacerbates the tissue ERS burden, promoting hepatosteatosis and impairing whole-body glucose metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2020.11.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7858244PMC
February 2021

Volumetric Modeling of Adrenal Gland Size in Primary Bilateral Macronodular Adrenocortical Hyperplasia.

J Endocr Soc 2021 Jan 29;5(1):bvaa162. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Section on Endocrinology & Genetics (SEGEN), Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA.

Context: Radiological characterization of adrenal size in primary bilateral macronodular adrenocortical hyperplasia (PBMAH) has not been previously investigated.

Objective: We hypothesized that volumetric modeling of adrenal gland size may correlate with biochemical disease severity in patients with PBMAH. Secondary analysis of patients with concurrent primary aldosteronism (PA) was performed.

Design: A retrospective cross-sectional analysis of 44 patients with PBMAH was conducted from 2000 to 2019.

Setting: Tertiary care clinical research center.

Patients: Patients were diagnosed with PBMAH based upon clinical, genetic, radiographic and biochemical characteristics.

Intervention: Clinical, biochemical, and genetic data were obtained. Computed tomography scans were used to create volumetric models by manually contouring both adrenal glands in each slice using Vitrea Core Fx v6.3 software (Vital Images, Minnetonka, Minnesota).

Main Outcome And Measures: 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OHS), genetics, and aldosterone-to-renin ratio (ARR) were retrospectively obtained. Pearson test was used for correlation analysis of biochemical data with adrenal volume.

Results: A cohort of 44 patients with PBMAH was evaluated, with a mean age (±SD) of 53 ± 11.53. Eight patients met the diagnostic criteria for PA, of whom 6 (75%) were Black. In the Black cohort, total adrenal volumes positively correlated with midnight cortisol (R = 0.76,  = 0.028), urinary free cortisol (R = 0.70,  = 0.035), and 17-OHS (R = 0.87,  = 0.0045), with a more pronounced correlation with left adrenal volume alone. 17-OHS concentration positively correlated with total, left, and right adrenal volume in patients harboring pathogenic variants in (R = 0.72,  = 0.018; R = 0.65,  = 0.042; and R = 0.73,  = 0.016, respectively).

Conclusions: Volumetric modeling of adrenal gland size may associate with biochemical severity in patients with PBMAH, with particular utility in Black patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvaa162DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7716656PMC
January 2021

The X-linked acrogigantism-associated gene gpr101 is a regulator of early embryonic development and growth in zebrafish.

Mol Cell Endocrinol 2021 01 26;520:111091. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Section on Endocrinology and Genetics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA.

We recently described X-linked acrogigantism (X-LAG), a condition of early childhood-onset pituitary gigantism associated with microduplications of the GPR101 receptor. The expression of GPR101 in hyperplastic pituitary regions and tumors in X-LAG patients, and GPR101's normally transient pituitary expression during fetal development, suggest a role in the regulation of growth. Nevertheless, little is still known about GPR101's physiological functions, especially during development. By using zebrafish models, we investigated the role of gpr101 during embryonic development and somatic growth. Transient ectopic gpr101 expression perturbed the embryonic body plan but did not affect growth. Loss of gpr101 led to a significant reduction in body size that was even more pronounced in the absence of maternal transcripts, as well as subfertility. These changes were accompanied by gastrulation and hypothalamic defects. In conclusion, both gpr101 loss- and gain-of-function affect, in different ways, fertility, embryonic patterning, growth and brain development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2020.111091DOI Listing
January 2021

Prevalence of Hypothyroidism in Patients With Erdheim-Chester Disease.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 10 1;3(10):e2019169. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Importance: Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD) is a rare non-Langerhans cell histiocytosis affecting multiple organs and commonly caused by somatic pathogenic variants in BRAF V600E and mitogen-activated protein kinase genes. Clinical features of ECD result from histiocytic involvement of various tissues; while endocrine involvement in ECD occurs frequently, the prevalence of central or primary hypothyroidism has not been thoroughly investigated.

Objective: To assess hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) dysfunction in patients with ECD.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cross-sectional study included 61 patients with ECD who were enrolled in a natural history study at a tertiary care center between January 2011 and December 2018. ECD was diagnosed on the basis of clinical, genetic, and histopathological features. Data were analyzed in March 2020.

Exposure: Diagnosis of ECD.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Main outcome was the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in adults with ECD compared with community estimates. Patients underwent baseline evaluation with a thyroid function test, including thyrotropin, free thyroxine (fT4), and total thyroxine (T4), and sellar imaging with magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scan. The association of HPT dysfunction was assessed for differences in age, sex, body mass index, BRAF V600E status, high sensitivity C-reactive protein level, sellar imaging, and pituitary hormonal dysfunction.

Results: A total of 61 patients with ECD (46 [75%] men; mean [SD] age, 54.3 [10.9] years) were evaluated. Seventeen patients (28%) had hypothyroidism requiring levothyroxine therapy. The prevalence of both central and primary hypothyroidism were higher than community estimates (central hypothyroidism: 9.8% vs 0.1%; odds ratio, 109.0; 95% CI, 37.4-260.6; P < .001; primary hypothyroidism: 18.0% vs 4.7%; OR, 4.4; 95% CI, 2.1-8.7; P < .001). Patients with hypothyroidism (both primary and central), compared with patients with euthyroidism, had higher body mass index (median [interquartile range] 31.4 [28.3-38.3] vs 26.7 [24.4-31.9]; P = .004) and a higher prevalence of panhypopituitarism (7 [47%] vs 3 [7%]; P < .001). Among patients with hypothyroidism, those with central hypothyroidism, compared with patients with primary hypothyroidism, had a lower mean (SD) body mass index (28.3 [2.6] vs 36.3 [5.9]; P = .007) and higher frequencies of abnormal sellar imaging (5 [83%] vs 3 [27%]; P = .050) and panhypopituitarism (5 [83%] vs 3 [27%]; P = .050).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study, a higher prevalence of central and primary hypothyroidism was identified in patients with ECD compared with the community. There should be a low threshold for testing for hypothyroidism in patients with ECD, and treatment should follow standard guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7596581PMC
October 2020

Pediatric Cushing's syndrome: greater risk of being overweight or obese after long-term remission and its predictive factors.

