Author(s): Soon PS, McDonald KL, Robinson BG, Sidhu SB
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Abstract Adrenal tumors are common, with an estimated incidence of 7.3\% in autopsy cases, while adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs) are rare, with an estimated prevalence of 4-12 per million population. Because the prognoses for adrenocortical adenomas (ACAs) and ACCs are vastly different, it is important to be able to accurately differentiate the two tumor types. Advancement in the understanding of the pathophysiology of ACCs is essential for the development of more sensitive means of diagnosis and treatment, resulting in better clinical outcome. Adrenocortical tumors (ACTs) occur as a component of several hereditary tumor syndromes, which include the Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, multiple endocrine neoplasia 1, Carney complex, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The genes involved in these syndromes have also been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of sporadic ACTs. The adrenocorticotropic hormone-cAMP-protein kinase A and Wnt pathways are also implicated in adrenocortical tumorigenesis. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms involved in adrenocortical tumorigenesis, including results of comparative genomic hybridization, loss of heterozygosity, and microarray gene-expression profiling studies.
This article was published in Oncologist
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports