Publications by authors named "Anna Angelousi"

57 Publications

The diagnostic and predictive accuracy of thyroglobulin to TSH ratio and TSH to thyroglobulin ratio in detecting differentiated thyroid carcinoma in normothyroid patients with thyroid nodules: A retrospective cohort study and systematic review of the literature.

Oncol Rev 2020 Jul 11;14(2):439. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Department of Internal Medicine, Laiko hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

The purpose of the present study is to examine the diagnostic and predictive accuracy of the thyroglobulin (Tg) to thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and TSH/Tg ratios in normothyroid patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). We conducted a retrospective cohort study evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of the serum Tg/TSH and TSH/Tg ratios in normothyroid patients with thyroid nodules. We also systematically searched the international literature using the Medline, Cochrane's CENTRAL, Scopus, Clinicaltrials.gov, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases for evidence concerning the diagnostic and predictive accuracy of these ratios. Overall, 374 patients were identified in our cohort study of whom 240 were treated for benign disease and 134 were treated for DTC. Significant differences were noted in the Tg/TSH and TSH/Tg values among cases with malignant and benign disease (P=0.020). However, the diagnostic ROC curve did not confirm these results (Tg/TSH=0.572 and TSH/Tg=0.428). After searching the international literature, we identified 8 studies. The majority of the included data reported significant differences among patients with benign/malignant disease and those with successful iodine therapy compared to those with disease relapse. However, the clinical relevance was clearer among studies that investigated the usefulness of these ratios in predicting recurrent disease. The findings of our study support that the Tg/TSH ratio increases in patients with DTC and can, thus, become useful in the future as a predictive marker of ablative I therapy success. However, given the significant variability of Tg its diagnostic accuracy remains to date minimal; thus, the actual cut-off value that can be used to discriminate cancer cases from benign disease has not been determined yet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/oncol.2020.439DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7814274PMC
July 2020

ENSAT registry-based randomized clinical trials for adrenocortical carcinoma.

Eur J Endocrinol 2021 Feb;184(2):R51-R59

Klinik für Endokrinologie, Diabetologie und Klinische Ernährung, Universitätsspital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is an orphan disease lacking effective systemic treatment options. The low incidence of the disease and high cost of clinical trials are major obstacles in the search for improved treatment strategies. As a novel approach, registry-based clinical trials have been introduced in clinical research, so allowing for significant cost reduction, but without compromising scientific benefit. Herein, we describe how the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours (ENSAT) could transform its current registry into one fit for a clinical trial infrastructure. The rationale to perform randomized registry-based trials in ACC is outlined including an analysis of relevant limitations and challenges. We summarize a survey on this concept among ENSAT members who expressed a strong interest in the concept and rated its scientific potential as high. Legal aspects, including ethical approval of registry-based randomization were identified as potential obstacles. Finally, we describe three potential randomized registry-based clinical trials in an adjuvant setting and for advanced disease with a high potential to be executed within the framework of an advanced ENSAT registry. Thus we, therefore, provide the basis for future registry-based trials for ACC patients. This could ultimately provide proof-of-principle of how to perform more effective randomized trials for an orphan disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EJE-20-0800DOI Listing
February 2021

Managing Ipilimumab-Induced Hypophysitis: Challenges and Current Therapeutic Strategies.

Cancer Manag Res 2020 2;12:9551-9561. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

First Department of Propaedeutic and Internal Medicine, Laiko University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Over the past years, progress has been made in cancer immunotherapy following the development of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) that have been proved effective in the management of many malignancies. Ipilimumab, a monoclonal antibody against cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), has been approved for the treatment of advanced melanoma but has been associated with the development of several endocrine immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Hypophysitis is the most common endocrine irAE related to ipilimumab with a reported incidence ranging from 1.8% to 17%. The mechanism underlying ipilimumab-induced hypophysitis implicates immune, inflammatory and genetic factors, but there are still some points that are not well understood and remain to be elucidated. The diagnosis is based mainly on clinical, biochemical and imaging data. The majority of patients display multiple hormone deficiencies that may recover or persist for a prolonged period of time with corticotroph deficiency usually being permanent. Immune-related hypopituitarism is treated with replacement of deficient hormones while in severe forms of hypophysitis treatment with high-dose glucocorticoids may be required. Proper evaluation and registration of patients in clinical trials and further investigation are needed to precisely clarify the pathophysiology of the ICI-related hypophysitis, define predictive factors and ameliorate the management and outcome of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S224791DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7537807PMC
October 2020

Expression of clock-related genes in benign and malignant adrenal tumors.

Endocrine 2020 06 8;68(3):650-659. Epub 2020 Mar 8.

1st Department of Internal Medicine, Laiko University Hospital, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Although the effect of the central clock system on adrenal function has been extensively studied, the role of the peripheral clock system in adrenal tumorigenesis remains largely unexplored. In this study we investigated the expression of clock-related genes in normal adrenocortical tissue and adrenocortical tumors. Twenty-seven fresh frozen human adrenal tissues including 13 cortisol secreting adenomas (CSA), seven aldosterone producing adenomas (APA), and seven adrenocortical carcinomas (ACC) were collected. CLOCK, BMAL1, PER1, CRY1, Rev-ERB, and RORα mRNA and protein expression were determined by qPCR and immunoblotting in pathological tissues and compared with the adjacent normal adrenal tissues. A significant downregulation of PER1, CRY1, and Rev-ERB compared with their normal tissue was demonstrated in CSA. All clock-related genes were overexpressed in APA compared with their normal tissue, albeit not significantly. A significant upregulation of CRY1 and PER1 and downregulation of BMAL1, RORα, and Rev-ERB compared with normal adrenal tissue was observed in ACC. BMAL1 and PER1 were significantly downregulated in APA compared with CSA. CLOCK, CRY1, and PER1 were upregulated, whereas BMAL1, RORα, and Rev-ERB were downregulated in ACC compared with CSA. Our study demonstrated the expression of CLOCK, BMAL1, PER1, CRY1, Rev-ERB, and RORα in normal and pathological human adrenal tissues. Adrenal tumors exhibited altered expression of these genes compared with normal tissue, with specific differences between benign and malignant lesions and between benign tumors arising from glomerulosa vs fasciculata zone. Further studies should clarify whether these alterations could be implicated in adrenocortical tumorigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12020-020-02246-zDOI Listing
June 2020

Hypophysitis (Including IgG4 and Immunotherapy).

