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      Differential response of idiopathic sporadic tumoral calcinosis to bisphosphonates

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          Tumoral calcinosis is a disorder of phosphate metabolism characterized by ectopic calcification around major joints. Surgery is the current treatment of choice, but a suboptimal choice in recurrent and multicentric lesions.


          To evaluate the efficacy of bisphosphonates for the management of tumoral calcinosis on optimized medical treatment.

          Settings and Design:

          The study was done in the endocrine department of a tertiary care hospital in South India. We prospectively studied two patients with recurrent tumoral calcinosis who had failed therapy with phosphate lowering measures.

          Materials and Methods:

          After informed consent, we treated both patients with standard age adjusted doses of bisphosphonates for 18 months. The response was assessed by X ray and whole body 99mTc-methylene diphosphonate bone scan at the beginning of therapy and at the end of 1 year. We also estimated serum phosphate levels and urinary phosphate to document serial changes.


          Two patients (aged 19 and 5 years) with recurrent idiopathic hyperphosphatemic tumoral calcinosis, following surgery were studied. Both patients had failed therapy with conventional medical management − low phosphate diet and phosphate binders. They had restriction of joint mobility. Both were given standard doses of oral alendronate and parenteral pamidronate respectively for more than a year, along with phosphate lowering measures. At the end of 1 year, one of the patients had more than 95% and 90% reduction in the size of the lesions in right and left shoulder joints respectively with total improvement in range of motion. In contrast, the other patient (5-year-old) had shown no improvement, despite continuing to maintain normophosphatemia following treatment.


          Bisphosphonate therapy in tumoral calcinosis is associated with lesion resolution and may be used as a viable alternative to surgery, especially in cases with multicentric recurrence or treatment failure to other drugs.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Bisphosphonates: the first 40 years.

          The first full publications on the biological effects of the diphosphonates, later renamed bisphosphonates, appeared in 1969, so it is timely after 40years to review the history of their development and their impact on clinical medicine. This special issue of BONE contains a series of review articles covering the basic science and clinical aspects of these drugs, written by some of many scientists who have participated in the advances made in this field. The discovery and development of the bisphosphonates (BPs) as a major class of drugs for the treatment of bone diseases has been a fascinating story, and is a paradigm of a successful journey from 'bench to bedside'. Bisphosphonates are chemically stable analogues of inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), and it was studies on the role of PPi as the body's natural 'water softener' in the control of soft tissue and skeletal mineralisation that led to the need to find inhibitors of calcification that would resist hydrolysis by alkaline phosphatase. The observation that PPi and BPs could not only retard the growth but also the dissolution of hydroxyapatite crystals prompted studies on their ability to inhibit bone resorption. Although PPi was unable to do this, BPs turned out to be remarkably effective inhibitors of bone resorption, both in vitro and in vivo experimental systems, and eventually in humans. As ever more potent BPs were synthesised and studied, it became apparent that physico-chemical effects were insufficient to explain their biological effects, and that cellular actions must be involved. Despite many attempts, it was not until the 1990s that their biochemical actions were elucidated. It is now clear that bisphosphonates inhibit bone resorption by being selectively taken up and adsorbed to mineral surfaces in bone, where they interfere with the action of the bone-resorbing osteoclasts. Bisphosphonates are internalised by osteoclasts and interfere with specific biochemical processes. Bisphosphonates can be classified into at least two groups with different molecular modes of action. The simpler non-nitrogen containing bisphosphonates (such as etidronate and clodronate) can be metabolically incorporated into non-hydrolysable analogues of ATP, which interfere with ATP-dependent intracellular pathways. The more potent, nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (including pamidronate, alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate and zoledronate) are not metabolised in this way but inhibit key enzymes of the mevalonate/cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. The major enzyme target for bisphosphonates is farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (FPPS), and the crystal structure elucidated for this enzyme reveals how BPs bind to and inhibit at the active site via their critical N atoms. Inhibition of FPPS prevents the biosynthesis of isoprenoid compounds (notably farnesol and geranylgeraniol) that are required for the post-translational prenylation of small GTP-binding proteins (which are also GTPases) such as rab, rho and rac, which are essential for intracellular signalling events within osteoclasts. The accumulation of the upstream metabolite, isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP), as a result of inhibition of FPPS may be responsible for immunomodulatory effects on gamma delta (γδ) T cells, and can also lead to production of another ATP metabolite called ApppI, which has intracellular actions. Effects on other cellular targets, such as osteocytes, may also be important. Over the years many hundreds of BPs have been made, and more than a dozen have been studied in man. As reviewed elsewhere in this issue, bisphosphonates are established as the treatments of choice for various diseases of excessive bone resorption, including Paget's disease of bone, the skeletal complications of malignancy, and osteoporosis. Several of the leading BPs have achieved 'block-buster' status with annual sales in excess of a billion dollars. As a class, BPs share properties in common. However, as with other classes of drugs, there are obvious chemical, biochemical, and pharmacological differences among the various BPs. Each BP has a unique profile in terms of mineral binding and cellular effects that may help to explain potential clinical differences among the BPs. Even though many of the well-established BPs have come or are coming to the end of their patent life, their use as cheaper generic drugs is likely to continue for many years to come. Furthermore in many areas, e.g. in cancer therapy, the way they are used is not yet optimised. New 'designer' BPs continue to be made, and there are several interesting potential applications in other areas of medicine, with unmet medical needs still to be fulfilled. The adventure that began in Davos more than 40 years ago is not yet over. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            The role of mutant UDP-N-acetyl-alpha-D-galactosamine-polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 3 in regulating serum intact fibroblast growth factor 23 and matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein in heritable tumoral calcinosis.