Eur J Endocrinol 2021 Jan;184(1):179-187

Section on Endocrinology and Genetics, Developmental Endocrinology Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Objective: Due to the rarity of Cushing's syndrome (CS) in children and adolescents, data are scarce about BMI during active disease and following remission. Therefore, our aim was to analyze BMI after long-term remission and determine predictive factors for promptly identifying patients at risk of being overweight or obese after remission for CS.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Patients: 73 patients: 58 (79.4%) had Cushing disease, 40 males (58%), median age of 12 years (IQR: 9-15). The mean follow-up time was 22.4 ± 18.2 months (range: 4-98).

Methods: Main outcome measures: BMI, lipid profile, blood pressure, HOMA-IR.

Results: At diagnosis, only eight (11%) patients had a normal weight. Although the BMI z-score at the last follow-up improved (2.0 ± 0.7 to 1.0 ± 1.2, P < 0.001), 44% remained overweight or obese after 2 years of remission according to the Kaplan-Meier curves. The BMI z-scores at the last follow-up correlated only with HOMA-IR levels (r: 0.49, P = 0.027). We found two independent factors related to reaching a normal weight: BMI z-score at diagnosis (HR: 0.156, 95% CI: 0.038-0.644; P = 0.01) and BMI z-score change at 6 ± 2 months (HR: 2.980, 95% CI:1.473-6.028; P = 0.002), which had high accuracy when a cut-off of 0.5 was used for ROC analysis (AUC = 0.828 (0.67-0.97); P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Children and adolescents with CS have a high risk of being overweight or obese after successful treatment for their disease. At risk patients can be identified quickly based on their baseline BMI and initial weight loss after surgery. Efforts should focus on adopting healthy diet and lifestyle in the immediate postoperative period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EJE-20-0848DOI Listing
January 2021

Utilization of machine-learning models to accurately predict the risk for critical COVID-19.

Intern Emerg Med 2020 Nov 18;15(8):1435-1443. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Among patients with Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the ability to identify patients at risk for deterioration during their hospital stay is essential for effective patient allocation and management. To predict patient risk for critical COVID-19 based on status at admission using machine-learning models. Retrospective study based on a database of tertiary medical center with designated departments for patients with COVID-19. Patients with severe COVID-19 at admission, based on low oxygen saturation, low partial arterial oxygen pressure, were excluded. The primary outcome was risk for critical disease, defined as mechanical ventilation, multi-organ failure, admission to the ICU, and/or death. Three different machine-learning models were used to predict patient deterioration and compared to currently suggested predictors and to the APACHEII risk-prediction score. Among 6995 patients evaluated, 162 were hospitalized with non-severe COVID-19, of them, 25 (15.4%) patients deteriorated to critical COVID-19. Machine-learning models outperformed the all other parameters, including the APACHE II score (ROC AUC of 0.92 vs. 0.79, respectively), reaching 88.0% sensitivity, 92.7% specificity and 92.0% accuracy in predicting critical COVID-19. The most contributory variables to the models were APACHE II score, white blood cell count, time from symptoms to admission, oxygen saturation and blood lymphocytes count. Machine-learning models demonstrated high efficacy in predicting critical COVID-19 compared to the most efficacious tools available. Hence, artificial intelligence may be applied for accurate risk prediction of patients with COVID-19, to optimize patients triage and in-hospital allocation, better prioritization of medical resources and improved overall management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-020-02475-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7433773PMC
November 2020

Patients With MEN1 Are at an Increased Risk for Venous Thromboembolism.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Jan;106(2):e460-e468

Metabolic Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Background: Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a rare inherited disorder predisposing the development of multiple functional and nonfunctional neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Only uncommon MEN1-associated functional NETs such as glucagonomas (<1%) and adenocorticotropic hormone-producing tumors (<5%) are known to be associated with hypercoagulability. It is unknown if patients with MEN1 generally have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Methods: We queried a prospective natural history study of germline mutation-positive MEN1 patients (n = 286) between 1991 and 2019 for all lifetime events of VTE. The search terms were: DVT, thromb, embol, PE, pulmonary embolism, clot, hematology consult, anticoagulant, coumadin, lovenox, xarelto, warfarin, aspirin, rivaroxaban, and apixaban. Incidence rates were calculated, accounting for age and sex. Comparisons were made to published incidence rates in healthy populations, different types of cancer, and Cushing's syndrome.

Results: Thirty-six subjects (median age 45 years, range 16-75) experienced a VTE event, yielding a prevalence rate of 12.9%. The age-sex adjusted incidence rate of VTE is 9.11 per 1000 patient-years, with a sex-adjusted lifetime incidence rate of 2.81 per 1000 patient-years. MEN1-associated lifetime incidence rates are ~2-fold higher than the estimated annual incidence rate in the general population and are comparable to the known risk in the setting of various types of cancer. Approximately 80% of patients who had a VTE were diagnosed with pancreatic NETs, of which 24% were insulinomas. Fourteen patients (42%) experienced perioperative VTE events.

Conclusions: MEN1 patients have an increased risk of VTE. Further mechanistic investigation and validation from other MEN1 cohorts are needed to confirm the increased prevalence of VTE in MEN1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa501DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7823242PMC
January 2021

Distinct DNA Methylation Signatures in Neuroendocrine Tumors Specific for Primary Site and Inherited Predisposition.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 10;105(10)

Department of Surgery and Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Purpose: To compare the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation signature of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) by primary tumor site and inherited predisposition syndromes von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1).

