european network for adrenal tumors



Below is a list of recent publications by ENS@T researchers, please note that documents are for personal use only. Before downloading, make sure that the file is not protected by any copyright or other rights. If in doubt, please contact the appropriate Journal.
  • 26 Apr 2012 13:00 | Anonymous


    CONTEXT: Childhood adrenocortical tumors (ACT) are rare malignancies, except in southern Brazil, where a higher incidence rate is associated to a high frequency of the founder R337H TP53 mutation. To date, copy number alterations in these tumors have only been analyzed by low-resolution comparative genomic hybridization.

    OBJECTIVE: We analyzed an international series of 25 childhood ACT using high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism arrays to: 1) detect focal copy number alterations highlighting candidate driver genes; and 2) compare genetic alterations between Brazilian patients carrying the R337H TP53 mutation and non-Brazilian patients.

    RESULTS: We identified 16 significantly recurrent chromosomal alterations (q-value < 0.05), the most frequent being -4q34, +9q33-q34, +19p, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of chromosome 17 and 11p15. Focal amplifications and homozygous deletions comprising well-known oncogenes (MYC, MDM2, PDGFRA, KIT, MCL1, BCL2L1) and tumor suppressors (TP53, RB1, RPH3AL) were identified. In addition, eight focal deletions were detected at 4q34, defining a sharp peak region around the noncoding RNA LINC00290 gene. Although non-Brazilian tumors with a mutated TP53 were similar to Brazilian tumors, those with a wild-type TP53 displayed distinct genomic profiles, with significantly fewer rearrangements (P = 0.019). In particular, three alterations (LOH of chromosome 17, +9q33-q34, and -4q34) were significantly more frequent in TP53-mutated samples. Finally, two of four TP53 wild-type tumors displayed as sole rearrangement a copy-neutral LOH of the imprinted region at 11p15, supporting a major role for this region in ACT development.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight potential driver genes and cellular pathways implicated in childhood ACT and demonstrate the existence of different oncogenic routes in this pathology.

  • 18 Apr 2012 09:00 | Anonymous
    Timmers HJ, Chen CC, Carrasquillo JA, Whatley M, Ling A, Eisenhofer G, King KS, Rao JU, Wesley RA, Adams KT, Pacak K.


    BACKGROUND: Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are rare tumors of the adrenal medulla and extra-adrenal sympathetic chromaffin tissues; their anatomical and functional imaging are critical to guiding treatment decisions. This study aimed to compare the sensitivity and specificity of (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography with computed tomography ((18)F-FDG PET/CT) for tumor localization and staging of PPGLs with that of conventional imaging by [(123)I]-metaiodobenzylguanidine single photon emission CT ((123)I-MIBG SPECT), CT, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

    METHODS: A total of 216 patients (106 men, 110 women, aged 45.2 ± 14.9 years) with suspected PPGL underwent CT or MRI, (18)F-FDG PET/CT, and (123)I-MIBG SPECT/CT. Sensitivity and specificity were measured as endpoints and compared by the McNemar test, using two-sided P values only.

    RESULTS: Sixty (28%) of patients had nonmetastatic PPGL, 95 (44%) had metastatic PPGL, and 61 (28%) were PPGL negative. For nonmetastatic tumors, the sensitivity of (18)F-FDG was similar to that of (123)I-MIBG but less than that of CT/MRI (sensitivity of (18)F-FDG = 76.8%; of (123)I-MIBG = 75.0%; of CT/MRI = 95.7%; (18)F-FDG vs (123)I-MIBG: difference = 1.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -14.8% to 14.8%, P = .210; (18)F-FDG vs CT/MRI: difference = 18.9%, 95% CI = 9.4% to 28.3%, P < .001). The specificity was 90.2% for (18)F-FDG, 91.8% for (123)I-MIBG, and 90.2% for CT/MRI. (18)F-FDG uptake was higher in succinate dehydrogenase complex- and von Hippel-Lindau syndrome-related tumors than in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2) related tumors. For metastases, sensitivity was greater for (18)F-FDG and CT/MRI than for (123)I-MIBG (sensitivity of (18)F-FDG = 82.5%; of (123)I-MIBG = 50.0%; of CT/MRI = 74.4%; (18)F-FDG vs (123)I-MIBG: difference = 32.5%, 95% CI = 22.3% to 42.5%, P < .001; CT/MRI vs (123)I-MIBG: difference = 24.4%, 95% CI = 11.3% to 31.6%, P < .001). For bone metastases, (18)F-FDG was more sensitive than CT/MRI (sensitivity of (18)F-FDG = 93.7%; of CT/MRI = 76.7%; difference = 17.0%, 95% CI = 4.9% to 28.5%, P = .013).

    CONCLUSIONS: Compared with (123)I-MIBG SPECT and CT/MRI, both considered gold standards for PPGL imaging, metastases were better detected by (18)F-FDG PET. (18)F-FDG PET provides a high specificity in patients with a biochemically established diagnosis of PPGL.

  • 28 Oct 2011 13:00 | Anonymous
    Eisenhofer G, Lenders JW, Siegert G, Bornstein SR, Friberg P, Milosevic D, Mannelli M, Linehan WM, Adams K, Timmers HJ, Pacak K.