            Familial tumoral calcinosis (TC) results from disruptions in phosphate metabolism and is characterized by high serum phosphate with normal or elevated 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin vitamin D concentrations and ectopic and vascular calcifications. Recessive loss-of-function mutations in UDP-N-acetyl-alpha-D-galactosamine-polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 3 (GALNT3) and fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) result in TC. The objective of the study was to determine the relationship between GALNT3 and FGF23 in familial TC. We assessed the major biochemical defects and potential genes involved in patients with TC. Combination therapy consisted of the phosphate binder Sevelamer and the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor acetazolamide. We report a patient homozygous for a GALNT3 exon 1 deletion, which is predicted to truncate the encoded protein. This patient had high serum FGF23 concentrations when assessed with a C-terminal FGF23 ELISA but low-normal FGF23 levels when tested with an ELISA for intact FGF23 concentrations. Matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein has been identified as a possible regulator of phosphate homeostasis. Serum matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein levels, however, were normal in the family with GALNT3-TC and a kindred with TC carrying the FGF23 S71G mutation. The tumoral masses of the patient with GALNT3-TC completely resolved after combination therapy. Our findings demonstrate that GALNT3 inactivation in patients with TC leads to inadequate production of biologically active FGF23 as the most likely cause of the hyperphosphatemic phenotype. Furthermore, combination therapy may be effective for reducing the tumoral burden associated with familial TC.
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              Miscellaneous non-inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions. Hyperphosphatemic familial tumoral calcinosis (FGF23, GALNT3 and αKlotho).

              Familial tumoral calcinosis (TC) is a rare disorder distinguished by the development of ectopic and vascular calcified masses that occur in settings of hyperphosphatemia (hFTC) and normophosphatemia (nFTC). Serum phosphorus concentrations are relatively tightly controlled by interconnected endocrine activity at the level of the intestine, kidney, and skeleton. Discovering the molecular causes for heritable forms of hFTC has shed new light on the regulation of serum phosphate balance. This review will focus upon the genetic basis and clinical approaches for hFTC, due to genes that are related to the phosphaturic hormone fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23). These include FGF23 itself, an FGF23-glycosylating enzyme (GALNT3), and the FGF23 co-receptor α-Klotho (αKL). Our understanding of the molecular basis of hFTC will, in the short term, aid in understanding normal phosphate balance, and in the future, provide potential insight into the design of novel therapeutic strategies for both rare and common disorders of phosphate metabolism. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Indian J Endocrinol Metab
                Indian J Endocrinol Metab
                Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Jul-Aug 2014
                : 18
                : 4
                : 521-525
                Department of Endocrinology, Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
                [1 ] Department of Nuclear Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Dr. Sadishkumar Kamalanathan, Endocrinology, 557, Fourth floor, Inpatient Division, Superspecialty Block, Dhanvantri Nagar, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry - 605 006, India. E-mail: sadishkk@
                Copyright: © Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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