Methods: Genome-wide DNA methylation (835 424 CpGs) of 96 NET samples. Principal components analysis (PCA) and unsupervised hierarchical clustering analyses were used to determine DNA methylome signatures.

Results: Hypomethylated CpGs were significantly more common in VHL-related versus sporadic and MEN1-related NETs (P < .001 for both comparisons). Small-intestinal NETs (SINETs) had the most differentially methylated CpGs, either hyper- or hypomethylated, followed by duodenal NETs (DNETs) and pancreatic NETs (PNETs, P < .001 for all comparisons). There was complete separation of SINETs on PCA, and 3 NETs of unknown origin clustered with the SINET samples. Sporadic, VHL-related, and MEN1-related PNETs formed distinct groups on PCA, and VHL clustered separately, showing pronounced DNA hypomethylation, while sporadic and MEN1-related NETs clustered together. MEN1-related PNETs, DNETs, and gastric NETs each had a distinct DNA methylome signature, with complete separation by PCA and unsupervised clustering. Finally, we identified 12 hypermethylated CpGs in the 1A promoter of the APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) gene, with higher methylation levels in MEN1-related NETs versus VHL-related and sporadic NETs (P < .001 for both comparisons).

Conclusions: DNA CpG methylation profiles are unique in different primary NET types even when occurring in MEN1-related NETs. This tumor DNA methylome signature may be utilized for noninvasive molecular characterization of NETs, through DNA methylation profiling of biopsy samples or even circulating tumor DNA in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa477DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7456345PMC
October 2020

Genetic and epigenetic alterations in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

J Gastrointest Oncol 2020 Jun;11(3):567-577

Department of Surgery and Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a heterogenous group of tumors that originate from neuroendocrine cells, mainly in the pancreas and the gastrointestinal and bronchopulmonary tracts. There has been considerable progress in our understanding of the genetic and epigenetic changes associated with pancreatic NETs (PNETs). The main genetic alterations that drive PNETs include genetic alterations in , and genes involved in the mTOR pathway, and/or mutations and their association with alternative telomere lengthening, and genes involved in DNA damage repair and chromatin modification. The epigenetic alterations in PNETs are also common based on genome-wide DNA methylation profiling studies, with a high rate of CpG hypermethylation in MEN1-associated PNETs compared to sporadic and VHL-associated PNETs. Moreover, the dysregulated DNA methylation status is associated with distinct gene expression profiles. This article reviews the commonly and recently discovered genetic and epigenetic changes that are associated with PNETs, inherited PNETs, and genotype-phenotype associations, and it discusses their clinical relevance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jgo.2020.03.11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340809PMC
June 2020

Germline variant in is a novel candidate gene in familial pheochromocytoma.

Genet Res (Camb) 2020 05 1;102:e3. Epub 2020 May 1.

The Susanne Levy Gertner Oncogenetics Unit, The Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics, Tel HaShomer, Israel.

Pheochromocytoma (PCC) is a rare, mostly benign tumour of the adrenal medulla. Hereditary PCC accounts for ~35% of cases and has been associated with germline mutations in several cancer susceptibility genes (e.g., KIF1B, SDHB, VHL, SDHD, RET). We performed whole-exome sequencing in a family with four PCC-affected patients in two consecutive generations and identified a potential novel candidate pathogenic variant in the REXO2 gene that affects splicing (c.531-1G>T (NM 015523.3)), which co-segregated with the phenotype in the family. REXO2 encodes for RNA exonuclease 2 protein and localizes to 11q23, a chromosomal region displaying allelic imbalance in PCC. REXO2 protein has been associated with DNA repair, replication and recombination processes and thus its inactivation may contribute to tumorigenesis. While the study suggests that this novel REXO2 gene variant underlies PCC in this family, additional functional studies are required in order to establish the putative role of the REXO2 gene in PCC predisposition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0016672320000038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7214532PMC
May 2020

Activating genomic alterations in the Gs alpha gene (GNAS) in 274 694 tumors.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2020 09 14;59(9):503-516. Epub 2020 May 14.

Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Activating point mutations in two codons (R201 and Q227) in the alpha subunit of the stimulatory GTP binding protein (GNAS) gene-coined gsp mutations-were originally reported in growth hormone secreting pituitary adenomas. In these tumor types, gsp activating mutations were associated with uncontrolled intracellular cAMP accumulation leading to cellular proliferation and tumor formation. Since the original description of gsp mutations in pituitary and later thyroid neoplasia, many more tumors were genotyped for these specific activating mutations. In this paradigm, GNAS is an oncogene that can be activated by other molecular mechanisms, such as DNA amplification and translocation. Herein, we describe the largest account to date of tumor types that harbor pathogenic GNAS genomic alterations (GAs) including the "classical" gsp activating point mutations, delineate some common features of these tumors, and speculate as to the possible mechanisms whereby GNAS activating GAs are associated with the various stages of tumorigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22854DOI Listing
September 2020

Liver findings in patients with Carney complex, germline PRKAR1A pathogenic variants, and link to cardiac myxomas.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2020 06;27(6):355-360

Biomedical and Metabolic Imaging Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

This study aimed to evaluate liver involvement in patients with Carney complex (CNC) based on a large cohort and to analyze any germline PRKAR1A genotype-phenotype association of liver disease. The study included 83 patients with CNC, followed between 1995 and 2018 at a tertiary research center. We reviewed liver images, recorded types and number of lesions and analyzed per genotype: all patients were sequenced for the PRKAR1A gene. A total of 29/83 patients (24.0%) had liver radiological findings. Patients with liver lesion had a significantly higher rate of pathogenic variants detected in the PRKAR1A gene (72.4 vs 38.9%, P = 0.005, respectively). Patients with a pathogenic variant detected on germline PRKAR1A analysis had a higher risk for having a liver lesion compared with patients with wild-type (WT) PRKAR1A alleles (21/42 (50.0%) vs 8/41 (19.5%), respectively, P = 0.004). Among patients with liver lesions, those with a nonsense PRKAR1A pathogenic-variant had more liver lesions (7/7) than among those with other pathogenic-variant types (8/22, P = 0.001). In multivariable analysis, detection of liver lesion(s) was associated with an odds ratio of 5.2 for cardiac myxomas (95% CI 1.55-17.49, P = 0.008). In conclusion, patients with CNC, particularly with a PRKAR1A pathogenic variant, have a higher rate of liver lesions. Additionally, liver lesions are associated with a high risk for cardiac myxomas in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-19-0517DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7486872PMC
June 2020

Computerized Analysis of Brain MRI Parameter Dynamics in Young Patients With Cushing Syndrome-A Case-Control Study.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 05;105(5)

Section on Endocrinology and Genetics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Background: Young patients with Cushing Syndrome (CS) may develop cognitive and behavioral alterations during disease course.

Methods: To investigate the effects of CS on the brain, we analyzed consecutive MRI scans of patients with (n = 29) versus without CS (n = 8). Multiple brain compartments were processed for total and gray/white matter (GM/WM) volumes and intensities, and cortical volume, thickness, and surface area. Dynamics (last/baseline scans ratio per parameter) were analyzed versus cortisol levels and CS status (persistent, resolved, and non-CS).

Results: Twenty-four-hour urinary free cortisol (24hUFC) measurements had inverse correlation with the intensity of subcortical GM structures and of the corpus callosum, and with the cerebral WM intensity. 24hUFC dynamics had negative correlation with volume dynamics of multiple cerebral and cerebellar structures. Patients with persistent CS had less of an increase in cortical thickness and WM intensity, and less of a decrease in WM volume compared with patients with resolution of CS. Patients with resolution of their CS had less of an increase in subcortical GM and cerebral WM volumes, but a greater increase in cortical thickness of frontal lobe versus controls.

Conclusion: Changes in WM/GM consistency, intensity, and homogeneity in patients with CS may correlate with CS clinical consequences better than volume dynamics alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgz303DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7089850PMC
May 2020

Isolated autoimmune adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency: From a rare disease to the dominant cause of adrenal insufficiency related to check point inhibitors.

Autoimmun Rev 2020 Feb 12;19(2):102454. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Institute of Oncology, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel; Pinchas Burstein Talpiot Medical Leadership Program, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Objective: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have introduced a new and heterogeneous class of immune-related adverse effects, with the endocrine system being a predominant target for autoimmunity. Autoimmune hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) diseases induced by checkpoint inhibitors are being increasingly recognized. We aimed to characterize the spectrum of checkpoint associated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis endocrinopathies.

Design: A retrospective cohort study of a tertiary cancer center.

Methods: Patients were characterized for HPA axis abnormalities based on clinical and pituitary axes evaluation. The risk for developing HPA endocrinopathies was compared by log- rank test, by the time since checkpoint inhibitors initiation. Additionally, the risk for developing HPA endocrinopathies after adjusting for covariates was assessed using multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Results: Among 1615 patients, fourteen (0.87%) patients developed isolated adrecocorticotrophic hormone deficiency (IAD), six (0.37%) - hypophysitis and no case of adrenalitis was identified. IAD presented with mild and non-specific symptoms, mainly asthenia. In multivariable analysis, exposure to both PD-1/PD-L1 and Ipilimumab and female gender were associated with an increased odds ratio (OR) for developing IAD (6.98 [95% CI 2.38-20.47, p < .001] and 3.67 [95% CI 1.13-11.84, p = .03]), respectively.

Conclusions: IAD, a rare disease before the immunotherapy era, has become a predominant checkpoint related HPA axis autoimmune injury. Despite its life threatening potential, IAD may be missed due to its subtle presentation. Patients exposed to Ipilimumab and PD-1/PD-L1 in combination or sequentially and women have an increased risk for developing IAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2019.102454DOI Listing
February 2020

Adrenocortical tumors have a distinct, long, non-coding RNA expression profile and LINC00271 is downregulated in malignancy.

Surgery 2020 01 13;167(1):224-232. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD; Department of Surgery and Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford University, CA.

Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma is an aggressive malignancy with a low but variable overall survival rate. The role of in adrenocortical carcinoma is poorly understood. Thus, in this study we performed long noncoding RNA expression profiling in adrenocortical carcinomas, adrenocortical adenomas, and normal adrenal cortex.

Methods: Long noncoding RNA expression profile using Human LncRNA/mRNA Expression Microarray V3.0 (Arraystar, Inc, Rockville, MD) was analyzed in samples from 11 adrenocortical adenomas, 9 adrenocortical carcinomas, and 5 normal adrenal cortex. Differentially expressed long noncoding RNAs were validated using TaqMan, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction with additional samples. The dataset from the adrenocortical carcinoma Cancer Genome Atlas Programproject was used to evaluate the prognostic utility of long noncoding RNAs.

Results: Unsupervised hierarchical clustering showed distinct clustering of adrenocortical carcinoma samples compared with normal adrenal cortex and adrenocortical adenoma samples by long noncoding RNA expression profiles. A total of 874 long noncoding RNAs were differentially expressed between adrenocortical carcinoma and normal adrenal cortex. LINC00271 expression level was associated with prognosis, patients with low LINC00271 expression survived a shorter time than patients with high LINC00271 expression. Low LINC00271 expression was positively associated with WNT signaling, cell cycle, and chromosome segregation pathways.

