Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma


Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 29 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Mutated Genes and Abnormal Protein Expression (25)

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SDHB 1p36.13 IP, SDH, CWS2, PGL4, SDH1, SDH2, SDHIP -SDHB and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
RET 10q11.21 PTC, MTC1, HSCR1, MEN2A, MEN2B, RET51, CDHF12, CDHR16, RET-ELE1 -RET and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
SDHD 11q23.1 PGL, CBT1, CWS3, PGL1, QPs3, SDH4, cybS, CII-4 -SDHD and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
SDHC 1q23.3 CYBL, PGL3, QPS1, SDH3, CYB560 -SDHC and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
VHL 3p25.3 RCA1, VHL1, pVHL, HRCA1 -VHL and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
PGLS 19p13.11 6PGL, HEL-S-304 -PGLS and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
NF1 17q11.2 WSS, NFNS, VRNF -NF1 and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
SDHA 5p15.33 FP, PGL5, SDH1, SDH2, SDHF, CMD1GG -SDHA and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
SDHAF2 11q12.2 PGL2, SDH5, C11orf79 -SDHAF2 and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
TMEM127 2q11.2 -TMEM127 and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
HIF1A 14q23.2 HIF1, MOP1, PASD8, HIF-1A, bHLHe78, HIF-1alpha, HIF1-ALPHA, HIF-1-alpha -HIF1A and Pheochromocytoma
EGLN1 1q42.2 HPH2, PHD2, SM20, ECYT3, HALAH, HPH-2, HIFPH2, ZMYND6, C1orf12, HIF-PH2 -EGLN1 and Pheochromocytoma
EPAS1 2p21-p16 HLF, MOP2, ECYT4, HIF2A, PASD2, bHLHe73 -EPAS1 and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
MAX 14q23.3 bHLHd4 Germline
-MAX and Pheochromocytoma
KIF1B 1p36.22 KLP, CMT2, CMT2A, CMT2A1, HMSNII, NBLST1 -KIF1B and Pheochromocytoma
GDNF 5p13.2 ATF, ATF1, ATF2, HSCR3, HFB1-GDNF -GDNF and Pheochromocytoma
EGLN3 14q13.1 PHD3, HIFPH3, HIFP4H3 -EGLN3 and Pheochromocytoma
RBP3 10q11.22 IRBP, RBPI, RP66, D10S64, D10S65, D10S66 -RBP3 and Pheochromocytoma
CD3D 11q23.3 T3D, IMD19, CD3-DELTA -CD3D and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
KCNJ5 11q24.3 CIR, GIRK4, KATP1, LQT13, KIR3.4 -KCNJ5 and Pheochromocytoma
MIB1 18q11.2 MIB, DIP1, ZZZ6, DIP-1, LVNC7, ZZANK2 -MIB1 and Pheochromocytoma
CHGA 14q32.12 CGA -CHGA and Pheochromocytoma
NCAM1 11q23.2 CD56, NCAM, MSK39 -NCAM1 and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
LGALS3 14q22.3 L31, GAL3, MAC2, CBP35, GALBP, GALIG, LGALS2 -LGALS3 and Pheochromocytoma
MCM2 3q21 BM28, CCNL1, CDCL1, cdc19, D3S3194, MITOTIN -MCM2 and Pheochromocytoma

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications

Martin A, Venara M, Mathó C, et al.
Fibroblast deficiency of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor type 1 (IGF1R) impairs initial steps of murine pheochromocytoma development.
Biochimie. 2019; 163:108-116 [PubMed] Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) has a critical role in maintaining tumor phenotype and survival of already transformed murine pheochromocytoma (pheo) cells (MPC4/30) and it is required for the initial establishment of these tumors. However, the role of local IGF1/IGF1R system in tumor microenvironment has not been fully understood. In vivo, by subcutaneous injection of pheo cells in heterozygous IGF1R knockout mice (L/n), we found that the time of noticeable tumor appearance was delayed, and incidence was decreased in L/n group compared to control (L/L) mice. Once established, tumor proliferation, vascularization or growth rate did not differ between groups. In vitro, fibroblast from L/n and L/L mice were cultured to generate conditioned media (CM) and differential matrixes on which pheo cells were seeded. Proliferation rate was higher when pheo cells were cultured with CM, or in differential matrix generated by L/L murine fibroblasts. A diminished fibronectin (FN) expression and secretion from L/n fibroblast was associated with decreased expression of integrin subunits in tumor cells. Also, soluble factors as IGF1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP2) were reduced. Our data suggest that IGF1 signaling through IGF1R may contribute to tumor cells anchorage and survival by interaction with both matrix and soluble factors produced by tumor microenvironment fibroblasts.

