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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pituitary tumours are multiclonal from the outset: evidence from a case with dural metastases.

In 1992 a 54-year-old man underwent transsphenoidal adenomectomy to remove a clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma during which there was a transient cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. He received radiotherapy to a small residual remnant. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan in 1997 showed an increase in the tumour in the pituitary stalk region and an additional intradural lesion at C1 level. In the absence of neurological symptoms and signs, an observational policy was followed. By 1999 the cervical dural lesion had enlarged and laminectomy was performed, during which three intradural lesions were removed. Histology and immunohistochemistry of the metastases were identical to those of the initial pituitary adenoma. Follow-up MRI scan showed extension of the pituitary remnant above the chiasma, requiring transfrontal surgery. Operation was complicated by secondary brain haemorrhage from which the patient died. Autopsy revealed a small amount of residual tumour at the top of the stalk and several small intradural tumour nodules at the level of the foramen magnum. Genetic analysis of the initial pituitary tumour identified significant allelic losses in keeping with its invasive nature, while that of the metastases indicated a separate clone as shown by retention of alleles lost in the primary tumour. The regrown pituitary tumour also appeared to be of a different clone to the initial tumour and the same as two of three of the first metastases (C1 level). The foramen magnum metastasis showed the same loss of heterozygosity (LOH) pattern as one of the original C1 metastases and the pituitary tumour tissue obtained at autopsy. We speculate that at the initial pituitary surgery, cells seeded into the CSF and grew in the dura. These cells were from a different clone, implying that the original pituitary tumour contained at least two clones, possibly three, providing evidence for the contemporaneous oligoclonality of the original pituitary tumour.[1]


  1. Pituitary tumours are multiclonal from the outset: evidence from a case with dural metastases. Buch, H., El-Hadd, T., Bicknell, J., Simpson, D.J., Farrell, W.E., Clayton, R.N. Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf) (2002) [Pubmed]
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