Complex embryonal development of pituitary gland and sellar region explains a huge diversity of sellar neoplastic lesions. The spectrum ranges from the most frequent pituitary neuroendocrine tumours via craniopharyngiomas and tumours arising from the posterior pituitary, meninges or other mesenchymal tissues to high grade malignant primary or secondary malignancies. Furthermore, benign cysts and an increasing number of inflammatory conditions should be considered in differential diagnosis. As the clinical symptoms and imaging manifestations of different sellar lesions may be overlapping, histopathological examination of the specimen obtained during the surgery is the way to secure a diagnosis. Clinically relevant classification of pituitary neuroendocrine tumours and identification of potentially aggressive tumour types cannot be achieved without histological and immunohistochemical evaluation. Histopathological and immunohistochemical methods are important tools in the assessment of prognostic and predictive biomarkers. Moreover, tissue availability is essential for the identification of molecular therapeutic targets in several types of tumours occurring in the sellar region. A thorough histological characterisation of tissue specimens used in experimental and clinical studies is a prerequisite for high-quality research on pituitary tumours. Well-established histological and tissue-based molecular techniques enable high throughput analyses of the vast number of tumour specimens. In this debate, I will present my arguments in favour of pituitary pathology as an essential part of the clinical management of patients with sellar lesions and a tool to bring pituitary research to its height.
18 - 21 May 2019
European Society of Endocrinology