Molecular markers of adrenocortical tumors

J Surg Oncol. 2012 Oct 1;106(5):549-56. doi: 10.1002/jso.23119. Epub 2012 Apr 13.


Adrenocortical tumors are common and incidentally discovered in up to 14% of axial imaging studies performed for other indications. Most of these tumors are nonfunctioning but may require removal because of the risk of adrenocortical carcinoma. Unfortunately, most clinical and imaging features are still not accurate enough to allow definitive diagnosis and an increasing number of patients undergo adrenalectomy to exclude a cancer diagnosis. Adrenocortical carcinoma is an aggressive malignancy with no effective therapy for patients with locally advanced and metastatic disease. Studies using new genomic approaches including mRNA, miRNA, methylation, and CGH profiling have identified dysregulated genes and pathways that may have clinical implications in improved molecular diagnosis and prognostication of adrenocortical cancer (ACC). In this review, we highlight recent advances in the molecular diagnosis of adrenocortical tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Humans


  • Biomarkers, Tumor