Høxbroe Michaelsen S, Ornstrup MJ, Poulsen MM, et al.
Long-term follow-up of RET Y791F carriers in Denmark 1994-2017: A National Cohort Study.
J Surg Oncol. 2019; 119(6):687-693 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Recently, a comprehensive study presented evidence that a long-disputed REarranged during Transfection (RET) variant, RET Y791F, should be classified as nonpathogenic. In spite of this, several subsequently published papers, including the revised American Thyroid Association guidelines for medullary thyroid carcinoma, refer to the variant as pathogenic. This study presents data from a unique national Danish cohort of RET Y791F carriers who have been followed by watchful waiting instead of being subjected to early thyroidectomy, to determine if any carrier shows evidence of multiple endocrine neoplasia 2A (MEN2A) at long-term follow-up.
METHODS: A national cohort of all patients tested for RET mutations in Denmark from September 1994 to October 2017 was searched for carriers of RET Y791F. Medical records and laboratory reports of carriers were reviewed for signs of MEN2A at latest follow-up (medullary thyroid carcinoma, primary hyperparathyroidism, pheochromocytoma, cutaneous lichen amyloidosis, or Hirschsprung's disease).
RESULTS: In total, twenty RET Y791F-carriers were identified, none of whom showed any evidence of MEN2A, despite an age range from 7 to 87 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Our national cohort study of all Danish RET Y791F carriers substantiates the claim that the RET Y791F variant is nonpathogenic.

Liang YC, Wu YP, Chen DN, et al.
Building a Competing Endogenous RNA Network to Find Potential Long Non-Coding RNA Biomarkers for Pheochromocytoma.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 51(6):2916-2924 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Accumulating evidence has shown that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks play crucial roles in tumor survival and patient prognosis; however, studies investigating ceRNA networks in pheochromocytoma (PCC) are lacking. In this study, we investigated the pathogenesis of PCC and whether lncRNAs acting through ceRNAs networks were associated with prognosis.
METHODS: A total of 183 PCC samples and 3 control samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas database were analyzed. The Empirical Analysis of Digital Gene Expression Data package in R (edgeR) was used to analyze differentially expressed RNAs. Biological processes and pathways functional enrichment analysis were performed based on the Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) database. LncRNA/mRNA/miRNA ceRNA network was constructed by Cytoscape v3.0 software based on the differentially expressed RNAs Survival package in R was used to perform survival analysis.
RESULTS: In total, 554 differentially expressed lncRNAs, 1775 mRNAs and 40 miRNAs were selected for further analysis. Subsequently, 23 lncRNAs, 22 mRNAs, and 6 miRNAs were included in the constructed ceRNA network. Meanwhile, two of the 23 lncRNAs (C9orf147 and BSN-AS2) were identified as independent predictors of overall survival in PCC patients (P< 0.05).
CONCLUSION: This study improves the understanding of lncRNA-related ceRNA networks in PCC and suggests that the lncRNAs C9orf147 and BSN-AS2 could be independent prognostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for PCC.

Ding Y, Feng Y, Wells M, et al.
SDHx gene detection and clinical Phenotypic analysis of multiple paraganglioma in the head and neck.
Laryngoscope. 2019; 129(2):E67-E71 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to detect and explore the mechanisms of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex subunit-related gene mutations in cases of multiple paraganglioma (PGL) in the head and neck.
METHODS: In Beijing Tongren Hospital (Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China) between January 2013 and February 2017, 23 cases of head and neck multiple PGL were evaluated by genetic sequencing. From these cases, four hereditary families and 10 cases with sporadic occurrences were found. Gene mutations, including SDHD, SDHB, SDHC, SDHAF2, VHL and RET in germ cells and somatic cells, were detected by gene capture and high throughput sequencing.
RESULTS: In family 1, 12 instances of SDHD gene mutation were detected, eight of which manifested as bilateral carotid body tumor (CBT) with one bilateral malignant CBT. In family 2, three cases of SDHD mutation were found with one case of bilateral CBT and two cases of unilateral CBT. In family 3, two cases of SDHD gene mutation were found, both characterized by vagus PGL and pheochromocytoma. Of the 10 patients with sporadic manifestations, five cases of SDHD gene mutation and one case of RET gene mutation were detected. Two novel gene mutations, c.387_393del7 mutation of SDHD gene and c.3247A>G mutation of RET gene, were also detected.
CONCLUSION: In patients with multiple PGL in the head and neck, these are accompanied by a genetic mutation of the germ cell. In this case study, this mutation was most commonly a mutation of the SDHD gene.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4 Laryngoscope, 129:E67-E71, 2019.

Oudijk L, Gaal J, de Krijger RR
The Role of Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Analysis of Succinate Dehydrogenase in the Diagnosis of Endocrine and Non-Endocrine Tumors and Related Syndromes.
Endocr Pathol. 2019; 30(1):64-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) is an enzyme complex, composed of four protein subunits, that plays a role in both the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain. The genes for SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, and SDHD are located in the nuclear DNA, and mutations in these genes have initially been described in paragangliomas (PGL) and pheochromocytomas (PCC), which are relatively rare tumors derived from the autonomic nervous system and the adrenal medulla, respectively. Patients with SDH mutations, that are almost exclusively in the germline, are frequently affected by multiple PGL and/or PCC. In addition, other tumors have been associated with SDH mutations as well, including gastrointestinal stromal tumors, SDH-deficient renal cell carcinoma, and pituitary adenomas. Immunohistochemistry for SDHB and SDHA has been shown to be a valuable additional tool in the histopathological analysis of these tumors, and can be considered as a surrogate marker for molecular analysis. In addition, SDHB immunohistochemistry is relevant in the decision-making whether a genetic sequence variant represents a pathogenic mutation or not. In this review, we highlight the current knowledge of the physiologic and pathologic role of the SDH enzyme complex and its involvement in endocrine and non-endocrine tumors, with an emphasis on the applicability of immunohistochemistry.

