Molecular pathology of adrenal cortical tumors: separating adenomas from carcinomas

Endocr Pathol. 2006 Winter;17(4):355-63. doi: 10.1007/s12022-006-0007-z.


Adrenal cortical carcinoma is a rare but interesting endocrine tumor. Its diagnosis is usually straightforward using morphologic assessment and supplemental immunohistochemistry. However, diagnostically challenging cases exist and pathologic evaluation would benefit from the availability of adjunctive molecular testing. Here, the relevant molecular pathology of adrenal cortical tumors is reviewed with special reference to those methods (e.g., DNA microarrays) that hold promise for improved diagnosis and prognosis, and prediction of therapeutic response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / genetics
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma / genetics
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma / metabolism
  • Adrenocortical Adenoma / pathology*
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / genetics
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Principal Component Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA, Neoplasm