Conclusion: Adrenocortical carcinoma has a distinct long noncoding RNA expression profile. LINC00271 is downregulated in adrenocortical carcinoma and appears to be involved in biologic pathways commonly dysregulated in adrenocortical carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2019.04.067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6904435PMC
January 2020

Comparison of Pheochromocytoma-Specific Morbidity and Mortality Among Adults With Bilateral Pheochromocytomas Undergoing Total Adrenalectomy vs Cortical-Sparing Adrenalectomy.

JAMA Netw Open 2019 08 2;2(8):e198898. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Life Sciences, Central South University, Changsha, China.

Importance: Large studies investigating long-term outcomes of patients with bilateral pheochromocytomas treated with either total or cortical-sparing adrenalectomies are needed to inform clinical management.

Objective: To determine the association of total vs cortical-sparing adrenalectomy with pheochromocytoma-specific mortality, the burden of primary adrenal insufficiency after bilateral adrenalectomy, and the risk of pheochromocytoma recurrence.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study used data from a multicenter consortium-based registry for 625 patients treated for bilateral pheochromocytomas between 1950 and 2018. Data were analyzed from September 1, 2018, to June 1, 2019.

Exposures: Total or cortical-sparing adrenalectomy.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary adrenal insufficiency, recurrent pheochromocytoma, and mortality.

Results: Of 625 patients (300 [48%] female) with a median (interquartile range [IQR]) age of 30 (22-40) years at diagnosis, 401 (64%) were diagnosed with synchronous bilateral pheochromocytomas and 224 (36%) were diagnosed with metachronous pheochromocytomas (median [IQR] interval to second adrenalectomy, 6 [1-13] years). In 505 of 526 tested patients (96%), germline mutations were detected in the genes RET (282 patients [54%]), VHL (184 patients [35%]), and other genes (39 patients [7%]). Of 849 adrenalectomies performed in 625 patients, 324 (52%) were planned as cortical sparing and were successful in 248 of 324 patients (76.5%). Primary adrenal insufficiency occurred in all patients treated with total adrenalectomy but only in 23.5% of patients treated with attempted cortical-sparing adrenalectomy. A third of patients with adrenal insufficiency developed complications, such as adrenal crisis or iatrogenic Cushing syndrome. Of 377 patients who became steroid dependent, 67 (18%) developed at least 1 adrenal crisis and 50 (13%) developed iatrogenic Cushing syndrome during median (IQR) follow-up of 8 (3-25) years. Two patients developed recurrent pheochromocytoma in the adrenal bed despite total adrenalectomy. In contrast, 33 patients (13%) treated with successful cortical-sparing adrenalectomy developed another pheochromocytoma within the remnant adrenal after a median (IQR) of 8 (4-13) years, all of which were successfully treated with another surgery. Cortical-sparing surgery was not associated with survival. Overall survival was associated with comorbidities unrelated to pheochromocytoma: of 63 patients who died, only 3 (5%) died of metastatic pheochromocytoma.

Conclusions And Relevance: Patients undergoing cortical-sparing adrenalectomy did not demonstrate decreased survival, despite development of recurrent pheochromocytoma in 13%. Cortical-sparing adrenalectomy should be considered in all patients with hereditary pheochromocytoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8898DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6692838PMC
August 2019

Anatomic site as prognostic marker of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: a cohort study.

Eur J Endocrinol 2019 Sep;181(3):325-330

Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Objective: Patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNET) have variable prognosis, even with comparable tumor grade and stage. In the current study we aimed to evaluate the prognostic utility of the intrapancreatic PNET anatomical site.

Design: Cohort study based on the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results database.

Methods: Patients diagnosed with non-functioning PNET between 2004 and 2015 were compared by anatomic site for disease-specific mortality and all-cause mortality, using log-rank test and by multivariable cox regression analysis.

Results: Overall, 4171 patients (1839 women (44.1%), median age strata 60-64 years, range 10-14 to ≥85 years) were included in our analysis. Patients with PNETs located at the head vs body/tail of the pancreas had comparable tumor diameter, as well as ethnicity, gender and age distributions, but had higher rates of grade III and IV NET (13.2 vs 6.6% and 4.4 vs 1.9%, respectively, P < 0.001). NETs located at the head vs body/tail of pancreas were more likely to be locally advanced (32.2 vs 19.9%) with no difference in distant metastases (36.4 vs 33.5%, respectively, P < 0.001). Patients with NETs of the head vs. body/tail of the pancreas had higher disease-specific mortality risk in univariate (log-rank test, P < 0.001) and multivariable analysis (hazard ratio (HR): 1.34, 95% confidence interval: 1.10-1.65, P = 0.004). Multivariable analysis for all-cause mortality also showed increased risk for patients with pancreatic head vs. body/tail PNET (HR: 1.23, P = 0.013).

Conclusions: PNET anatomical location is associated with the mortality risk and should be considered as a prognostic factor, and as an additional consideration in directing patients management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EJE-19-0332DOI Listing
September 2019

Lower all-cause mortality rates in patients harboring pituitary carcinoma following the introduction of temozolomide.

Endocrine 2019 08 2;65(2):393-398. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of temozolomide (TMZ) introduction on the survival of patients with pituitary carcinoma (PC) compared to aggressive pituitary adenoma (APA).

Methods: Retrospective analysis of the Surveillance Epidemiology and End-Results database (SEER), including patients diagnosed with PC or APA between 1973 and 2015. Age-adjusted Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed, comparing all-cause mortality (ACM) rates before the year 2006, the time of TMZ introduction ("period 1"), and afterwards ("period 2"), in patients harboring PC and APA.

Results: Among 107 patients, 18 (16.8%) harbored PC. The prevalence of PC and APA was comparable between genders, ethnicities and age strata. Patients harboring any pituitary tumor (PC or APA) had comparable risk for ACM and disease-specific mortality between the two time periods. However, among patients harboring PC, the risk for ACM was significantly lower in period 2 vs. period 1 (p = 0.021), becoming comparable to the risk of ACM in patients diagnosed with APA (p = 0.48).