Neuroendocrinology 2020 4;110(9-10):822-835. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

First Department of Propaedeutic Internal Medicine, Laiko University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Hypophysitis is characterized by inflammation of the pituitary gland that can be primary (PH) or secondary (SH) to other diseases or following drug administration. It may also be classified according to anatomical and histopathological criteria, leading to variable degrees of hypopituitarism and/or compressive symptoms to nearby structures. There has recently been an increase in the number of hypophysitis cases, raising the interest on the spectrum of its pathogenesis, clinical, biochemical/endocrinological, and imaging features. However, the use of conventional biomarkers, including currently utilized pituitary autoantibodies, has relatively limited diagnostic accuracy. Lymphocytic hypophysitis (LH) is the commonest cause of PH, whereas IgG4-related hypophysitis is increasingly being recognized. Histiocytosis and granulomatous diseases are the most frequent causes of SH, although infections and lymphoma have also been reported. The increasing use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in oncology is associated with a high incidence of hypophysitis, providing further understanding of its pathogenesis. Hypophysitis can occur silently and be easily missed, potentially leading to substantial morbidity or mortality due to adrenal insufficiency, requiring a high index of clinical suspicion and timely initiation of appropriate treatment. In most cases of LH or drug-induced hypophysitis, active surveillance along with replacement of established hormonal deficiencies is needed. In the presence of compressive and/or evolving symptoms, treatment with glucocorticoids either alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents can be used. Surgical decompression is reserved for nonresponsive cases with threatened vital structures. Timely diagnosis and intervention are important to minimize disease-related morbidity and mortality. We aimed to review current concepts and recent developments in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of hypophysitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000506903DOI Listing
March 2020

Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphoma of the Thyroid Gland: A Systematic Review of the Literature.

Eur Thyroid J 2020 Jan 18;9(1):11-18. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

First Department of Internal Medicine, Laiko Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Objective: Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) type of the thyroid gland is a rare indolent malignant disease encountered in approximately 0.5% of patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT). The purpose of the present systematic review was to accumulate the current evidence in the field.

Study Design: We searched the Medline, Scopus, EMBASE, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases from inception to May 2018. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS version 22.0.

Results: Fourteen case series and 20 case reports were finally included in the present systematic review. Analysis of the patient data included in the published case reports suggested that the age at diagnosis of MALT lymphoma does no differ among males and females (64 [52.5-73] vs. 67 [60.5-72] years, = 0.442). HT was detected in 60% of patients, whereas coexisting carcinoma was evident in 17% of cases. The incidence of HT and thyroid cancer was comparable among males and females ( = 0.474 and > 0.999, respectively). Among all patients included in the present systematic review there were two disease relapses and two deaths attributed to the disease.

Conclusion: MALT lymphoma of the thyroid gland is a rare malignancy with an indolent course. The scarce data available in the literature preclude safe conclusions concerning the mode of treatment and follow-up of these patients. However, the combination of minimally invasive surgery and adjuvant therapy seems feasible. Moreover, an extended follow-up period is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000502204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7024897PMC
January 2020

Effects of Germline CYP2W1*6 and CYP2B6*6 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms on Mitotane Treatment in Adrenocortical Carcinoma: A Multicenter ENSAT Study.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Feb 4;12(2). Epub 2020 Feb 4.

Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital, University of Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.

Mitotane is the only approved drug for advanced adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) and no biomarkers are available to predict attainment of therapeutic plasma concentrations and clinical response. Aim of the study was to evaluate the suitability of cytochrome P450(CYP)2W1 and CYP2B6 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as biomarkers. A multicenter cohort study including 182 ACC patients (F/M = 121/61) treated with mitotane monotherapy after radical resection (group A, = 103) or in not completely resectable, recurrent or advanced disease (group B, = 79) was performed. , , and were genotyped in germline DNA. Mitotane blood levels were measured regularly. Response to therapy was evaluated as time to progression (TTP) and disease control rate (DCR). Among investigated SNPs, and correlated with mitotane treatment only in group B. Patients with ( = 21) achieved less frequently therapeutic mitotane levels (>14 mg/L) than those with wild type (WT) allele (76.2% vs 51.7%, = 0.051) and experienced shorter TTP (HR = 2.10, = 0.019) and lower DCR (chi-square = 6.948, = 0.008). By contrast, 55% of patients with vs. 28.2% WT ( = 0.016) achieved therapeutic range. Combined, a higher rate of patients with + (60.6%) achieved mitotane therapeutic range ( = 0.034). In not completely resectable, recurrent or advanced ACC, SNP was associated with a reduced probability to reach mitotane therapeutic range and lower response rates, whereas correlated with higher mitotane levels. The association of these SNPs may predict individual response to mitotane.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7072643PMC
February 2020

Diagnosis, Pathophysiology and Management of Hypercalcemia in Malignancy: A Review of the Literature.

Horm Metab Res 2019 Dec 11;51(12):770-778. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Endocrinology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens - Faculty of Medicine, Athens, Greece.

