Rare cancer of the endocrine organs
Cancer of the endocrine glands are infrequent, and as other rare cancers, they require multidisciplinary discussions and collaborations to guide patient management, and to initiate prospective, innovative biological and clinical projects.
Thyroid and adrenal tumors are endocrine malignancies usually cured with surgery at localized stage. However, they may recur locally, have a metastatic spread and become refractory to standard therapies, requiring expertise both in diagnosis (pathology, molecular biology) and treatment.
Thyroid cancers managed within the G6 group, include radio-iodine refractory (RAIR) metastatic thyroid cancer (TC), metastatic medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC). They come from different cellular origin, RAIR-TC and ATC deriving from follicular cells and MTC from C-cells.
Adrenal malignancies comprise adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) and malignant pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma (PPGL) as defined by local or metastatic spread.
These refractory/metastatic thyroid and adrenal tumors are managed within the reference centers gathered within the domain 6 of EURACAN. Although much progress remains to be made, collaborative efforts have already been initiated within EURACAN to improve the outcome of patients with relapsing and metastatic endocrine cancers. Given their rarity and molecular heterogeneity, which now guides therapeutic decisions, their management should be guided by reference centers, mostly within clinical trials. Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) are developed and reviewed by all stakeholders including scientific societies, and patient advocacy groups. International Multidisciplinary Tumors Boards (MTBs) have been initiated and collaborations with patient’s advocacy groups helped standardize information patient leaflets.