Conclusions: In this large cancer-database-based analysis we observed improved overall survival in patients harboring PC in the years following the introduction of TMZ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12020-019-01996-9DOI Listing
August 2019

MicroRNA-210 May Be a Preoperative Biomarker of Malignant Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas.

J Surg Res 2019 11 27;243:1-7. Epub 2019 May 27.

Surgical Oncology Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland; Division of Surgical Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Electronic address:

Background: Currently, no reliable predictive clinical or laboratory tests exist that can accurately distinguish between benign and malignant pheochromocytomas or paragangliomas (PPGLs). The aim of this study was to investigate if serum microRNA-210 (miR-210) levels could be a marker of malignancy in patients with PPGLs.

Methods: Preoperative serum from patients with PPGLs was collected on the day of surgery. Clinical demographics, germline mutation status, primary tumor size, postoperative biochemical response, and the development of malignant disease were prospectively collected. Total microRNA was extracted from preoperative serum samples, and miR-210 levels were measured by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and normalized to miR-16. Prognostic variables were compared using univariable and multivariable analyses.

Results: Of the 35 patients, 10 (29%) were diagnosed with malignant PPGLs and 25 patients (71%) were diagnosed with benign PPGLs (median follow-up 72.5 mo). Sixty-nine percent of patients had a pheochromocytoma (n = 24/35) compared with 31% of patients with paraganglioma (n = 11/35). The most common germline mutation was succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit B (SDHB) (n = 10). On univariable analysis, lower serum miR-210 expression level (2.3 ± 0.5 versus 3.1 ± 1.2, P = 0.013) and larger primary tumor size (6.7 ± 5.0 cm versus 4.1 ± 2.3 cm, P = 0.043) were significantly associated with malignant disease. No significant prognostic variables were found on multivariable analysis.

Conclusions: In this pilot study, low serum miR-210 expression levels and large primary tumors were identified to be markers of PPGL malignancy on univariable analysis. Given the initial encouraging results in a small cohort, further investigation is warranted to determine if serum miR-210 levels are prognostic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2019.04.086DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7478339PMC
November 2019

ONCOGENE PANEL SEQUENCING ANALYSIS IDENTIFIES CANDIDATE ACTIONABLE GENES IN ADVANCED WELL-DIFFERENTIATED GASTROENTEROPANCREATIC NEUROENDOCRINE TUMORS.

Endocr Pract 2019 Jun 13;25(6):580-588. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

To report the rate of candidate actionable somatic mutations in patients with locally advanced and metastatic gastro-enteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumors (NET) and of other genetic alterations that may be associated with tumorigenesis. A phase II mutation targeted therapy trial was conducted in patients with advanced well-differentiated G1/G2 GEP-NET. Mutations found in the mTOR pathway-associated genes led to treatment with the mTOR inhibitor everolimus, and were defined as actionable. Tumor deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from GEP-NET were sequenced and compared with germline DNA, using the OncoVAR-NET assay, designed for hybrid capture sequencing of 500 tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes. Somatic variants were called and copy-number (CN) variant analysis was performed. Thirty patients (14 small-intestine, 8 pancreatic, 3 unknown primary NET, and 5 of other primary sites) harbored 37 lesions (4 patients had DNA of multiple lesions sequenced). Only 2 patients with sporadic NET (n = 26) had an actionable mutation leading to treatment with everolimus. Driver somatic mutations were detected in 18 of 30 patients (21/37 lesions sequenced). In the remaining samples without a driver mutation, CN alterations were found in 11/16 tumors (10/12 patients), including CN loss of chromosome (Chr) 18 (<.05), CN gain of Chr 5, and loss of Chr 13. CN losses in Chr 18 were more common in patients without driver mutations detected. Pronounced genetic heterogeneity was detected in patients with multiple lesions sequenced. Genome-wide DNA sequencing may identify candidate actionable genes and lead to the identification of novel target genes for advanced well-differentiated GEP-NET. = chromosome; = copy number; = deoxyribonucleic acid; = Food and Drug Administration; = gastro-enteropancreatic; = multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 1; = mammalian target of rapamycin; = neuroendocrine tumor; = progression-free survival; = pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors; = small-intestine neuroendocrine tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4158/EP-2018-0603DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8170837PMC
June 2019

The utility of Gallium-DOTATATE PET/CT in the detection of von Hippel-Lindau disease associated tumors.

Eur J Radiol 2019 Mar 22;112:130-135. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Endocrine Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States; Department of Surgery, The George Washington University, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, United States.

Purpose: Patients with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease may develop various tumors, including neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas (PNETs) and adrenal, central nervous system and retinal hemangioblastomas, kidney tumors and more. Ga-DOTATATE positron emission tomography (PET)/computerized tomography (CT) has been shown to be highly accurate for tumors with cells expressing somatostatin receptors. We aimed to assess the performance of Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT in patients with VHL disease.

Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of VHL were enrolled in a prospective study and underwent surveillance imaging for pancreatic lesions (n = 301). The current analysis includes 73 evaluations with multiple imaging modalities of 36 patients (2.1 ± 0.8 evaluations/patient, range 1-4) for a head-to-head comparison of Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, CT and/or MRI. In this post-hoc analysis we compared the detection rates of various imaging modalities for PNETs and for any extrapancreatic tumors located within the scan field of CT/MRI of the abdomen.

Results: Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT detected a total of 206 lesions, CT detected 208 lesions and MRI detected 94 lesions in 61, 66 and 33 scans, respectively. Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT (3.4 ± 0.1 per scan) was superior than CT (3.2 ± 0.1 per scan, p = 0.02) with a similar trend when comparing with MRI (2.8 ± 0.1 per scan, p = 0.03) in detecting lesions in any anatomic locations.