Hypercalcemia of malignancy is the most common life-threatening metabolic disorder in patients with advanced stage cancers and is a sign of poor prognosis. It usually presents with markedly elevated calcium level and is severely symptomatic. It is associated with hematological malignancies, such as multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemias and solid cancers, particularly renal and breast carcinomas as well as squamous cell carcinomas of any organ. Several mechanisms have been implicated in the development of hypercalcemia of malignancy amongst them the osteolytic related hypercalcemia, parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) mediated hypercalcemia, extrarenal 1,25 dixydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol) mediated hypercalcemia and parathyroid hormone (PTH) related hypercalcemia either ectopic in origin or in patients with parathyroid carcinoma. Clinical history and and physical examination could point towards the correct diagnosis confirmed by the above-mentioned biochemical mediators of hypercalcemia. Early diagnosis and treatment lowering calcium levels in the blood can improve symptoms and the quality of life of these patients and avoid delays for further antitumor therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1049-0647DOI Listing
December 2019

Neoplastic metastases to the endocrine glands.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2020 01;27(1):R1-R20

Department of Endocrinology, OCDEM, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Endocrine organs are metastatic targets for several primary cancers, either through direct extension from nearby tumour cells or dissemination via the venous, arterial and lymphatic routes. Although any endocrine tissue can be affected, most clinically relevant metastases involve the pituitary and adrenal glands with the commonest manifestations being diabetes insipidus and adrenal insufficiency respectively. The most common primary tumours metastasing to the adrenals include melanomas, breast and lung carcinomas, which may lead to adrenal insufficiency in the presence of bilateral adrenal involvement. Breast and lung cancers are the most common primaries metastasing to the pituitary, leading to pituitary dysfunction in approximately 30% of cases. The thyroid gland can be affected by renal, colorectal, lung and breast carcinomas, and melanomas, but has rarely been associated with thyroid dysfunction. Pancreatic metastasis can lead to exo-/endocrine insufficiency with renal carcinoma being the most common primary. Most parathyroid metastases originate from breast and lung carcinomas and melanoma. Breast and colorectal cancers are the most frequent ovarian metastases; prostate cancer commonly affects the testes. In the presence of endocrine deficiencies, glucocorticoid replacement for adrenal and pituitary involvement can be life saving. As most metastases to endocrine organs develop in the context of disseminated disease, surgical resection or other local therapies should only be considered to ameliorate symptoms and reduce tumour volume. Although few consensus statements can be made regarding the management of metastases to endocrine tissues because of the heterogeneity of the variable therapies, it is important that clinicians are aware of their presence in diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-19-0263DOI Listing
January 2020

Endocrine-related adverse events associated with immune-checkpoint inhibitors in patients with melanoma.

Cancer Med 2019 11 13;8(15):6585-6594. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

First Department of Internal Medicine, Laiko Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Background: Immune-checkpoint inhibitors have been shown to improve survival in melanoma patients, but can also trigger immune-related endocrinopathies, especially hypophysitis and thyroid dysfunction.

Methods: To assess the incidence and the spectrum of endocrinopathies in melanoma patients treated with immunotherapy a prospective observational study was conducted. Forty out of 339 patients, treated with immune-checkpoint inhibitors, developed endocrinopathies. All patients had hormonal functional tests at screening (before the initiation of immunotherapy) and during follow-up.

Results: The total incidence of endocrinopathies was 11.8%, 13.4% due to anti-PD1/PDL1, 5% due to anti-CTLA4, and 18.5% due to sequential and/or combination treatment. Twenty-one patients (6.2%) presented with isolated anterior hypophysitis, eleven (3.2%) with primary thyroid dysfunction and eight (2.4%) with both abnormalities. The most frequent anterior pituitary hormone deficiency was central adrenal insufficiency, followed by central hypothyroidism and hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism. None of the patients with corticotroph axis failure recovered during follow-up. Endocrinopathies occurred after a median of 22 weeks (range: 4-156) from treatment initiation. Of note, sequential and/or combination therapy with anti-CTLA4 and anti-PD1/anti-PDL1 led to an almost threefold incidence of hypophysitis compared to either monotherapy. Only one of 120 patients receiving anti-CTLA4 monotherapy developed primary hypothyroidism.

Conclusions: Our cohort demonstrated an increased incidence of hypophysitis with anti-PD1/anti-PDL1 in contrast to the rarity of primary thyroid dysfunction with anti-CTLA4 treatment. These results could be attributed to genetic/ethnic differences. Sequential treatment is, for the first time to our knowledge, reported to increase the risk of developing hypophysitis to a level as high as that of combination therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2533DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6825974PMC
November 2019

The risk of lymph node metastases and their impact on survival in patients with appendiceal neuroendocrine neoplasms: a systematic review and meta-analysis of adult and paediatric patients.

Endocrine 2020 01 6;67(1):20-34. Epub 2019 Sep 6.

1st Department of Propaupedic Internal Medicine, Endocrine Oncology Unit, Laiko Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Background: There are no clear histopathological parameters determining the risk of lymph node (LN) metastases and appropriateness of completion prophylactic right hemicolectomy (RHC) in patients with appendiceal neuroendocrine neoplasms (ANENs).

Materials And Methods: The PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science and SCOPUS databases were searched up to November 2018. Quality/risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS).

Results: A total of 526 articles were screened. In 11 adult and 3 paediatric studies, 602 and 77 unique patients, respectively, with ANEN and undergoing RHC, were included. The rate of LN metastases for a cutoff size >10 mm was 48.6% (vs 12.1% for lesions <10 mm) among adult patients, with an odds ratio (OR) of 4.8 (95% CI, 1.5-15.8). For 20 mm size cutoff, these figures were 61% (vs 28.2% for lesions <20 mm) with an OR of 3.2 (95% CI, 1.3-7.8). Vascular-, lymph vessel- and perineural invasions were identified as predictive factors for LN metastases in adult patients. In paediatric patients, there were no strong morphological predictors for LN metastases. The 10-year disease-specific survival (DSS) for adult patients without LN metastases was 99.2% vs 95.6% in patients with LN (OR: 0.2; 95% CI, 0.02-2.4). The complication rate of prophylactic RHC was 11.4%.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis demonstrates that tumour size >20 mm as well as >10 mm and/or vascular-, lymph vessel- and perineural invasions are associated with increased risk for LN metastases in adult patients with ANEN. The prognostic value of LN positivity remains to be determined in further studies with long-term follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12020-019-02072-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6969007PMC
January 2020

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or Endoscopic Ultrasonography for Detection and Surveillance of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms in Patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1?