Shulskaya MV, Shadrina MI, Bakilina NA, et al.
The spectrum of SDHD mutations in Russian patients with head and neck paraganglioma.
Int J Neurosci. 2018; 128(12):1174-1179 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM OF THE STUDY: It was found that the mutations in the SDHD gene, encoding one of subunits of the succinate dehydrogenase complex, lead to the development of head and neck paraganglioma (HNPGL). We analyzed this gene in 91 patients with HNPGL from Russia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA was isolated from the whole blood. A screening for mutations was performed by Sanger sequencing.
RESULTS: We revealed three missense mutations that have been described previously: p.Pro81Leu, p.His102Arg, p.Tyr114Cys. Moreover, we identified a novel potentially pathogenic variant (p.Trp105*).
CONCLUSIONS: We found that mutations in the SDHD gene were less common in Russian patients compared with the majority of European populations. It was shown that the p.His102Arg mutation is a major mutation in Russia. We confirmed the previous suggestion that a bilateral localization of the tumor and the carotid type represent a marker of the genetically determined form of HNPGL.

Kantorovich V, Pacak K
New insights on the pathogenesis of paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma.
F1000Res. 2018; 7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pheochromocytomas (PCCs) and paragangliomas (PGLs) are rare chromaffin cell tumors (PPGLs) that at times raise significant challenges in clinical recognition, diagnosis, and therapy and when undiagnosed could associate with severe morbidity. Recent discoveries in PPGL genetics propelled our understanding in the pathophysiology of tumorigenesis and allowed the application of functional classification of pathogenetically distinct groups of PPGLs. This also resulted in a qualitative change in our approach to clinical assessment, diagnosis, and therapy of different subgroups of PPGLs. Establishment of the fact that mutations in multiple components of the PHD-VHL-HIF-2α pathway associate with pseudohypoxia-driven tumorigenesis allowed us not only to better understand the effect of this phenomenon but also to more deeply appreciate the value of functional abnormalities in the physiologic tissue oxygen-sensing mechanism. Mutations in the tricarboxylic acid cycle-related genes opened an additional window into understanding the physiology of one of the basic cellular metabolic pathways and consequences of its disruption. Mutations in the kinase signaling-related genes allow the PPGL field to join a massive innovative process in therapeutic advances in current oncology. New pathophysiologically distinct groups of mutations will widen and deepen our understanding of additional pathways in PPGL tumorigenesis and hopefully introduce additional diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. All of these developments are tremendously important in our understanding of both the normal physiology and pathophysiology of PPGLs and are strong tools and stimuli in the development of modern approaches to all components of medical management.

von Dobschütz E, Neumann HPH
[Genetics of pheochromocytoma and the relevance in surgery].
Chirurg. 2019; 90(1):15-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chromaffin tumors, e.g. pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas are caused by germline mutations of several susceptibility genes in 30-40% of the patients. The corresponding syndromes are multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2, RET gene), von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL), neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), paraganglioma syndrome types 1-5 (PGL1-5, SDHx gene) and familial pheochromocytoma due to mutations in the MAX and TMEM127 genes. Clinically, screening for such diseases should be carried out by clinical symptoms and mutation analyses. Important indications can be found in the history of patients and their families, young age of manifestation (<30 years), extra-adrenal localization and the presence of metastatic pheochromocytomas. Organ-preserving endoscopic adrenal operations are nowadays standard for hereditary pheochromocytomas. Previous studies have shown that the reoccurrence of tumors in residual tissue is rare and can occur many years later and that metastatic tumors arising from such recurrences are very rare. When a mutation is detected in a susceptibility gene, a multidisciplinary follow-up care tailored to each individual syndrome is essential.

Vermalle M, Tabarin A, Castinetti F
[Hereditary pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: screening and follow-up strategies in asymptomatic mutation carriers].
Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2018; 79 Suppl 1:S10-S21 [PubMed] Related Publications
The management of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma has deeply evolved over the last years due to the discovery of novel genes of susceptibility, especially SDHx, MAX and TMEM127. While the modalities of diagnosis and management of patients presenting with hereditary pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma are now well defined, screening and follow-up strategies for asymptomatic mutation carriers remain a matter of debate. This raises major questions as these asymptomatic patients will require a lifelong follow-up. The aim of this review is an attempt to give insights on the optimal screening and follow-up strategies of asymptomatic carriers of SDHx, MAX and TMEM127 mutations, with additional thoughts on the forensic and psychological aspects of the management of such patients with rare diseases.

Saavedra A, Lima J, Castro L, et al.
Malignant paraganglioma and somatotropinoma in a patient with germline SDHB mutation-genetic and clinical features.
Endocrine. 2019; 63(1):182-187 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pituitary adenomas and paragangliomas/pheocromocytomas are rare endocrine tumours, which can be sporadic or familial. During many years their coexistence in the same individual was considered a coincidental finding. However, an association between these two entities was recently demonstrated, with the possible involvement of SDHx genes.
CASE REPORT: We describe a 57-year-old female patient, who was under surveillance since 1997 for a malignant paraganglioma with vertebral bone metastasis, and harboured a germline frameshift mutation in exon 6 of SDHB gene [c.587-591DelC]. Seventeen years later, she was diagnosed with acromegaly and underwent transesphenoidal endoscopic resection of a somatotropinoma. Three months after surgery she started treatment with lanreotide for residual disease. Despite initial good response, she developed resistance to first generation of somatostatin analogues and treatment had to be switched to pegvisomant. In the immunohistochemical staining, the pituitary adenoma was positive for SDHA expression, while SDHB showed an heterogeneous staining pattern, with areas markedly positive and others with positive and negative cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide useful data for understanding the link between paragangliomas/pheocromocytomas and somatotropinomas. While we confirm the well-established link between SDHB mutations and paragangliomas/pheocromocytomas, particularly with malignant paragangliomas, the preservation-at least partially-of SDHB expression in the somatotropinoma tissue does not allow drawing definite conclusions about the involvement of the SDHB mutation in pituitary adenoma.