Conclusions: Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT had a significantly higher detection rate when compared with anatomic imaging for all lesions, and comparable detection rate for pancreatic lesions in VHL patients. Hence, given the higher accuracy and lower radiation exposure associated with Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT, its potential role in the surveillance of VHL-associated lesions should be further studied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2018.11.023DOI Listing
March 2019

Distinct genome-wide methylation patterns in sporadic and hereditary nonfunctioning pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

Cancer 2019 04 8;125(8):1247-1257. Epub 2019 Jan 8.

Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Background: Aberrant methylation is a known cause of cancer initiation and/or progression. There are scant data on the genome-wide methylation pattern of nonfunctioning pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NFPanNETs) and sporadic and hereditary NFPanNETs.

Methods: Thirty-three tissue samples were analyzed: they included samples from sporadic (n = 9), von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)-related (n = 10), and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1)-related NFPanNETs (n = 10) as well as normal islet cells (n = 4) for comparison. Genome-wide CpG methylation profiling was performed with the Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip assay and was analyzed with R-based tools.

Results: In unsupervised hierarchical clustering, sporadic and MEN1-related NFPanNETs clustered together, and the VHL group was in a separate cluster. MEN1-related NFPanNETs had a higher rate of hypermethylated CpG sites in comparison with sporadic and VHL-related tumor groups. Differentially methylated region analysis confirmed the higher rate of hypermethylation in MEN1-related tumors. Moreover, in an integrated analysis of gene expression data for the same tumor samples, downregulated gene expression was found in most genes that were hypermethylated. In a CpG island methylator phenotype analysis, 3 genes were identified and confirmed to have downregulated gene expression: secreted frizzle-related protein 5 (SFRP5) in sporadic NFPanNETs and cell division cycle-associated 7-like (CDCA7L) and RNA binding motif 47 (RBM47) in MEN1-related NFPanNETs.

Conclusions: MEN1 NFPanNETs have a higher rate of geno me-wide hypermethylation than other NFPanNET subtypes. The similarity between the pathways enriched in a methylation analysis of known genes involved in NFPanNET tumorigenesis suggests a key role for aberrant methylation in the pathogenesis of NFPanNETs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.31930DOI Listing
April 2019

Cumulative Radiation Exposures from CT Screening and Surveillance Strategies for von Hippel-Lindau-associated Solid Pancreatic Tumors.

Radiology 2019 01 9;290(1):116-124. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

From the Neuroendocrine Tumors Service, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Ramat Gan, Israel 52621 (A.T.); Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel (A.T.); Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (N.J., C. Lee, A.B.d.G.), Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences (L.R.F., J.Y., W.K., A.M.), and Urologic Oncology Branch (C. Leite, W.M.L.), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md; Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), INSERM U1018, Villejuif, France (N.J.); and Department of Surgery and Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif (E.K.).

Purpose To assess the potential ionizing radiation exposure from CT scans for both screening and surveillance of patients with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome. Materials and Methods For this retrospective study, abdomen-pelvic (AP) and chest-abdomen-pelvic (CAP) CT scans were performed with either a three-phase (n = 1242) or a dual-energy virtual noncontrast protocol (VNC; n = 149) in 747 patients with VHL syndrome in the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center between 2009 and 2015 (mean age, 47.6 years ± 14.6 [standard deviation]; age range, 12-83 years; 320 women [42.8%]). CT scanning parameters for patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs; 124 patients and 381 scans) were compared between a tumor diameter-based surveillance protocol and a VHL genotype and tumor diameter-based algorithm (a tailored algorithm) developed by three VHL clinicians. Organ and lifetime radiation doses were estimated by two radiologists and five radiation scientists. Cumulative radiation doses were compared between the PNET surveillance algorithms by analyses of variance, and a two-tailed P value less than .05 indicated statistical significance. Results Median cumulative colon doses for annual CAP and AP CT scans from age 15 to 40 years ranged from 0.34 Gy (5th-95th percentiles, 0.18-0.75; dual-energy VNC CT) to 0.89 Gy (5th-95th percentiles, 0.42-1.0; three-phase CT). For the current PNET surveillance protocol, the cumulative effective radiation dose from age 40 to 65 years was 682 mSv (tumors < 1.2 cm) and 2125 mSv (tumors > 3 cm). The tailored algorithm could halve these doses for patients with initial tumor diameter less than 1.2 cm (P < .001). Conclusion CT screening of patients with von Hippel-Lindau syndrome can lead to substantial radiation exposures, even with dual-energy virtual noncontrast CT. A genome and tumor diameter-based algorithm for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor surveillance may potentially reduce lifetime radiation exposure. © RSNA, 2018 Online supplemental material is available for this article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2018180687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312431PMC
January 2019

Radioguided Surgery With Gallium 68 Dotatate for Patients With Neuroendocrine Tumors.

JAMA Surg 2019 01;154(1):40-45

Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Importance: Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) express somatostatin receptors, which can be targeted with radiolabeled peptides. In a variety of solid tumors, radioguided surgery (RGS) has been used to guide surgical resection. Gallium 68 (68Ga) dota peptides have been shown to be more accurate than other radioisotopes for detecting NETs. A pilot study previously demonstrated the feasibility and safety of 68Ga-dotatate RGS for patients with NETs.

Objective: To evaluate what intraoperative techniques and thresholds define positive lesions that warrant resection during 68Ga-dotatate RGS.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prospective cohort study, conducted between October 23, 2013, and February 14, 2018, included 44 patients with NETs who underwent 68Ga-dotatate RGS.

Intervention: Gallium 68-dotatate RGS.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The in vivo and ex vivo tumor to background ratio (TBR) was assessed for resected lesions and correlated with the histopathologic findings.