Horm Metab Res 2019 Sep 11;51(9):580-585. Epub 2019 Jul 11.

1st Department of Propaupedic Internal Medicine, Endocrine Oncology Unit, Laiko Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Our aim was to compare the clinical utility of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) in identifying Pancreatic Neurondocrine Neoplasms (PanNENs) and monitoring size alterations in Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) patients. Thirty-one MEN1 patients with PanNENs and concurrent screening by EUS and abdominal MRI were included and 129 pancreatic lesions were detected in total. MRI detected fewer lesions than EUS (n=73 vs. 110, p=0.006). MRI sensitivity and specificity compared to EUS at 20 and 10 mm cut-offs of maximal lesion diameter were 96 and 88% (20 mm cut-off) and 90 and 82%(10 mm cut-off), respectively (concordance rates of 97 and 87% and Cohen's kappa=0.912 and 0.718, respectively). Lesions<1 cm were more often detected with EUS (p=0.025). Data from sequential concurrent imaging on lesion growth rate [n=7 (mean±SD: 2 mm/year±3.4 mm vs. 1.9 mm/year±3.6 mm)] over a period of at least two years as well as pathology data in connection to preoperative concurrent imaging were available in a small number of patients (n=7, p=0.933 for mean differences in maximal lesion diameter). MRI of the pancreas was more readily available and less expensive than EUS in an outpatient setting. In conclusion, MRI performs well compared to EUS for the detection and subsequent surveillance of MEN1-related panNENs larger than 10 mm and seems to be cost-effective. Both modalities could be used at initial assessment and MRI alone could be utilized thereafter in patient surveillance. EUS retains its value in surgical planning and the detection of small mostly functional PanNENs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-0931-7005DOI Listing
September 2019

Diagnostic and Management Challenges in Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Secreting Tumors: A Series of 15 Patients.

Pancreas 2019 08;48(7):934-942

Centre for Gastroenterology, Neuroendocrine Tumor Unit, ENETS Centre of Excellence, Royal Free Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Objectives: Vasoactive intestinal peptide-secreting tumors (VIPomas) are rare functioning neuroendocrine tumors often characterized by a difficult-to-control secretory syndrome and high potential to develop metastases. We hereby present the characteristics of 15 cases of VIPomas and provide a recent literature review.

Methods: This was a retrospective data analysis of 15 patients with VIPoma from 3 different centers and literature research through PubMed database during the last 10 years.

Results: Fifteen patients with VIPomas (9 with hepatic metastases at diagnosis) with watery diarrhea and raised VIP levels were studied. Ten patients (67%) had grade 2 tumors, 6 of 15 had localized disease and underwent potentially curative surgery, whereas the remaining 9 received multiple systemic therapies; 3 patients died during follow-up. The median overall survival was 71 months (range, 41-154 months). Patients who were treated with curative surgery (n = 7) had longer median overall survival compared with patients who were treated with other therapeutic modalities (44 vs 33 months).

Conclusions: The management of VIPomas is challenging requiring the application of multiple treatment modalities. Patients who underwent surgical treatment with curative intent appear to have higher survival rate. Central registration and larger prospective studies are required to evaluate the effect of currently employed therapies in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPA.0000000000001347DOI Listing
August 2019

Activity and Safety of Standard and Prolonged Capecitabine/Temozolomide Administration in Patients with Advanced Neuroendocrine Neoplasms.

Neuroendocrinology 2019 3;109(4):333-345. Epub 2019 Jun 3.

1st Department of Propaedeutic Internal Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Background: Capecitabine and temozolomide combination (CAPTEM) is associated with high response rates in patients with advanced neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs). We evaluated the real-world activity and safety of CAPTEM from 3 NEN centers.

Methods: Clinicopathological characteristics and outcomes of patients treated with CAPTEM for bulky or progressive disease (PD) were retrospectively analyzed. -Results: Seventy-nine patients with gastroenteropancreatic (grades 1-2 [n = 38], grade 3 [n = 24]) and lung/thymic (n = 17) NENs were included. Median treatment duration was 12.1 months (range 0.6-55.6). Overall, partial responses (PRs) occurred in 23 (29.1%), stable (SD) in 24 (30.4%), and PD in 28 (35.4%) patients. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 10.1 (6-14.2) and 102.9 months (43.3-162.5), respectively. On univariate analysis, NENs naive to chemotherapy and low Ki67 were associated with favorable responses (partial response [PR] + SD; p = 0.011 and 0.045), PFS (p < 0.0001 and 0.002) and OS (p = 0.005 and 0.001). Primary site (pancreas and lung/thymus) was also a significant prognostic factor for PFS (p < 0.0001) and OS (p < 0.0001). On multivariate analysis, gastrointestinal and unknown primary NENs (hazard ratio [HR] 0.3, 95% CI 0.1-0.8, p = 0.009 and p = 0.018) and prior surgery (HR 2.4, 95% CI 11-4.9, p = 0.021) were independent prognostic factors for PFS. Ki-67 was a poor predictor for favorable response in receiver operating characteristic analysis (area under the curve 0.678). Safety analysis of CAPTEM indicated rare events of serious (grades 3-4) toxicities (n = 4) and low discontinuation rates (n = 8) even in patients with prolonged administration (>12 months).

Conclusions: CAPTEM treatment can be an effective and safe treatment even after prolonged administration for patients with NENs of various sites and Ki67 labeling index, associated with significant favorable responses and PFS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000500135DOI Listing
May 2020

Malignant Pheochromocytomas/Paragangliomas and Ectopic Hormonal Secretion: A Case Series and Review of the Literature.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 May 24;11(5). Epub 2019 May 24.

st Department of Propaedeutic Internal Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laiko hospital, 11527 Goudi, Athens, Greece.

