Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas in children: Data from the Italian Cooperative Study (TREP).

Calogero Virgone, Marina Andreetta, Stefano Avanzini, Stefano Chiaravalli, Deborah De Pasquale, Alessandro Crocoli, Alessandro Inserra, Paolo D'Angelo, Rita Alaggio, Giuseppe Opocher, Giovanni Cecchetto, Andrea Ferrari, Gianni Bisogno, Patrizia Dall'Igna

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BACKGROUND: Pheochromocytomas (PCs) are neuroendocrine tumors arising from the chromaffin cells of the adrenal gland, and paragangliomas (PGLs) are their extra-adrenal counterparts arising from ganglia along the sympathetic/parasympathetic chain. Surgery is the cornerstone of treatment. A sporatic or inherited germline mutation is commonly associated. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Among over 1000 patients registered into the Tumori Rari in Età Pediatrica-rare tumors in pediatric age project-from 2000 to 2019, 50 were affected by PC/PGL. All clinical and therapeutic data were evaluated. RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients had PC and 22 had PGL. Age at diagnosis ranged between 5 and 17 years. Thirty-five patients had symptoms related to catecholamine hypersecretion; in 7 of 50 patients, diagnosis was incidental or done during assessment of a familial syndrome. In all cases, conventional imaging was effective to assess the presence of a tumor. In addition, 18 of 38 functional imaging studies were positive (61. Forty-eight patients were eligible for surgery: a complete resection was more frequently achieved in PC than in PGL (26/28 vs 11/22). All relapses were treated with surgery alone, surgery plus medical treatment, or chemotherapy alone; one PC with metastasis at diagnosis received radiotherapy only. Forty-four patients were in the first, second, or third complete remission (10/50 recurred; 8/10 carried a germline mutation). Five of 50 patients were alive with disease. One patient died of disease. CONCLUSIONS: Surgery can be curative in most tumors but it may not be always effective in removing PGLs. Severe postsurgical sequelae may affect these patients. Genetic tests should always be considered in individuals affected, and genetic counseling should be offered to their families.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2020


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