Wang L, Li Y, Guan X, et al.
Exosomal double-stranded DNA as a biomarker for the diagnosis and preoperative assessment of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.
Mol Cancer. 2018; 17(1):128 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pheochromocytomas (PCCs) and paragangliomas (PGLs) are the most heritable endocrine tumors. Genetic testing for 12 driver susceptibility genes is recommended in all PCC and PGL cases. However, detection of somatic mutations in PCC and PGL remains unrealizable for genetic diagnosis and preoperative assessment. We compared the serum exosomal DNA and tumor tissue DNA from patients or mice with PCC or PGL and found double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) fragments in the circulating exosomes of patients with PCC or PGL. Exosomal dsDNA shared the same mutations in the susceptibility genes with that of the parent tumor cells. Moreover, our research showed that serum-derived exosomal dsDNA in PCC and PGL was highly consistent with the paired tumor genome. Our findings provide the first definitive evidence of the presence of exosomal dsDNA that can be used as a noninvasive genetic marker in one of the most effective somatic mutation screens for the diagnosis and preoperative assessment of PCCs and PGLs.

Wu K, Zhang Y, Zhang H, et al.
[Germline gene testing of the RET, VHL, SDHD and SDHB genes in patients with pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma].
Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2018; 50(4):634-639 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the germline variations of genes RET, VHL, SDHD and SDHB in patients with pheochromocytoma and/or paraganglioma and to evaluate variations of these genes in Chinese patients.
METHODS: Patients who were treated in Peking University First Hospital from September 2012 to March 2014 and diagnosed with pheochromocytoma and/or paraganglioma by pathologists were included in this study. Twelve patients were included in total, of whom 11 had pheochromocytoma, and 1 had paraganglioma. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was extracted from the leukocytes of peripheral blood of the patients. The exons 10, 11, 13-16 of the RET gene, and all exons of VHL, SDHB and SDHD genes and their nearby introns (±20 bp) were amplified with polymerase chain reactions, and the products were sent to a biotechnology company for sequencing. The sequencing results were compared with wildtype sequences of these genes to identify variations. One of the patients was diagnosed with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A. A family analysis was performed in his kindred, and his family members received genetic tests for the related variations.
RESULTS: Three patients were found to have germline gene variations. A c.136C>T (p.R46X) variation of the SDHB gene was found in a patient with malignant pheochromocytoma. A c.1901G>A (C634Y) variation, as well as c.2071G>A (p.G691S) and c.2712C>G (p.S904S) variations of the RET gene were found in a patient with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A. After a family analysis, five family members of this patient were found to have the same variations. c.2071G>A (p.G691S) and c.2712C>G (p.S904S) variations of the RET gene were also found in a clinical sporadic patient without evidence of malignancy. A patient with congenital single ventricle malformation and pheochromocytoma was included in this study, and no variation with clinical significance was found in the four genes of this patient.
CONCLUSION: 25% (3/12) patients with pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma were found to have missense or nonsense germline gene variations in this study, including the c.136C>T (p.R46X) variation of the SDHB gene, the c.1901G>A (C634Y) variation of the RET gene, and c.2071G>A (p.G691S) and c.2712C>G (p.S904S) variations of the RET gene. The former two variations have already been confirmed to be pathogenic. The existence of these variations in Chinese patients with pheochromocytoma and/or paraganglioma was validated in this study, which supports the conclusion that genetic testing is necessary to be generally performed in patients with pheochromocytoma and/or paraganglioma.

Barbolosi D, Crona J, Serre R, et al.
Mathematical modeling of disease dynamics in SDHB- and SDHD-related paraganglioma: Further step in understanding hereditary tumor differences and future therapeutic strategies.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(8):e0201303 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Succinate dehydrogenase subunit B and D (SDHB and SDHD) mutations represent the most frequent cause of hereditary pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL). Although truncation of the succinate dehydrogenase complex is thought to be the disease causing mechanism in both disorders, SDHB and SDHD patients exihibit different phenotypes. These phenotypic differences are currently unexplained by molecular genetics. The aim of this study is to compare disease dynamics in these two conditions via a Markov chain model based on 4 clinically-defined steady states. Our model corroborates at the population level phenotypic observations in SDHB and SDHD carriers and suggests potential explanations associated with the probabilities of disease maintenance and regression. In SDHB-related syndrome, PPGL maintenance seems to be reduced compared to SDHD (p = 0.04 vs 0.95) due to higher probability of tumor cell regression in SDHB vs SDHD (p = 0.87 vs 0.00). However, when SDHB-tumors give rise to metastases, metastatic cells are able to thrive with decreased probability of regression compared with SDHD counterparts (p = 0.17 vs 0.89). By constrast, almost all SDHD patients develop PGL (mainly head and neck) that persist throughout their lifetime. However, compared to SDHB, maintenance of metastatic lesions seems to be less effective for SDHD (p = 0.83 vs 0.11). These findings align with data suggesting that SDHD-related PPGL require less genetic events for tumor initiation and maintenance compared to those related to SDHB, but fail to initiate biology that promotes metastatic spread and metastatic cell survival in host tissues. By contrast, the higher number of genetic abnormalities required for tumor initiation and maintenance in SDHB PPGL result in a lower penetrance of PGL, but when cells give rise to metastases they are assumed to be better adapted to sustain survival. These proposed differences in disease progression dynamics between SDHB and SDHD diseases provide new cues for future exploration of SDHx PPGL behavior, offering considerations for future specific therapeutic and prevention strategies.