    BACKGROUND: There are currently no reliable biomarkers for malignant pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs). This study examined whether measurements of catecholamines and their metabolites might offer utility for this purpose.

    METHODS: Subjects included 365 patients with PPGLs, including 105 with metastases, and a reference population of 846 without the tumour. Eighteen catecholamine-related analytes were examined in relation to tumour location, size and mutations of succinate dehydrogenase subunit B (SDHB).

    RESULTS: Receiver-operating characteristic curves indicated that plasma methoxytyramine, the O-methylated metabolite of dopamine, provided the most accurate biomarker for discriminating patients with and without metastases. Plasma methoxytyramine was 4.7-fold higher in patients with than without metastases, a difference independent of tumour burden and the associated 1.6- to 1.8-fold higher concentrations of norepinephrine and normetanephrine. Increased plasma methoxytyramine was associated with SDHB mutations and extra-adrenal disease, but was also present in patients with metastases without SDHB mutations or those with metastases secondary to adrenal tumours. High risk of malignancy associated with SDHB mutations reflected large size and extra-adrenal locations of tumours, both independent predictors of metastatic disease. A plasma methoxytyramine above 0.2nmol/L or a tumour diameter above 5cm indicated increased likelihood of metastatic spread, particularly when associated with an extra-adrenal location.

    CONCLUSION: Plasma methoxytyramine is a novel biomarker for metastatic PPGLs that together with SDHB mutation status, tumour size and location provide useful information to assess the likelihood of malignancy and manage affected patients.
  • 19 Jun 2011 18:34 | Anonymous

    Comino-Méndez I, Gracia-Aznárez FJ, Schiavi F, Landa I, Leandro-García LJ, Letón R, Honrado E, Ramos-Medina R, Caronia D, Pita G, Gómez-Graña A, de Cubas AA, Inglada-Pérez L, Maliszewska A, Taschin E, Bobisse S, Pica G, Loli P, Hernández-Lavado R, Díaz JA, Gómez-Morales M, González-Neira A, Roncador G, Rodríguez-Antona C, Benítez J, Mannelli M, Opocher G, Robledo M, Cascón


    Hereditary pheochromocytoma (PCC) is often caused by germline mutations in one of nine susceptibility genes described to date, but there are familial cases without mutations in these known genes. We sequenced the exomes of three unrelated individuals with hereditary PCC (cases) and identified mutations in MAX, the MYC associated factor X gene. Absence of MAX protein in the tumors and loss of heterozygosity caused by uniparental disomy supported the involvement of MAX alterations in the disease. A follow-up study of a selected series of 59 cases with PCC identified five additional MAX mutations and suggested an association with malignant outcome and preferential paternal transmission of MAX mutations. The involvement of the MYC-MAX-MXD1 network in the development and progression of neural crest cell tumors is further supported by the lack of functional MAX in rat PCC (PC12) cells and by the amplification of MYCN in neuroblastoma and suggests that loss of MAX function is correlated with metastatic potential.

  • 01 Jun 2011 22:26 | Anonymous
    Richard O. Sinnott, Anthony J. Stell


    For many research areas, the need to collaborate across organizational and in certain cases national boundaries is essential. This is especially the case when dealing with rare diseases where a lack of data, information and/or sharing of expertise can cause
    delays in progressing the understanding and potential diagnosis/treatment of such diseases. Research into adrenal tumours is one such area where co-ordination of international cancer efforts is essential. The European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours - Structuring clinical research on adrenal cancers in adults (ENS@T-CANCER) project has recently been funded by the European Union to establish a state of the art Virtual Research Environment (VRE) supporting all aspects of international
    research and collaboration into the aetiology, diagnosis and establishing optimal treatment strategies for patients with adrenal cancer. It is envisaged that this VRE will comprise a portfolio of clinical databases for the different types of adrenal tumours that
    exist; support and integrate a seamless federation of adrenal tumour bio-banks with support for bio-sample tracking; support a wide range of –omics research into adrenal tumours and allow results to be shared amongst collaborators; offer advanced visualization services, and support several large-scale clinical trials comprising cohorts of patients with different kinds/treatments of adrenal tumours. This paper outlines the goals of the ENS@T-CANCER project and outlines the on-going implementation work. We show how security-oriented information can be collected and tracked through the VRE including supporting collection of clinical data sets and their linkage with associated bio-samples in an ethically-driven framework.

  • 24 Mar 2011 13:00 | Anonymous
    Richard Sinnott, Anthony Stell, Jipu Jiang


    The e-Health vision of seamless access to and use of distributed data sets
    crossing the clinical and post-genomic biomedical data domains (and others) is a
    compelling one. In the realisation of this vision, a multitude of heterogeneous software
    systems and models have been developed and shown to meet the needs of many
    individual e-Health scenarios and communities. However it is still the case that no clear
    consensus on what an e-Health infrastructure should look like has been established. As
    a result a proliferation of IT solutions has been developed and will likely continue to
    exist for the foreseeable future. The core contribution of this paper is to classify
    architectural patterns of data-driven e-Health collaborations. These are illustrated
    through a range of examples showing experiences in their application. It is hoped that
    the definition of these design patterns will provide a conceptual framework through
    which future e-Health infrastructures can be contextualised and lessons learned to shape
    future e-Health IT initiatives.