Malignant pheochromocytomas (PCs) and paragangliomas (PGLs) are rare neuroendocrine neoplasms defined by the presence of distant metastases. There is currently a relatively paucity of data regarding the natural history of PCs/PGLs and the optimal approach to their treatment. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical, biochemical, imaging, genetic and histopathological characteristics of fourteen patients with metastatic PCs/PGLs diagnosed over 15 years, along with their response to treatment. Patients were followed-up for a median of six years (range: 1-14 years). Six patients had synchronous metastases and the remaining developed metastases after a median of four years (range 2-10 years). Genetic analysis of seven patients revealed that three harbored succinate dehydrogenase subunit B/D gene (SDHB/D) mutations. Hormonal hypersecretion occurred in 70% of patients; normetanephrine, either alone or with other concomitant hormones, was the most frequent secretory component. Patients were administered multiple first and subsequent treatments including surgery (n = 12), chemotherapy (n = 7), radionuclide therapy (n = 2) and radiopeptides (n = 5). Seven patients had stable disease, four had progressive disease and three died. Ectopic hormonal secretion is rare and commonly encountered in benign PCs. Ectopic secretion of interleukin-6 in one of our patients, prompted a literature review of ectopic hormonal secretion, particularly from metastatic PCs/PGLs. Only four cases of metastatic PC/PGLs with confirmed ectopic secretion of hormones or peptides have been described so far.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6563134PMC
May 2019

Anti-tumour activity of everolimus and sunitinib in neuroendocrine neoplasms.

Endocr Connect 2019 Jun;8(6):641-653

Haematology-Oncology Unit, Fourth Department of Internal Medicine, Attikon University General Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Comparisons between everolimus and sunitinib regarding their efficacy and safety in neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are scarce. We retrospectively analysed the clinicopathological characteristics and outcomes in 92 patients with well-differentiated (WD) NEN of different origin (57 pancreatic NENs (PanNENs)), treated with molecular targeted therapy (MTT) with everolimus or sunitinib, first- (73:19) or second-line (sequential; 12:22) for progressive disease. Disease control rates (DCR: partial response or stable disease) at first-line were higher in all patients treated with everolimus than sunitinib (64/73 vs 12/19, P = 0.012). In PanNENs, DCR at first-line everolimus was 36/42 versus 9/15 with sunitinib (P = 0.062). Progression-free survival (PFS) at first-line everolimus was longer than sunitinib (31 months (95% CI: 23.1-38.9) vs 9 months (95% CI: 0-18.5); log-rank P < 0.0001) in the whole cohort and the subset of PanNENs (log-rank P < 0.0001). Median PFS at second-line MTT was 12 months with everolimus (95% CI: 4.1-19.9) vs 13 months with sunitinib (95% CI: 9.3-16.7; log-rank P = 0.951). Treatment with sunitinib (HR: 3.47; 95% CI: 1.5-8.3; P value: 0.005), KI67 >20% (HR: 6.38; 95% CI: 1.3-31.3; P = 0.022) and prior chemotherapy (HR: 2.71; 95% CI: 1.2-6.3; P = 0.021) were negative predictors for PFS at first line in multivariable and also confirmed at multi-state modelling analyses. Side effect (SE) analysis indicated events of serious toxicities (Grades 3 and 4: n = 13/85 for everolimus and n = 4/41 for sunitinib). Discontinuation rate due to SEs was 20/85 for everolimus versus 4/41 for sunitinib (P = 0.065). No additive toxicity of second-line MTT was confirmed. Based on these findings, and until reliable predictors of response become available, everolimus may be preferable to sunitinib when initiating MTT in progressive NENs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EC-19-0134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6528409PMC
June 2019

Current concepts in the diagnosis and management of neuroendocrine neoplasms of unknown primary origin.

Minerva Endocrinol 2019 Dec 15;44(4):378-386. Epub 2019 Apr 15.

Unit of Endocrinology, First Department of Internal Medicine, Laiko University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) of unknown primary origin (UPO-NENs) are advanced neoplasms constituting 11-22% of all NENs that by definition their primary tissue of origin has not been identified with standard diagnostic work-up. Delineating the primary site of origin of UPO-NENs has important implications for selecting the appropriate treatment and overall prognosis. The small bowel, followed by the lung and pancreas are the most prevalent primary sites of origin of UPO-NENs that are uncovered during an extensive and prolonged diagnostic work-up; however, a number of UPO-NENs may still remain occult even after prolonged follow-up. A number of diagnostic algorithms that incorporate histopathological, molecular, imaging (either morphological or functional imaging), and serum biomarkers can help to identify the primary tumor origin. It is expected that advances in these fields will help reduce significantly the number of UPO-NENs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0391-1977.19.03012-8DOI Listing
December 2019

Clock genes and cancer development in particular in endocrine tissues.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2019 06;26(6):R305-R317

First Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Circadian rhythms at a central and peripheral level are operated by transcriptional/translational feedback loops involving a set of genes called 'clock genes' that have been implicated in the development of several diseases, including malignancies. Dysregulation of the Clock system can influence cancer susceptibility by regulating DNA damage and repair mechanisms, as well as apoptosis. A number of oncogenic pathways can be dysregulated via clock genes' epigenetic alterations, including hypermethylation of clock genes' promoters or variants of clock genes. Clock gene disruption has been studied in breast, lung and prostate cancer, and haematological malignancies. However, it is still not entirely clear whether clock gene disruption is the cause or the consequence of tumourigenesis and data in endocrine neoplasms are scarce. Recent findings suggest that clock genes are implicated in benign and malignant adrenocortical neoplasias. They have been also associated with follicular and papillary thyroid carcinomas and parathyroid adenomas, as well as pituitary adenomas and craniopharyngiomas. Dysregulation of clock genes is also encountered in ovarian and testicular tumours and may also be related with their susceptibility to chemotherapeutic agents. The most common clock genes that are implicated in endocrine neoplasms are PER1, CRY1; in most cases their expression is downregulated in tumoural compared to normal tissues. Although there is still a lot to be done for the better understanding of the role of clock genes in endocrine tumourigenenesis, existing evidence could guide research and help identify novel therapeutic targets aiming mainly at the peripheral components of the clock gene system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-19-0094DOI Listing
June 2019

Lung Metastases in Patients with Well-Differentiated Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms: An Appraisal of the Validity of Thoracic Imaging Surveillance.

