Different expression patterns in invasive and noninvasive PitNETs


In a study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, transcriptomics analysis and radiological evaluation was used to explore the differences between invasive and noninvasive pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNETs) with respect to parasellar growth, bone invasiveness and vascularization.

PitNETs, traditionally termed pituitary adenomas, constitute more than 15% of all surgically resected intracranial neoplasms. They can be silent or functioning and can have a highly variable impact on health due to expansion of intracranial tumor mass, hormonal hypersecretion, or adenohypophysial failure. Nonfunctioning PitNETs are mostly larger and more invasive than functioning ones, with the invasiveness mainly assessed from parasellar growth of the tumor. Histopathological examination of biopsies or radiological appearance are currently used for this assessment, but there is need for improved precision of prognostic stratification of patients. Identification of novel markers able to predict the parasellar growth, as well as, unveiling the mechanisms regulating bone invasiveness and the factors related to tumor vascularization would be very valuable.

In this study transcriptomics analysis of a large cohort of different types of PitNETs was used to explore the differences in gene expression patterns between invasive and noninvasive tumors. The results showed that most of the genes related to parasellar growth were involved in tumor invasiveness, while genes related to bone invasiveness were involved in NF-κB pathway and antitumoral immune response. When using the novel radiological parameter contrast enhancement quotient (CEQ) obtained from MRI as a proxy for the degree of tumor vascularization a set of genes, including several angiogenesis-related genes, correlating with the CEQ could be identified. Several of the identified genes related to invasiveness and vascularization are potential candidates for prognostic and therapeutic application, but require further research.

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