ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 GH1 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.GH1

Translational research in pituitary disease

Mr Günter K Stalla


The pituitary gland has always held a special allure; so small and yet so complex pathophysiology and clinical presentation. I heard the call of its sirens in the late 70’s just after finishing my medical examination and it was the realization of how little we know about pituitary disorders that prompted me to specialize in endocrinology in view of working in neuroendocrinology. In 1990, I got the great fortune to head an endocrine outpatient unit and a research laboratory, which enabled me to embark on a life-long quest on pituitary disorders in general and pituitary tumours in particular, in a truly translational manner. During the years, we identified factors that are deregulated during pituitary tumorigenesis and brought forward novel therapeutics, without forgetting that there is more in our patients than their tumour. Their comorbidities are as complex as the tumour that causes them and cause deep scars that affect their physical wellbeing and quality of life. Almost 30 years later, we undoubtedly know a lot more about the triggering molecular events, but when it comes to patient management, we still rely on improved versions of traditional therapeutics. There is still a long way to go and only with cooperation and rigorous training of the next generation of experts, we can hope one day to defeat this multifaceted devastating disease.

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