Neuroendocrinology 2019 23;108(4):308-316. Epub 2019 Jan 23.

The ARDEN NET Centre, European Neuroendocrine Tumour Society (ENETS) Centre of Excellence (CoE), University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, United Kingdom.

Background/aims: To evaluate the impact of lung metastases (LM) on overall survival (OS) in well-differentiated (WD) stage IV gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NEN) patients along with developing surveillance strategies for thoracic imaging.

Methods: Thirty-four patients with LM, from 3 centres, were identified (22 small intestine/12 pancreatic; 17 grade 1/15 grade 2/2 of unknown grade). For comparison, we used 106 stage IV WD, grade 1 and 2 GEP-NEN patients with metastatic disease confined in the abdomen.

Results: LM prevalence was 4.9% (34/692). Eleven patients (32%) presented with synchronous LM whereas 23 (68%) developed metachronous LM at a median of 25 months (range 1-150 months). Patients with metachronous LM had already established liver and/or para-aortic lymph node metastases. Eighteen of 23 patients (78%) with metachronous LM exhibited concomitant progression in the abdomen. Median OS of WD GEP-NEN patients with LM was shorter than for those with stage IV disease without extra-abdominal metastases (56 [95% CI 40.6-71.6] vs. 122.7 [95% CI 70.7-174.8] months; log-rank p = 0.001). Among patients with progressive stage IV disease, the subset of patients with LM exhibited shorter OS (log-rank p = 0.005). LM were also confirmed as an independent prognostic factor for survival in multivariable analysis (HR 0.18; 95% CI 0.07-0.45; p < 0.0001).

Conclusion: LM, although relatively rare in patients with WD stage IV GEP-NENs, may impact patients' outcome. The development of metachronous LM is associated with concomitant disease progression in established abdominal metastases in most patients. These patient-related parameters could be utilized for a stratified surveillance approach, mainly reserving thoracic imaging for GEP-NEN patients with progressive disease in the abdomen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000497183DOI Listing
December 2019

Gastric Carcinoids.

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 2018 09 11;47(3):645-660. Epub 2018 Jul 11.

1st Department of Propaedeutic Internal Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Mikras Asias 75, Athens 11527, Greece. Electronic address:

Gastric carcinoids, formally named gastric neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs), are derived from enterochromaffin-like cells of the stomach and are increasingly diagnosed. A majority are designated as type I (related to autoimmune gastritis) and type II (related to gastrinoma) neoplasms that develop secondary to gastrin hypersecretion. Types I and II gastric carcinoids are mostly small-sized (1-2 cm), multiple, low-malignancy potential lesions mainly confined to the gastric mucosa/submucosa. These lesions have an indolent course and low metastatic potential. In contrast, type III gastric carcinoids are single, larger-sized (>2 cm), non-gastrin-related lesions that infiltrate the muscular layers associated with local and distant metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecl.2018.04.013DOI Listing
September 2018

The role of epithelial growth factors and insulin growth factors in the adrenal neoplasms.

Ann Transl Med 2018 Jun;6(12):253

1st Department of Internal Medicine, Laiko University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.

Human fetal and adult adrenal gland express both insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and IGF-2, their receptors (IGF-Rs) and a variety of specific IGF binding proteins suggesting their potential role in the regulation of adrenal growth and function. overexpression is essential for the growth of monoclonal lesions, such as large benign adenomas (ACA) and adrenocortical carcinomas (ACC) and has been found to contribute to tumorigenesis in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. IGF-2 is the most highly expressed gene observed in more than 85% of ACCs. However, no significant differences in clinical, biological and transcriptomic traits were found between tumors with high and low expression of . On the contrary, the expression of , mediating the IGF-2 effects , was more discriminant between malignant (overexpression) and benign tumors. Data on the role of epithelial growth factor (EGF) and its receptor (EGF-R) in adrenocortical tumorigenesis are controversial. Several studies have shown overexpression in ACCs but not in benign ACAs, suggesting that could potentially be used as a marker for the differential diagnosis of ACAs and ACCs. Although, and animal studies provide promising results in the therapeutic role of IGF and EGF pathway inhibitors, the available data in humans are still not encouraging. Herein, we aim to present recent data on the role of IGF and EGF pathways in adrenal development and tumorigenesis and their potential implication in the treatment of the ACC, a rare malignancy with very poor prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm.2018.05.52DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6046285PMC
June 2018

The value of prolactin in predicting prolactinοma in hyperprolactinaemic polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Eur J Clin Invest 2018 Jul 13;48(7):e12961. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

Warwickshire Institute for the Study of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (WISDEM), University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK.

Background: To identify a serum prolactin (PRL) cut-off value indicative of a PRL-producing adenoma in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hyperprolactinaemia and characterize such patients.

Materials And Methods: In the present retrospective case-control study, the medical records of 528 PCOS women were reviewed. Pituitary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed in PCOS patients with PRL levels ≥94.0 ng/mL and/or symptoms suspicious of a pituitary adenoma (PA). Prolactinoma diagnosis was made in the presence of an MRI-identifiable PA with biochemical and radiological response to dopamine agonists. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to determine a serum PRL threshold that could identify hyperprolactinaemic PCOS subjects with prolactinomas. Clinical, metabolic and endocrine parameters were also analysed.