Buffet A, Burnichon N, Amar L, Gimenez-Roqueplo AP
Pheochromocytoma: When to search a germline defect?
Presse Med. 2018 Jul - Aug; 47(7-8 Pt 2):e109-e118 [PubMed] Related Publications
With advances in our understanding of the genetics of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGL), the answer to the question 'Should we search for a germline defect in patients diagnosed with PPGL?' has changed considerably since the end of the last century, when PPGL was thought to be inherited in only 10% of cases, because we now know that about 40% of patients carry a germline mutation in one PPGL susceptibility gene. PPGL is now considered to be the most highly heritable neuroendocrine tumour, with more than 15 susceptibility genes identified, and current guidelines recommend genetic testing during initial tests on PPGL patients. This genetic testing is routinely carried out by next-generation sequencing methods, making it possible to genotype a large number of susceptibility genes in a single analysis. Positive results for any of the known susceptibility genes are an indication for specific follow-up of the inherited disease and for the organization of predictive genetic testing in the patient's relatives. The development of precision medicine for PPGL, based on the molecular profile of the tumor, should become possible in the near future.

Richter S, Gieldon L, Pang Y, et al.
Metabolome-guided genomics to identify pathogenic variants in isocitrate dehydrogenase, fumarate hydratase, and succinate dehydrogenase genes in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.
Genet Med. 2019; 21(3):705-717 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Metabolic aberrations have been described in neoplasms with pathogenic variants (PV) in the Krebs cycle genes encoding succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), fumarate hydratase (FH) and isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH). In turn, accumulation of oncometabolites succinate, fumarate, and 2-hydroxyglutarate can be employed to identify tumors with those PV . Additionally, such metabolic readouts may aid in genetic variant interpretation and improve diagnostics.
METHODS: Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, 395 pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) from 391 patients were screened for metabolites to indicate Krebs cycle aberrations. Multigene panel sequencing was applied to detect driver PV in cases with indicative metabolite profiles but undetermined genetic drivers.
RESULTS: Aberrant Krebs cycle metabolomes identified rare cases of PPGLs with germline PV in FH and somatic PV in IDHx and SDHx, including the first case of a somatic IDH2 PV in PPGL. Metabolomics also reliably identified PPGLs with SDHx loss-of-function (LOF) PV. Therefore we utilized tumor metabolite profiles to further classify variants of unknown significance in SDHx, thereby enabling missense variants associated with SDHx LOF to be distinguished from benign variants.
CONCLUSION: We propose incorporation of metabolome data into the diagnostics algorithm in PPGLs to guide genetic testing and variant interpretation and to help identify rare cases with PV in FH and IDHx.

Stigliano A, Lardo P, Cerquetti L, et al.
Treatment responses to antiangiogenetic therapy and chemotherapy in nonsecreting paraganglioma (PGL4) of urinary bladder with SDHB mutation: A case report.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2018; 97(30):e10904 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Paraganglioma (PGL) is a rare neuroendocrine tumor. Currently, the malignancy is defined as the presence of metastatic spread at presentation or during follow-up. Several gene mutations are listed in the pathogenesis of PGL, among which succinate dehydrogenase (SDHX), particularly the SDHB isoform, is the main gene involved in malignancy. A 55-year-old male without evidence of catecholamine secretion had surgery for PGL of the urinary bladder. After 1 year, he showed a relapse of disease and demonstrated malignant PGL without evidence of catecholamine secretion with a germline heterozygous mutation of succinate dehydrogenase B (SDHB). After failure of a second surgery for relapse, he started medical treatment with sunitinib daily but discontinued due to serious side effects. Cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and dacarbazine (CVD) chemotherapeutic regimen stopped the disease progression for 7 months.
CONCLUSION: Malignant PGL is a very rare tumor, and SDHB mutations must be always considered in molecular diagnosis because they represent a critical event in the progression of the oncological disease. Currently, there are few therapeutic protocols, and it is often difficult, as this case demonstrates, to decide on a treatment option according to a reasoned set of choices.

