Mitotane is used for treatment of advanced adrenocortical carcinoma. It is administered when the carcinoma is unresectable, metastasized, or at high-risk of recurrence after resection. In addition, mitotane is considered to have direct adrenolytic effects. Because of its narrow therapeutic–toxic range, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is warranted. In 2020, a left-sided adrenal gland tumor was found (5.8 cm) in a 38-year-old man. Considering the size of this lesion and inability to exclude an adrenocortical carcinoma on imaging, a laparoscopic adrenalectomy was performed. Histopathologic examination determined presence of an adrenocortical carcinoma (pT2N0M0 ENSAT stadium II; ki67 10–15%). There was no evidence for residual or metastatic disease but given the high risk of recurrence, adjuvant therapy with mitotane was initiated. During TDM, a sudden and spuriously high level of mitotane was observed but without signs or symptoms of toxicity. After exploration, it was found that this high concentration was completely due to uncontrolled hypertriglyceridemia. After correction thereof, mitotane levels were again in the therapeutic range. This observation underscores the importance of TDM sampling in a fasting state with concurrent control of prevalent or incident dyslipidemia.
TDM of mitotane is advocated to achieve therapeutic levels while avoiding toxicity. For correct TDM, sampling should be done at least 12 h after last intake of mitotane.
Although sampling in fasting conditions in not explicitly mentioned in the guidelines, fasting state should be considered as elevated serum triglyceride levels might cause spuriously high mitotane levels.
In patients undergoing treatment with mitotane and presenting with too high or unexplained fluctuating mitotane levels without signs or symptoms of toxicity, hypertriglyceridemia as a possible cause should be investigated.
If dyslipidemia occurs in patients under mitotane treatment, other causes than mitotane (e.g. alcohol abuse and diabetes) should be considered and appropriate treatment should be initiated.
A Caucasian man in his 60s with recent diagnosis of metastatic renal cell carcinoma presented to the emergency department with a 5-day history of severe polyuria, polydipsia and fatigue and 1-day history of confusion, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Investigations revealed an overlap of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS). He had received the first dose of immunotherapy with nivolumab and ipilimumab 3 weeks prior to this attendance. New-onset type 1 diabetes (T1DM) was confirmed based on the clinical features at presentation, seropositivity for glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies and significant insulin deficiency. He is currently on a multiple daily injections of insulin and uses intermittent-scanned glucose monitoring. Given the irreversible impact on beta-cell function and clinical response with insulin resulting in improved diabetes control, immunotherapy was resumed for his metastatic cancer with good radiological response. Although rare, new-onset T1DM can present with DKA and HSS overlap after a single dose of nivolumab/ipilimumab in individuals without pre-existing history of diabetes.
Although rare, new onset of T1DM after immunotherapy can present with DKA and HSS overlap after a single dose of nivolumab/ipilimumab in individuals without pre-existing history of diabetes and normal glycaemic parameters.
Due to the irreversible destruction of beta-cells, treatment with steroids is not indicated in contrast to other settings such as immunotherapy-induced hypophysitis.
Presence of low c-peptide levels post-acute presentation is indicative of an irreversible impact on beta-cell function and supports resuming immunotherapy given the significant benefits on cancer prognosis.
Clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion in regards to diagnosis and management of new-onset type 1 diabetes and advice patients on reporting symptoms suggestive of diabetes and/or diabetes-related hyperglycaemic emergencies.
Alexis Elias MalavazosEndocrinology Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Psoriasis is often associated with abdominal obesity and type-2 diabetes (T2D). The inflammatory process in psoriasis can target adipose tissue depots, especially those surrounding the heart and coronary arteries, exposing to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. A 50-year-old female patient referred to us for abdominal obesity and T2D, which were not controlled with lifestyle modifications. She had suffered from psoriasis for some years and was treated with guselkumab, without success. Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) attenuation and pericoronary adipose tissue (PCAT) attenuation for each coronary, defined as mean attenuation expressed in Hounsfield unit (HU), were assessed by routine coronary computed tomography angiography. At baseline, EAT attenuation was −80 HU and PCAT attenuation of the right coronary artery (RCA) was −68 HU, values associated with an increased cardiac mortality risk. Psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) was 12.0, indicating severe psoriasis, while dermatology life quality index (DLQI) was 20, indicating a negative effect on the patient’s life. Semaglutide (starting with 0.25 mg/week for 4 weeks, increased to 0.50 mg/week for 16 weeks, and then to 1 mg/week) was started. After 10 months, semaglutide treatment normalized glycated hemoglobin and induced weight loss, particularly at abdominal level, also followed by a reduction in computed tomography-measured EAT volume. EAT attenuation and PCAT attenuation of RCA decreased, showing an important reduction of 17.5 and 5.9% respectively, compared with baseline. PASI and DLQI decreased by 98.3 and 95% respectively, indicating an improvement in psoriasis skin lesions and an important amelioration of the patient’s quality of life, compared with baseline.
