PNA Medical Corner: Renaming the Pituitary Tumor

This month’s PNA Medical Corner showcases an effort by a large group of endocrine specialists to replace the term “pituitary adenoma” with “pituitary neuroendocrine tumor” or PitNET for short. The group met at the 14th Meeting of the International Pituitary Pathology Club in France last November. The impressive list of authors includes multiple longtime members and associates of the PNA: Drs. Sylvia Asa, Shereen Ezzat, Philippe Chanson, Edward Laws Jr. and Ian McCutcheon.

Here is the abstract:

From pituitary adenoma to pituitary neuroendocrine tumor (PitNET): an International Pituitary Pathology Club proposal.

Asa SL1, Casar-Borota O2, Chanson P3, Delgrange E4, Earls P5, Ezzat S6, Grossman A7, Ikeda H8, Inoshita N9, Karavitaki N10, Korbonits M11, Laws ER Jr12, Lopes MB13, Maartens N14, McCutcheon IE15, Mete O16, Nishioka H17, Raverot G18, Roncaroli F19, Saeger W20, Syro LV21, Vasiljevic A22, Villa C23, Wierinckx A24, Trouillas J25; and the attendees of 14th Meeting of the International Pituitary Pathology Club, Annecy, France, November 2016.


The classification of neoplasms of adenohypophysial cells is misleading because of the simplistic distinction between adenoma and carcinoma, based solely on metastatic spread and the poor reproducibility and predictive value of the definition of atypical adenomas based on the detection of mitoses or expression of Ki-67 or p53. In addition, the current classification of neoplasms of the anterior pituitary does not accurately reflect the clinical spectrum of behavior. Invasion and regrowth of proliferative lesions and persistence of hormone hypersecretion cause significant morbidity and mortality. We propose a new terminology, pituitary neuroendocrine tumor (PitNET), which is consistent with that used for other neuroendocrine neoplasms and which recognizes the highly variable impact of these tumors on patients.
© 2017 Society for Endocrinology.

nomenclature; pituitary tumors


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