Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a heterogeneous group of tumors originating in various anatomic locations. The management of this disease poses a significant challenge because of the heterogeneous clinical presentations and varying degree of aggressiveness. The recent completion of several phase III trials, including those evaluating octreotide, sunitinib, and everolimus, demonstrate that rigorous evaluation of novel agents in this disease is possible and can lead to practice-changing outcomes. Nevertheless, there are many aspects to the treatment of NETs that remain unclear and controversial. The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) published a set of consensus guidelines in 2010 which provided an overview for the treatment of patients with these malignancies. Here, we present a set of consensus tables intended to complement these guidelines and serve as a quick, accessible reference for the practicing physician.
The likelihood of thyroid cancer increases with higher serum TSH concentration. Even within normal TSH ranges, a TSH level above the population mean is associated with significantly greater likelihood of thyroid cancer than a TSH below the mean. Shown for the first time, higher TSH level is associated with advanced stage DTC.
Pheochromocytomas, intra-adrenal paraganglioma, and extra-adrenal sympathetic and parasympathetic paragangliomas are neuroendocrine tumors derived from adrenal chromaffin cells or similar cells in extra-adrenal sympathetic and parasympathetic paraganglia, respectively. Serious morbidity and mortality rates associated with these tumors are related to the potent effects of catecholamines on various organs, especially those of the cardiovascular system. Before any surgical procedure is done, pre-operative blockade is necessary to protect the patient against significant release of catecholamines due to anesthesia and surgical manipulation of the tumor. Treatment options vary with the extent of the disease with laparoscopic surgery being the preferred treatment for removal of primary tumors.
Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a malignancy of the thyroid C-cells or parafollicular cells. Thyroid c-cells elaborate a number of peptides and hormones, such as calcitonin, CEA, and chromogranin A. Some or all of these markers are elevated in patients with MTC and can be used to confirm the diagnosis as well as to follow patients longitudinally for recurrence. MTC consists of a spectrum of disease that ranges from extremely indolent tumors that are stable for many years to aggressive types associated with a high mortality rate. Genetic testing for RET mutations has allowed identification of familial cases and prophylactic thyroidectomy for cure. The only curative treatment is complete surgical resection.
Can the diagnosis of benign disease or cancer in thyroid nodules with indeterminate
cytology be established by molecular testing instead of diagnostic surgery?
This prospective, blinded, multicenter cohort study of a multigene genomic classifier
(ThyroSeq v3) test included 257 indeterminate cytology thyroid nodules with informative
test results. It demonstrated a high sensitivity (94%) and reasonably high specificity
(82%), with 61% of the nodules yielding a negative test result and only 3% residual
cancer risk in these nodules.
Up to 61% of patients with indeterminate cytology thyroid nodules may avoid diagnostic
surgery by undergoing multigene genomic classifier testing.
Although PTMC is generally associated with an excellent prognosis, 0.5% patients may die of PTMC. The presence of 2 or more risk factors is strongly associated with cancer-related mortality and can help to identify patients who should be considered for more aggressive management.
After completing this course, the reader should be able to:1. Use current practice methods in the diagnosis of pheochromocytomas.2. Employ current practice methods in the treatment of pheochromocytomas.3. Evaluate the current molecular research that contributes to the treatment of pheochromocytomas.This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com.
ABSTRACTPheochromocytomas are rare catecholamine-secreting tumors that arise from chromaffin tissue within the adrenal medulla and extra-adrenal sites. Because of the excess secretion of hormones, these tumors often cause debilitating symptoms and a poor quality of life. While medical management plays a significant role in the treatment of pheochromocytoma patients, surgical excision remains the only cure. Improved medical management and surgical techniques and an increased understanding of hereditary disease have improved the outcome of pheochromocytoma patients with benign disease; however, the outcome of patients with malignant disease remains poor. In this review, we discuss the presentation, diagnosis, management, and future directions in the management of this disease. The Oncologist
Carcinoid tumors are rare, slow-growing neuroendocrine tumors arising from the enterochromaffin cells disseminated throughout the gastrointestinal and bronchopulmonary systems. Though they have been traditionally classified based on embryologic site of origin, morphologic pattern, and silver affinity, newer classification systems have been developed to emphasize the considerable clinical and histopathologic variability of carcinoid tumors found within each embryologic site of origin. These neoplasms pose a diagnostic challenge because they are often innocuous at the time of presentation, emphasizing the need for a multidisciplinary diagnostic approach using biochemical analysis, standard cross-sectional imaging, and newer advances in nuclear medicine. Similarly, treatment of both primary and disseminated carcinoid disease reflects the need for a multidisciplinary approach, with surgery remaining the only curative modality. The prognosis for patients with these tumors is generally favorable; however, it can be quite variable and is related to the location of the primary tumor, extent of metastatic disease at initial presentation, and time of diagnosis. The Oncologist
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