Psoriasis patients affected by obesity and type-2 diabetes (T2D) are often resistant to biologic therapies.
Psoriasis is often associated with abdominal obesity, T2D, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), given their shared inflammatory properties and pathogenic similarities.
Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) inflammation can cause the distinctive pattern of CVD seen in psoriasis.
EAT and pericoronary adipose tissue (PCAT) attenuation, assessed by routine coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), can be used as biomarkers of inflammation and allow monitoring of medical anti-inflammatory therapies.
The actions of semaglutide to reduce energy intake, improve glycemic control, and produce effective weight loss, particularly at the visceral fat depot level, can diminish adipose tissue dysfunction, reduce EAT attenuation and PCAT attenuation of the right coronary artery (RCA) and concomitantly ameliorate the clinical severity of psoriasis.
Semaglutide therapy may be considered in psoriasis patients affected by T2D and abdominal obesity, despite low cardiovascular risk by traditional risk scores, who are resistant to biologic therapies.
We report a case of a woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer who unintentionally started gaining weight, feeling tired, and constipated 44 weeks after the initiation of trastuzumab. Hypothyroidism secondary to an autoimmune thyroiditis associated with trastuzumab was diagnosed, the first case described in Portugal and the fourth case described worldwide. Our intention regarding the publication of this case report is to alert the clinicians treating people with trastuzumab that they should ask the patients about symptoms of hypothyroidism and should screen the thyroid function of the patients before, during, and after the initiation of trastuzumab.
Trastuzumab is a humanized MAB used in HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer.
Trastuzumab-associated autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) is rare (incidence rate in an RCT of 0.3%).
Manifestations of autoimmune thyroiditis associated with trastuzumab resemble those of hypothyroidism in other clinical contexts, but the presence of goiter is highlighted as a reason for medical evaluation. Biochemically, it is characterized by an increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) with or without a low FT4/FT3, and sonographically with a pattern of thyroiditis.
The treatment consists of levothyroxine, in a dose of 1.6–1.8 µg/kg/day, with re-evaluation of the thyroid function in 4–6 weeks.
We report the first case of autoimmune thyroiditis secondary to trastuzumab in Portugal.
It is important to evaluate the thyroid function before, during, and after the initiation of this therapeutic agent.
A patient treated with intramuscular testosterone replacement therapy for primary hypogonadism developed blurred vision shortly after receiving his testosterone injection. The symptom resolved over subsequent weeks and recurred after his next injection. A diagnosis of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSR) was confirmed following ophthalmology review. A decision was made to change the patient’s testosterone regime from this 12-weekly intramuscular injection to a daily topical testosterone gel, given the possibility that peak blood levels of testosterone following intramuscular injection were causing his ocular complaint. His CSR did not recur after this change in treatment. CSR secondary to testosterone therapy is a rare finding but has been reported previously in the literature.
Blurred vision in patients treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) should prompt an ophthalmology review.
The potential for reduced risk of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSR) with daily transdermal testosterone remains a matter of conjecture.
David J HandelsmanClinical Andrology Laboratory, NSW Health Pathology, Concord Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia ANZAC Research Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
We report the successful delivery of a healthy baby after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with frozen-thawed autologous sperm, cryostored for 26 years, the longest successful autologous sperm cryostorage reported. Sperm was cryostored for a 15-year-old boy at the time of his cancer diagnosis. Semen samples were frozen with cryoprotectant, using a graduated vapour-phase nitrogen protocol. Straws were stored in a large vapour-phase nitrogen tank until transfer for use. The couple underwent a single ICSI–in vitro fertilisation procedure using the frozen-thawed sperm with a transfer of five fertilised embryos, resulting in the live birth of a healthy baby boy. This reinforces the importance of offering sperm cryopreservation to men who have not completed their family prior to gonadotoxic treatment for cancer or other diseases. As practical, low-cost fertility insurance, it should be offered to any young man who can collect semen and it provides essentially unlimited duration of fertility preservation.