Sulkowski PL, Sundaram RK, Oeck S, et al.
Krebs-cycle-deficient hereditary cancer syndromes are defined by defects in homologous-recombination DNA repair.
Nat Genet. 2018; 50(8):1086-1092 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The hereditary cancer syndromes hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) and succinate dehydrogenase-related hereditary paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma (SDH PGL/PCC) are linked to germline loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding the Krebs cycle enzymes fumarate hydratase and succinate dehydrogenase, thus leading to elevated levels of fumarate and succinate, respectively

Calsina B, Currás-Freixes M, Buffet A, et al.
Role of MDH2 pathogenic variant in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma patients.
Genet Med. 2018; 20(12):1652-1662 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: MDH2 (malate dehydrogenase 2) has recently been proposed as a novel potential pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PPGL) susceptibility gene, but its role in the disease has not been addressed. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of MDH2 pathogenic variants among PPGL patients and determine the associated phenotype.
METHODS: Eight hundred thirty patients with PPGLs, negative for the main PPGL driver genes, were included in the study. Interpretation of variants of unknown significance (VUS) was performed using an algorithm based on 20 computational predictions, by implementing cell-based enzymatic and immunofluorescence assays, and/or by using a molecular dynamics simulation approach.
RESULTS: Five variants with potential involvement in pathogenicity were identified: three missense (p.Arg104Gly, p.Val160Met and p.Ala256Thr), one in-frame deletion (p.Lys314del), and a splice-site variant (c.429+1G>T). All were germline and those with available biochemical data, corresponded to noradrenergic PPGL.
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that MDH2 pathogenic variants may play a role in PPGL susceptibility and that they might be responsible for less than 1% of PPGLs in patients without pathogenic variants in other major PPGL driver genes, a prevalence similar to the one recently described for other PPGL genes. However, more epidemiological data are needed to recommend MDH2 testing in patients negative for other major PPGL genes.

Khare M, Gupta MK, Sharma UB, Garg KM
Paraganglioma with a very rare presentation.
Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2018 Jul-Sep; 61(3):404-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
Paragangliomas (PGLs) are rare tumors of neural crest origin, with a malignancy rate of approximately 10% and a 5-year survival rate of <50%. We present a case of malignant PGL arising from the porta hepatis with metastasis to the portal lymph node and bilateral ovaries. PGLs arising from the porta hepatis are very rare. As per our knowledge, only three cases of hepatic duct PGL have been reported. It is important to detect it earlier because the treatment modality and prognosis of benign and malignant PGL differs and defines the prognosis of the patient.

Watchorn RE, Calonje E, Taibjee SM
Germline BRCA1-associated protein 1 mutation presenting as BAP1 inactivated melanocytic nevi in a child of a father with fatal paraganglioma.
Pediatr Dermatol. 2018; 35(5):e316-e318 [PubMed] Related Publications
BRCA1-associated protein 1(BAP1) inactivated melanocytic nevi are pink to tan and dome-shaped in clinical appearance, resembling dermal nevi, but with distinct histologic features of two melanocytic subpopulations: larger atypical melanocytes and nests of smaller, blander nevoid melanocytes. Pedigrees with BAP1 mutations are at greater risk of various malignancies. We report the case of a 16-year-old boy with multiple benign-appearing nevi, all demonstrating loss of BAP1 on immunohistochemistry. History revealed that his father had died of paraganglioma, which is also associated with BAP1 mutations.

Yamanaka M, Shiga K, Fujiwara S, et al.
A Novel SDHB IVS2-2A>C Mutation Is Responsible for Hereditary Pheochromocytoma/Paraganglioma Syndrome.
Tohoku J Exp Med. 2018; 245(2):99-105 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas are neuroendocrine tumors which arise from adrenal medulla, and sympathetic or parasympathetic nerves, respectively. Hereditary cases afflicted by both or either pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas have been reported: these are called hereditary pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma syndromes (HPPS). Many cases of HPPS are caused by mutations of one of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) genes; mainly SDHB and SDHD that encode subunits for the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex II. In this study, we investigated mutations of SDH genes in six HPPS patients from four Japanese pedigrees using peripheral blood lymphocytes (from one patient with pheochromocytoma and five patients with neck paraganglioma) and tumor tissues (from two patients with paraganglioma). Results showed that all of these pedigrees harbor germline mutations in one of the SDH genes. In two pedigrees, a novel IVS2-2A>C mutation in SDHB, at the acceptor-site in intron 2, was found, and the tumor RNA of the patient clearly showed frameshift caused by exon skipping. Each of the remaining two pedigrees harbors a reported missense mutation, R242H in SDHB or G106D in SDHD. Importantly, all these mutations are heterozygous in constitutional DNAs, and two-hit mutations were evident in tumor DNAs. We thus conclude that the newly identified IVS2-2A>C mutation in SDHB is responsible for HPPS. The novel mutation revealed by our study may contribute to improvement of clinical management for patients with HPPS.

Bezawork-Geleta A, Wen H, Dong L, et al.
Alternative assembly of respiratory complex II connects energy stress to metabolic checkpoints.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):2221 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cell growth and survival depend on a delicate balance between energy production and synthesis of metabolites. Here, we provide evidence that an alternative mitochondrial complex II (CII) assembly, designated as CII