Results: Among 528 patients with PCOS, 60 (11.4%) had elevated PRL levels. Of 44 (73.3%) patients who had pituitary imaging, 19 had PAs, 18 normal MRI and 7 other abnormalities. Patients harbouring prolactinomas had significantly higher PRL levels compared to patients without adenomas (median PRL 95.4 vs 49.2 ng/mL, P < .0001). A PRL threshold of 85.2 ng/mL could distinguish patients with prolactinomas with 77% sensitivity and 100% specificity [Area Under the curve (AUC) (95%) 0.91(0.8-1.018), P = .0001]. PCOS women with prolactinomas were younger and had lower LH levels compared to women without prolactinomas.

Conclusions: In women with PCOS, PRL levels exceeding 85.2 ng/mL are highly suggestive of a prolactinoma warranting pituitary imaging. Pituitary MRI could also be considered in young PCOS patients with milder PRL elevation and low LH levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eci.12961DOI Listing
July 2018

Clock genes alterations and endocrine disorders.

Eur J Clin Invest 2018 Jun 16;48(6):e12927. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

1st Department of Propaedeutic Internal Medicine, Medical School, Laikon Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Background: Various endocrine signals oscillate over the 24-hour period and so does the responsiveness of target tissues. These daily oscillations do not occur solely in response to external stimuli but are also under the control of an intrinsic circadian clock.

Design: We searched the PubMed database to identify studies describing the associations of clock genes with endocrine diseases.

Results: Various human single nucleotide polymorphisms of brain and muscle ARNT-like 1 (BMAL1) and Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput (CLOCK) genes exhibited significant associations with type 2 diabetes mellitus. ARNTL2 gene expression and upregulation of BMAL1 and PER1 were associated with the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Thyroid hormones modulated PER2 expression in a tissue-specific way, whereas BMAL1 regulated the expression of type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase in specific tissues. Adrenal gland and adrenal adenoma expressed PER1, PER2, CRY2, CLOCK and BMAL1 genes. Adrenal sensitivity to adrenocorticotrophin was also affected by circadian oscillations. A significant correlation between the expression of propio-melanocorticotrophin and PER 2, as well as between prolactin and CLOCK, was found in corticotroph and lactosomatotroph cells, respectively, in the pituitary. Clock genes and especially BMAL1 showed an important role in fertility, whereas oestradiol and androgens exhibited tissue-specific effects on clock gene expression. Metabolic disorders were also associated with circadian dysregulation according to studies in shift workers.

Conclusions: Clock genes are associated with various endocrine disorders through complex mechanisms. However, data on humans are scarce. Moreover, clock genes exhibit a tissue-specific expression representing an additional level of regulation. Their specific role in endocrine disorders and their potential implications remain to be further clarified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eci.12927DOI Listing
June 2018

Medullary thyroid cancer, leukemia, mesothelioma and meningioma associated with germline APC and RASAL1 variants: a new syndrome?

Hormones (Athens) 2017 Oct;16(4):423-428

1st Department of Internal Medicine, Laiko Hospital, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 75 Mikras Asias Str., Goudi, 11527, Athens, Greece.

Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a neuroendocrine tumor hereditary in 35% of cases. The most common syndromic form is in the context of the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2) syndromes in association with other tumors and due to germline RET mutations. We describe a 57-year-old female patient diagnosed with sporadic MTC. The patient had a history of other neoplasias, such as acute myeloid leukemia, for which she had received chemotherapy, and two other solid tumors, peritoneal mesothelioma and meningioma. Genetic analyses were carried out including whole exome and Sanger sequencing (WES and SS) and loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) testing for the respective loci. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used for the detection of proteins of interest. WES showed two germline variants in the APC and RASAL1 genes confirmed by SS. In MTC tissue only there was a RETvariant identified by SS; germline studies did not show any RETsequence changes. The pattern of tumors in this patient is unusual for either one of the APC- orRASAL1-associated neoplasms and her non-MEN 2-associated MTC contained a RET variant like other sporadic MTCs. As in other patients with more than one genetic variant predisposing to tumors, it is possible that this case represents a unique association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14310/horm.2002.1763DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341468PMC
October 2017

Clinical, Endocrine and Imaging Characteristics of Patients with Primary Hypophysitis.

Horm Metab Res 2018 Apr 19;50(4):296-302. Epub 2018 Feb 19.

Department of Pathophysiology, Endocrine Oncology Unit, Laiko Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.

Primary hypophysitis (PH) is a rare disease with a poorly-defined natural history. Our aim was to characterise patients with PH at presentation and during prolonged follow-up. Observational retrospective study of 22 patients was conducted from 3 centres. In 14 patients, PH was confirmed histologically and in the remaining 8 clinically, after excluding secondary causes of hypophysitis. All patients had hormonal and imaging investigations before any treatment. Median follow up was 48 months (25-75%: 3-60). There was a female predominance with a female/male ratio: 3.4:1. Eight out of 22 patients had another autoimmune disease. Headaches and gonadal dysfunction were the most common symptoms. Five patients presented with panhypopituitarism; 17 patients had anterior pituitary deficiency, and 7 had diabetes insipidus. At presentation, 9 patients were treated surgically, 5 received replacement hormonal treatment, and 8 high-dose glucocorticoids from whom 5 in association with other immunosuppressive agents. Six patients showed complete recovery of pituitary hormonal deficiencies while 6 showed a partial recovery during a 5-year follow-up period. No difference was found between patients treated with surgery and those treated medically. The overall relapse rate was 18%. PH can be manifested with a broad spectrum of clinical and hormonal disturbances. Long-term follow-up is required to define the natural history of the disease and response to treatment, since pituitary hormonal recovery or relapse may appear many years after initial diagnosis. We suggest that surgery and immunosuppressive therapy be reserved for exceptional cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0044-101036DOI Listing
April 2018

Management of neuroendocrine tumors of unknown primary.