  • 24 Mar 2010 13:00 | Anonymous
    Anthony Stell, Richard Sinnott, Jipu Jiang


    Many e-Health strategies rely on the secure integration of datasets that

    have previously resided in isolated locations, but can now in principle be accessed
    over the Internet. Of paramount importance in the health domain is the need for the
    security and privacy of data that is transmitted across these networks. One such
    collaboration, which spans several specialist centres across France, Germany, Italy
    and the UK, is ENSAT – the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors.
    The rarity of the tumors under study means the value of accessing, aggregating and
    comparing data from many centres is great indeed. However this is especially
    challenging given that ENSAT require clinical and genomic data to be seamlessly
    linked, but in such a way that the information governance, ethics and privacy
    concerns of the patients and associated stakeholders involved are visibly satisfied.
    Key to this is the clear separation of clinical and genomic data sets and support for
    rigorous patient-identity protecting access control. This is especially challenging
    when such data sets exist across different organisational boundaries. In this paper
    we describe a prototype solution offering a security-oriented tailored portal
    supported by a layered encryption-driven linkage technology (VANGUARD) that
    offers precisely such patient-privacy protecting capabilities. We describe the
    architecture, implementation and use to date of this facility to support the ENSAT
    adrenal cancer research network
  • 04 Feb 2010 20:04 | Anonymous

    Johnsen IK, Hahner S, Briere JJ, Ozimek A, Gimenez-Roqueplo AP, Hantel C, Adam P, Bertherat J, Beuschlein F


    Storage and tissue handling of surgical tumor specimen have been recognized as critical steps that can potentially affect reproducibility and comparability of molecular endpoints between laboratories. In the preparation of adrenal tumor tissue banking, three different protocols that simulate warm ischemia upon tumor removal (protocol I), thawing and refreezing cycles (protocol II), as well as storage of vital tumor samples (protocol III) were applied. For the first two protocols, samples were subdivided and either snap frozen or treated with a RNA preserving agent (RPA) while in protocol III different storage media were compared. Following these procedures, recovery and integrity of DNA, RNA, and protein by means of pulsed field electrophoresis, long-range PCR, real-time PCR, immunoblot, and immunohistochemistry (protocol I and II) as well as cell viability and steroidogenic capacity (protocol III) were investigated. While DNA integrity was not influenced by different treatment modalities, expression levels of adrenal marker genes were more affected in samples after snap freezing in comparison to RPA pretreatment. Moreover, storage at room temperature before and after freezing could be demonstrated to decrease the relative amount of protein phosphorylation (ERK) and enzymatic activity (succinate cytochrome c reductase) while overall protein levels were not significantly affected. Similarly, morphological or immunohistochemical evaluation was comparable between groups. For primary cell cultures generated after storage of tumor samples similar rates of viability were observable while steroid output varied between the groups. Overall, on the basis of the presented endpoints standardized operational procedures can be defined for a proposed European adrenal tumor biobank.

  • 15 Jan 2009 20:12 | Anonymous
    Fassnacht M, Johanssen S, Quinkler M, Bucsky P, Willenberg HS, Beuschlein F, Terzolo M, Mueller HH, Hahner S, Allolio B


    Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy, and it was only in 2004 that the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) defined TNM criteria and published the first staging classification. However, to date, the prognostic value of the proposed classification has not been evaluated.

    The German ACC Registry comprising 492 patients was searched for patients who were diagnosed between 1986 and 2007 with detailed information on primary diagnosis and a minimum follow-up of 6 months. Patients were assigned to UICC tumor stage, and disease-specific survival (DSS) was assessed. In addition, the contribution of potential risk factors for DSS was evaluated.

    In total, 416 patients with a mean follow-up of 36 months met the inclusion criteria (stage I, n=23 patients; stage II, n=176 patients; stage III, n=67 patients; stage IV, n=150 patients). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a stage-dependent DSS. However, DSS in patients with stage II ACC did not differ significantly from DSS in patients with stage III ACC (hazard ratio, 1.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.89-2.16). Furthermore, patients who had stage IV ACC without distant metastases had an improved DSS compared with patients who had metastatic disease (P=.004). An analysis of different potential risk factors for defining stage III ACC revealed important roles in DSS for tumor infiltration in surrounding tissue, venous tumor thrombus (VTT), and positive lymph nodes; whereas tumor invasion in adjacent organs carried a prognosis similar to that of infiltration in surrounding tissue only.

    The 2004 UICC staging classification for ACC has significant limitations. On the basis of the current analysis, a revised classification with superior prognostic accuracy is proposed (the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors classification). In this system, stage III ACC is defined by the presence of positive lymph nodes, infiltration of surrounding tissue, or VTT; and stage IV ACC is restricted to patients with distant metastasis.

    Copyright (c) 2009 American Cancer Society.

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