Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is characterized by the occurrence of parathyroid, pancreatic islet and anterior pituitary tumors. Some patients may also develop carcinoid tumors, adrenocortical tumors, facial angiofibromas, collagenomas, and lipomas. MEN1 is an autosomal-dominant disorder, due to mutations in the tumor suppressor gene MEN1, which encodes a 610 amino acid protein, menin. Thus, the finding of MEN1 in a patient has important implications for family members because first-degree relatives have a 50% risk of developing the disease and can often be identified by MEN1 mutational analysis. Patients with MEN1 have a decreased life-expectancy and the outcomes of current treatments, which are generally similar to that for the respective tumors occurring in non-MEN1 patients, are not as successful because of multiple tumors, which may be larger, more aggressive, and resistant to treatment, and the concurrence of metastases. The prognosis for MEN1 patients might be improved by pre-symptomatic tumor detection and undertaking treatment specific for MEN1-tumors. Thus, it is recommended that MEN1 patients and their families should be cared for by multi-disciplinary teams comprising relevant specialists with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with endocrine tumors.
Keywords: MEN1; pancreatic islet cell tumour; parathyroid tumour; pituitary tumour.