Rev Endocr Metab Disord 2017 Dec;18(4):423-431

Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pathophysiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Neuroendocrine neoplams (NENs) are mostly relatively indolent malignancies but a significant number have metastatic disease at diagnosis mainly to the liver. Although in the majority of such cases the primary origin of the tumor can be identified, in approximately 11-22% no primary tumor is found and such cases are designated as NENs of unknown primary origin (UPO). This has significant therapeutic implications with respect to potentially resectable hepatic disease and/or application of appropriate medical therapy, either chemotherapeutic agents or targeted treatment, as the response to various treatments varies according to the origin of the primary tumor. This lack of tumor specific orientated treatment may also account for the relatively poorer prognosis of NENs of UPO compared to metastatic NENs with a known primary site. In the majority of cases the primary tumors are located in the small bowel and the lung, but a number may still elude detection. Occasionally the presence of a functional syndrome may direct to the specific tissue of origin but in the majority of cases a number of biochemical, imaging, histopathological and molecular modalities are utilized to help identify the primary origin of the tumor and direct treatment accordingly. Several diagnostic algorithms have recently been developed to help localize an occult primary tumor; however, in a number of cases no lesion is identified even after prolonged follow-up. It is expected that the delineation of the molecular signature of the different NENs may help identify such cases and provide appropriate treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11154-017-9437-9DOI Listing
December 2017

Atypical manifestation of parathyroid carcinoma with late-onset distant metastases.

Endocrinol Diabetes Metab Case Rep 2017 28;2017. Epub 2017 Oct 28.

Department of Pathophysiology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Parathyroid carcinoma is an extremely rare endocrine malignancy that accounts for less than 1% of cases of primary hyperparathyroidism. We report a 44-year-old woman who presented with fatigue and diffuse bone pain. Laboratory findings revealed highly elevated serum calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels and a 4.5 × 3 × 2.5 cm cystic lesion in the lower pole of the right thyroid lobe that was shown histologically to be a parathyroid carcinoma. Ten years later, the patient developed brain and pulmonary metastases and recurrence of PTH-related hypercalcemia. Treatment of hypercalcemia along with localized radiotherapy and various chemotherapy regimens failed to induce a biochemical or radiological response. In conclusion, parathyroid carcinoma is a rare neoplasia that may develop metastases even after prolonged follow-up, for which there is no evidence-based treatment besides surgery. Different chemotherapeutic schemes did not prove to be of any benefit in our case highlighting the need for registering such patients to better understand tumor biology and develop specific treatment.

Learning Points: Metastases can develop many years after parathyroid cancer diagnosis.Surgery is the only curative treatment for parathyroid carcinoma.Chemotherapy and radiotherapy prove to be ineffective in parathyroid cancer treatment.Patient registering is required in order to delineate underlining pathology and offer specific treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EDM-17-0106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5670324PMC
October 2017

Chemotherapy in NETs: When and how.

Rev Endocr Metab Disord 2017 Dec;18(4):485-497

Neuroendocrine Tumour Centre, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.

The majority of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are well-differentiated tumours that follow an indolent course, in contrast to a minority of poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs) which exhibit an aggressive course and assocaited with an overall short survival. Although surgery is the only curative treatment for NETs it is not always feasible,necessitating the application of other therapies including chemotherapy. Streptozotocin (STZ)-based regimens have long been used for advanced or metastatic well-to-moderately differentiated (G1-G2) NETs, especially those originating from the pancreas (pNETs). In poorly differentiated grade 3 (G3) tumours, platinum-based chemotherapy is recommended as first-line therapy, albeit without durable responses. Although data for temozolomide (TMZ)-based chemotherapy are still evolving, this treatment may replace STZ-based regimens in pNETs due to its better tolerability and side effect profile. In addition, there is evidence that TMZ could also be used in the subgroup of well-differentiated G3 NETs. There is less clear-cut evidence of a benefit for chemotherapy in intestinal NETs, but still evolving data suggest that TMZ may be efficacious in particular patients. In lung and thymic carcinoids, chemotherapy is reserved for patients with progressive metastatic disease in whom other treatment options are unavailable. Overall, chemotherapy is indicated in patients who have progressed on first-line treatment with somatostatin analogues, have extensive tumour load or exhibit rapid growth following a period of follow-up, and/or have a high proliferative rate; it may occasionally can be used in a neo-adjuvant setting. Prospective randomised studies are awaited to substantiate the role of chemotherapy in the therapeutic algorithm of NETs along with other evolving treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11154-017-9432-1DOI Listing
December 2017

Altered expression of circadian clock genes in polyglandular autoimmune syndrome type III.

Endocrine 2018 01 7;59(1):109-119. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Department of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, 11527, Greece.

Purpose: Circadian timing system is a highly conserved, ubiquitous molecular "clock" which creates internal circadian rhythmicity. Dysregulation of clock genes expression is associated with various diseases including immune dysregulation. In this study we investigated the circadian pattern of Clock-related genes in patients with polyglandular autoimmune syndrome type III (PAS type III).

Methods: Nineteen patients diagnosed with PAS type III and 12 healthy controls were enrolled. mRNA and protein expression of Clock-related genes (CLOCK, BMAL1, ROR and Per-1,-2,-3), as well as the GR-a and the GILZ genes were determined by real-time quantitative PCR and western blot analysis from blood samples drawn at 8 pm and 8am. Serum cortisol and TSH, as well as plasma ACTH, were measured by chemiluminescence.

Results: There were no statistical significant differences in the metabolic profile, cortisol, ACTH and TSH levels between patients and controls. Patients with PAS type III expressed higher transcript levels of CLOCK, BMAL1 and Per-1 in the evening than in the morning (p = 0.03, p = 0.029, p = 0.013, respectively), while the ratios (R) of GR-a, CLOCK, BMAL1, and Per-3 mRNA levels were statistically different between patients and controls. Cortisol circadian variation (F) was positively correlated with GILZ mRNA circadian pattern (R) in the patient group and with the GR-a mRNA (R) in the control group.

Conclucions: Our findings suggest that there is an aberrant circadian rhythm of Clock-related genes in patients with PAS type III. The disruption of the expression of 4 circadian Clock-related genes could indicate a possible association with the pathogenesis of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12020-017-1407-1DOI Listing
January 2018