Results: Forty-four patients (22 women and 22 men; mean [SD] age, 51.0 [13.7] years) had 133 lesions detected on preoperative imaging scans, with a diagnosis of a pancreatic NET (19 of 44 [43%]), gastrointestinal NET (22 of 44 [50%]), and pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma (3 of 44 [7%]). The TBR was obtained by normalizing to the omentum (106 of 133 [79.7%]) or other solid organs (27 of 133 [20.3%]). The omentum had a significantly lower mean (SD) count than other solid organs for background count activity 3 hours after injection (22.1 [17.0] vs 34.5 [39.0]; P < .001). The lesions containing NETs had a higher TBR than those that did not contain NETs (18.9 vs 4.4; P < .001). On a receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, a TBR of 2.5 had a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 25%, and a TBR of 16 had a sensitivity of 54% and a specificity of 81%.

Conclusions And Relevance: A TBR of 2.5 or greater is a highly sensitive threshold for indicating a lesion to be consistent with a NET on histologic findings and thus warranting surgical resection. The omentum should be used as the background count activity for 68Ga-dotatate RGS for patients with abdominal NETs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2018.3475DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6439858PMC
January 2019

Genetics of micronodular adrenal hyperplasia and Carney complex.

Presse Med 2018 Jul - Aug;47(7-8 Pt 2):e127-e137. Epub 2018 Aug 6.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Section on Endocrinology and Genetics, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address:

Micronodular bilateral adrenal hyperplasia (MiBAH) is a rare cause of adrenal Cushing syndrome (CS). The investigations carried out on this disorder during the last two decades suggested that it could be divided into at least two entities: primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD) and isolated micronodular adrenocortical disease (i-MAD). The most common presentation of MiBAH is familial PPNAD as part of Carney complex (CNC) (cPPNAD). CNC, associated with multiple endocrine and non-endocrine neoplasias, was first described in 1985 in 40 patients, 10 of whom were familial cases. In 2000, we identified inactivating germline mutations of the PRKAR1A gene, encoding the regulatory subunit type 1α (RIα) of protein kinase A (PKA), in the majority of patients with CNC and PPNAD. PRKAR1A mutations causing CNC lead to increased PKA activity. Since then, additional genetic alterations in the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway leading to increased PKA activity have been described in association with MiBAH. This review summarizes older and recent findings on the genetics and pathophysiology of MiBAH, PPNAD, and related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lpm.2018.07.005DOI Listing
September 2018

Prognostic Utility of 24-Hour Urinary 5-HIAA Doubling Time in Patients With Neuroendocrine Tumors.

Endocr Pract 2018 08 7;24(8):710-717. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Objective: New clinical prognostic tools are needed to select the population of patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) that have a high risk of disease progression and disease-specific mortality (DSM). Biochemical biomarker doubling time (DT) is used clinically for prognosis prediction in several solid malignancies. The aim of the current study was to determine whether 24-hour urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) level DT has any prognostic utility in patients with NETs.

Methods: Patients with NETs were enrolled in a prospective study with comprehensive biochemical analysis. The current analysis included 90 subjects with increasing 5-HIAA levels in two consecutive measurements. DT was calculated using the Schwartz equation. The primary outcome measures were DSM and disease progression.

Results: 5-HIAA DT of <434 days was associated with a higher rate of DSM ( P = .02), with positive and negative predictive values for DSM of 75 and 77%, respectively. The difference in DSM was accounted for mainly by patients with small intestine or unknown primary NET ( P = .01). In addition, a shorter 5-HIAA DT in patients with small intestine or unknown primary NET was associated with a higher risk of disease progression both in univariate ( P = .001) and multivariable analyses (hazard ratio, 15.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 198.0; P = .03).

Conclusion: 5-HIAA DT may be used as a risk stratification tool in patients with small intestine NET or NET of unknown primary after it is validated in an independent cohort and can assist in identifying patients with a high risk for disease progression and DSM.

Abbreviations: CT = computed tomography; DSM = disease-specific mortality; DT = doubling time; 5-HIAA = 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid; MRI = magnetic resonance imaging; NET = neuroendocrine tumor; NETUP = neuroendocrine tumor of unknown primary; PET = positron emission tomography; PFS = progression-free survival; PNET = pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor; ROC = receiver operating characteristic; SINET = small-intestine neuroendocrine tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4158/EP-2018-0022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8058621PMC
August 2018

Children with MEN1 gene mutations may present first (and at a young age) with Cushing disease.

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2018 10 20;89(4):437-443. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Objective: Cushing disease (CD) is a rare entity caused by ACTH-secreting pituitary tumours, leading to prolonged hypercortisolism. Most cases are sporadic but can rarely occur in the context of familial predisposition, due to germline mutations in genes such as MEN1, leading to multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, MEN1. We have reported previously that CD can be the first and only presenting manifestation of MEN1. In this report, we describe a cohort of paediatric patients who presented with CD as the first manifestation of MEN1.

Materials And Methods: A retrospective analysis of paediatric patients admitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center for evaluation of hypercortisolism, between 1997 and 2017. MEN1 was diagnosed on a clinical, familial and/or genetic basis.

Results: Of a total of 238 children with CD, six patients were subsequently diagnosed with MEN1, three males and three females with a mean age at diagnosis of CD at 13.4 ± 2.9 years. Five of the six patients had familial MEN1 and one patient was a sporadic case. Additional manifestations of MEN1 included primary hyperparathyroidism in three patients and hyperprolactinemia in two patients.

Discussion: This report describes a paediatric patient population with MEN1 in whom CD was the initial manifestation, confirming a previous observation that paediatric patients with MEN1 may present first with an ACTH-producing adenoma. Therefore, germline MEN1 mutations should be sought in paediatric CD and tested for when there is a suggestive family history and/or other manifestations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cen.13796DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341462PMC
October 2018