Gonadotoxic chemo or radiotherapy treatment for cancer or other diseases usually causes temporary or permanent male infertility.
Sperm cryostorage serves as a practical, low-cost insurance to facilitate future paternity.
All men who have not completed their families and are scheduled for gonadotoxic treatments should be offered sperm cryostorage.
There is no lower age limit for young men who can collect semen.
Sperm cryostorage offers essentially indefinite duration for the preservation of male fertility.
A 31-year-old woman with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) experienced breast volume fluctuations during biphasic hormone replacement therapy consisting of estradiol and cyclical dydrogesterone, a progestin. 3D breast volume measurements showed a 100 cc volume (17%) difference between estradiol monotherapy and combined estradiol and dydrogesterone treatment. Progestogen-dependent breast volume changes have not been reported in the literature. Our findings suggest a correlation between progestogen use and breast volume. Due to the rapid cyclical changes, we hypothesize that the effect is caused by fluid retention.
There is limited reports available on the effects of progesterone on breast development and volume.
3D imaging provides an easy-to-use method to quantify breast volume.
The patient in our case description clearly showed that cyclic progesterone use might induce substantial cyclic changes in breast volume.
In women with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS), monotherapy with estrogen or continuous supplementation of progesterone might be preferable over cyclic progesterone use.
We present an adolescent with X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets (XLH) with bone age advancement and its response to aromatase inhibitors (AIs). A male with XLH, confirmed with a deletion on the PHEX gene, received regular treatment since the first year of life with average growth velocity and height. He had bone age compatible with chronological age until 13 when he had a bone age advancement and a decrease in the predicted final height thought to be due to initiation of oral isotretinoin, which has been previously reported. Then, anastrozole was initiated and maintained concomitant to the rickets treatment for 2 years with bone age stabilization. He had no adverse effects or worsening of bone health markers. As a result, he maintained his height gain and improved his final height Z score compared with the predicted final height at initiating anastrozole. In conclusion, although AIs was a reasonable strategy to stabilize bone age and minimize height impairment, careful monitoring is mandatory to understand its benefits and effects on XLH patients.
Although X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets patients have normal puberty, they can be affected by metabolic and environmental factors that may advance their bone age and impair the predicted final height, similar to the general population.
Isotretinoin may accelerate skeletal maturation during puberty in an adolescent with X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets.
Aromatase inhibitors showed to be a reasonable strategy to stabilize bone age and minimize height impairment in an adolescent with X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets.
A 40-year-old Japanese woman presented to the outpatient clinic with fever and palpitations 2 days after receiving the influenza vaccine (Influenza HA Vaccine ‘KMB’®) following the second dose of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine (COVID-19 vaccine Moderna intramuscular injection®). At the first visit, the patient presented with a swollen thyroid gland with mild tenderness, and she was diagnosed with subacute thyroiditis (SAT) based on the presence of thyrotoxicosis (free T3: 5.42 pg/mL; free T4: 2.34 ng/dL; and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): <0.01 μIU/mL), a high C-reactive protein level (5.77 mg/dL), a negative TSH receptor antibody, and characteristic ultrasound findings. The patient’s human leukocyte antigen types were A2, A11, B35, B51, DR4, and DR1403. Prednisolone (15 mg/day) was given as an initial dose, after which the fever subsided, and the dose was tapered and discontinued after 6 weeks. The patient was thought to have developed SAT due to influenza vaccination. SAT after influenza vaccination may be overlooked. For patients with SAT, it is necessary to obtain information regarding their vaccination history.
After influenza vaccination, subacute thyroiditis (SAT) may develop.
If persistent fever, anterior neck pain, swelling, tenderness of the thyroid gland, and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis are observed immediately after vaccination for several viruses, including influenza, an examination to rule out the onset of SAT is recommended.
Human leukocyte antigen type A2 (HLA-A2) and HLA-B35 may be linked to the development of SAT following influenza vaccination.
The two doses of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine given before the influenza vaccine may affect the onset of SAT.