Pituitary neuroendocrine tumors: a model for neuroendocrine tumor classification

Sylvia L. Asa, Ozgur Mete, Michael D. Cusimano, Ian E. McCutcheon, Arie Perry, Shozo Yamada, Hiroshi Nishioka, Olivera Casar-Borota, Silvia Uccella, Stefano La Rosa, Ashley B. Grossman, Shereen Ezzat, Attendees of the 15th Meeting of the International Pituitary Pathology Club, Istanbul October 2019

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The classification of adenohypophysial neoplasms as “pituitary neuroendocrine tumors” (PitNETs) was proposed in 2017 to reflect their characteristics as epithelial neuroendocrine neoplasms with a spectrum of clinical behaviors ranging from small indolent lesions to large, locally invasive, unresectable tumors. Tumor growth and hormone hypersecretion cause significant morbidity and mortality in a subset of patients. The proposal was endorsed by a WHO working group that sought to provide a unified approach to neuroendocrine neoplasia in all body sites. We review the features that are characteristic of neuroendocrine cells, the epidemiology and prognosis of these tumors, as well as further refinements in terms used for other pituitary tumors to ensure consistency with the WHO framework. The intense study of PitNETs has provided information about the importance of cellular differentiation in tumor prognosis as a model for neuroendocrine tumors in different locations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1634-1650
Number of pages17
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


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