Ong RKS, Flores SK, Reddick RL, et al.
A Unique Case of Metastatic, Functional, Hereditary Paraganglioma Associated With an SDHC Germline Mutation.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018; 103(8):2802-2806 [PubMed] Related Publications
Context: Mutations in genes encoding for the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex are linked to hereditary paraganglioma syndromes. Paraganglioma syndrome 3 is associated with mutations in SDHC and typically manifests as benign, nonfunctional head and neck paragangliomas.
Design: We describe a case of a 51-year-old woman who initially presented with diarrhea and hypertension and was found to have a retroperitoneal mass, which was resected with a pathology consistent with paraganglioma. Five years later, her symptoms recurred, and she was found to have new retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy and lytic lesions in the first lumbar vertebral body and the right iliac crest, which were visualized on CT scan and octreoscan but not on iodine-123-meta-iodobenzylguanidine (123I-MIBG) and bone scans. She had significantly elevated 24-hour urine norepinephrine and dopamine. The patient received external beam radiation and a series of different antineoplastic agents. Her disease progressed, and she eventually expired within 2 years. Genetic testing revealed a heterozygous SDHC c.43C>T, p.Arg15X mutation, which was also detected in her daughter and her grandson, both of whom have no biochemical or imaging evidence of paraganglioma syndrome yet.
Conclusion: We report a unique case of functional, metastatic abdominal paraganglioma associated with SDHC germline mutation. Our case exemplifies that SDHC germline mutation has variable penetrance, which may manifest with an aggressive biology that could be missed by a 123I-MIBG scan.

Zhang J, Jiang J, Luo Y, et al.
Molecular evaluation of a sporadic paraganglioma with concurrent IDH1 and ATRX mutations.
Endocrine. 2018; 61(2):216-223 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are neuroendocrine tumors of neural crest origin. Germline or somatic mutations of numerous genes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of PPGLs, including the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene and alpha thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) gene. Although concurrent IDH1 and ATRX mutations are frequently seen in gliomas, they have never been reported together in PPGLs. The aim of this study was to characterize one paraganglioma with concurrent IDH1 and ATRX mutations identified by whole exome sequencing.
METHODS: Leukocyte and tumor DNA were used for whole exome sequencing and Sanger sequencing. 2-hydroxyglurarate level and the global DNA methylation status in the tumor were measured. ATRX's cDNA transcripts were analyzed. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), HIF1α and ATRX staining, as well as telomere-specific FISH was also performed.
RESULTS: The presence of a somatic IDH1 (c.394C>T, p.R132C) mutation and a concurrent somatic ATRX splicing mutation (c.4318-2A>G) in the current case was confirmed. Dramatic accumulation of 2-hydroxyglutarate was detected in the paraganglioma without the global DNA hypermethylation, and pseudohypoxia was also activated. Importantly, immunohistochemistry revealed negative TH staining in the tumor and the first exon region of TH gene was hypermethylated resulting in normal plasma metanephrines. The splicing ATRX mutation resulted in two transcripts, causing frameshifts. Immunohistochemistry revealed scarce ATRX staining in the tumor. Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) was detected by FISH.
CONCLUSIONS: This case represents the first concurrence of IDH1 and ATRX mutations in PPGLs. Although relatively rare, a somatic R132C mutation of IDH1 might play a role in a small subset of sporadic PPGLs.

Neumann HP, Young WF, Krauss T, et al.
65 YEARS OF THE DOUBLE HELIX: Genetics informs precision practice in the diagnosis and management of pheochromocytoma.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2018; 25(8):T201-T219 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although the authors of the present review have contributed to genetic discoveries in the field of pheochromocytoma research, we can legitimately ask whether these advances have led to improvements in the diagnosis and management of patients with pheochromocytoma. The answer to this question is an emphatic

Stenman A, Zedenius J, Juhlin CC
Over-diagnosis of potential malignant behavior in MEN 2A-associated pheochromocytomas using the PASS and GAPP algorithms.
Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2018; 403(6):785-790 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Pheochromocytomas (PCCs) exhibit malignant potential, but current histological modalities for the proper detection of aggressive behavior are debated. The two most widespread algorithms are the "Pheochromocytoma of the Adrenal Gland Scaled Score" (PASS) and the "Grading System for Adrenal Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma" (GAPP), both which mostly rely on histological parameters to identify PCC patients at risk of disseminated disease. Since the algorithms are derived from studies using predominantly sporadic PCCs, little is known whether the PASS or GAPP scores can predict malignant potential in hereditary cases.
METHODS: PASS and GAPP were applied on 41 PCCs; 13 PCCs were diagnosed in ten multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A) patients carrying established germline RET proto-oncogene mutations, as well as 28 assumed sporadic PCCs.
RESULTS: Six out of thirteen MEN 2A tumors (46%) exhibited PASS scores ≥ 4, indicative of a potential for aggressive behavior. In addition, 7/13 tumors (54%) exhibited GAPP scores ≥ 3, indicative of a "moderately differentiated type" with risk of future recurrence. All MEN 2A PCCs with an elevated PASS score also displayed an elevated GAPP score. In contrast, 4/28 (14%) sporadic PCCs demonstrated PASS scores ≥ 4, and 9/28 (32%) displayed GAPP scores ≥ 3. Follow-up found all cases in the study are free of metastatic or recurrent disease.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the PASS and GAPP scoring systems might be suboptimal for determining true malignant potential in PCCs with constitutional RET mutations and advocate restrictive use of these scores in MEN 2A cases until the results are reproduced in larger numbers.

Heesterman BL, de Pont LMH, van der Mey AG, et al.
Clinical progression and metachronous paragangliomas in a large cohort of SDHD germline variant carriers.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2018; 26(9):1339-1347 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
Although it is well established that paternally transmitted germline variants in SDHD are associated with multifocal paragangliomas and lifelong follow-up is generally advised, the risk of metachronous lesions is presently unknown. In a large Dutch cohort of SDHD variant carriers, we studied the development of new paragangliomas, and the evolution of symptoms and cranial nerve impairment. Recurrent event analysis and the Kaplan-Meier product limit estimator were used to study the risk of new lesions. The relation between several predictors and development of new symptoms was assessed using logistic regression. Of the 222 SDHD variant carriers included, 65% presented with symptoms and 11% with cranial nerve dysfunction. Over a median period of 8 years, 42% reported new symptoms, and new cranial nerve impairment was observed in 11% of subjects. The estimated fraction of subjects that developed new HNPGL increased to 73% (95% CI: 52-85%) after 22 years of follow-up. Males were more likely to develop new HNPGL compared to females (HR: 1.63, 95% CI: 1.10-2.40), as were subjects that presented with symptoms, compared to subjects that were asymptomatic at baseline (HR: 1.61, 95% CI: 1.01-2.55). In addition, the risk of new lesions decreased with number of HNPGL present at first diagnosis (HR: 0.68 and 95% CI: 0.56-0.82). Carriers of a paternally inherited SDHD variant face a considerable risk for new HNPGL. In addition, nearly 50% of subjects reported new symptoms. However, new cranial nerve deficits were observed in only 11%, which is less than reported in surgical series. These risks should be taken into account when considering treatment strategies and counseling.

Andrade MO, Cunha VSD, Oliveira DC, et al.
What determines mortality in malignant pheochromocytoma? - Report of a case with eighteen-year survival and review of the literature.
Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Mar-Apr; 62(2):264-269 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pheochromocytoma (PCC) is a tumor derived from adrenomedullary chromaffin cells. Prognosis of malignant PCC is generally poor due to local recurrence or metastasis. We aim to report a case of malignant PCC with 18-year survival and discuss which factors may be related to mortality and long-term survival in malignant pheochromocytoma. The patient, a 45-year-old man, reported sustained arterial hypertension with paroxysmal episodes of tachycardia, associated with head and neck burning sensation, and hand and foot tremors. Diagnosis of PCC was established biochemically and a tumor with infiltration of renal parenchyma was resected. No genetic mutation or copy number variations were identified in SDHB, SDHD, SDHC, MAX and VHL. Over 18 years, tumor progression was managed with 131I-MIBG (iodine-metaiodobenzylguanidine) and 177Lutetium-octreotate therapy. Currently, the patient is asymptomatic and presents sustained stable disease, despite the presence of lung, para-aortic lymph nodes and femoral metastases. Adequate response to treatment with control of tumor progression, absence of significant cardiovascular events and other neoplasms, and lack of mutations in the main predisposing genes reported so far may be factors possibly associated with the prolonged survival in this case. Early diagnosis and life-long follow-up in patients with malignant pheochromocytoma are known to be crucial in improving survival.

Remacha L, Currás-Freixes M, Torres-Ruiz R, et al.
Gain-of-function mutations in DNMT3A in patients with paraganglioma.
Genet Med. 2018; 20(12):1644-1651 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The high percentage of patients carrying germline mutations makes pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas the most heritable of all tumors. However, there are still cases unexplained by mutations in the known genes. We aimed to identify the genetic cause of disease in patients strongly suspected of having hereditary tumors.
METHODS: Whole-exome sequencing was applied to the germlines of a parent-proband trio. Genome-wide methylome analysis, RNA-seq, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, and targeted sequencing were also performed.
RESULTS: We identified a novel de novo germline mutation in DNMT3A, affecting a highly conserved residue located close to the aromatic cage that binds to trimethylated histone H3. DNMT3A-mutated tumors exhibited significant hypermethylation of homeobox-containing genes, suggesting an activating role of the mutation. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in in HeLa cells led to global changes in methylation, providing evidence of the DNMT3A-altered function. Targeted sequencing revealed subclonal somatic mutations in six additional paragangliomas. Finally, a second germline DNMT3A mutation, also causing global tumor DNA hypermethylation, was found in a patient with a family history of pheochromocytoma.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that DNMT3A may be a susceptibility gene for paragangliomas and, if confirmed in future studies, would represent the first example of gain-of-function mutations affecting a DNA methyltransferase gene involved in cancer predisposition.

Enríquez-Vega ME, Muñoz-Paredes JG, Cossío-Zazueta A, et al.
SDHD gene mutation in Mexican population whit carotid body tumor.
Cir Cir. 2018; 86(1):38-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Introduction: Among the U.S. population, the p81L SDHD (11q23) gene mutation is present in 6-36% of patients with sporadic carotid body tumor (CBT), but in familial cases is high as 80%. That is why the P81L mutation is used as a screening method for carotid body tumor in the U.S.
Methods: We included 25 patients who underwent resection of a CBT from January 2010 to June 2015. After informed consent, a blood sample was taken for genetic testing on real-time polymerase chain reaction, in order to identify p81L mutation in the SDHD gene. The information was analyzed with descriptive statistics, using central tendency and description measures.
Results: In our group, 92% were females, a mean age of 55.5 years, and 52% were Shamblin type II. The most common place of residence was Mexico City, 8% of the patients had family history, about 20% of the patients had a contralateral tumor and 16% had antecedent of another kind of tumor, 4 (16%) p81L SDHD gene mutations were detected, all of them were heterozygous.
Conclusions: The p81L mutation in the SDHD gene was found in the Mexican population in higher grade that in the U.S. population, which explain the high incidence of this pathology in our country, but we need more studies about this subject.

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