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Pituitary adenomas are complex and heterogeneous diseases and present multiple clinical manifestations, including a wide range of proliferative and invasive behaviors. Therefore, prediction of clinically aggressive behavior of these neoplasms, which occurs in approximately 10% of these tumors, remains debatable.

The term ëadenomaí, which defines a tumor as benign, does not seem appropriate to define aggressive and invasive pituitary tumors that cannot be resected and are refractory to therapy.

For these reasons, the classification of neoplasms of adenohypophysial cells is misleading because of the simplistic distinction between adenoma and carcinoma, based solely on metastatic spread and the poor reproducibility and predictive value of the definition of atypical adenomas based on the detection of mitoses or expression of Ki-67 or p53. In addition, the current classification of neoplasms of the anterior pituitary does not accurately reflect the clinical spectrum of behavior. Invasion and regrowth of proliferative lesions and persistence of hormone hypersecretion cause significant morbidity and mortality. Therefore, recently, a reclassification of these tumors to apply terminology that has been widely accepted in other neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) was proposed. The new terminology, pituitary neuroendocrine tumor (PitNET), reflects the potential for malignant behavior of even the most bland of those neuroendocrine neoplasms and recognizes the highly variable impact of these tumors on patients.

On this basis, the current event, the 1st annual meeting on PitNET, has the aim of updating participants on the latest biomolecular and clinical acquisitions on PitNET.

The meeting is part of the teaching activities of the Master Degree in Diagnosis and Treatment of pituitary disease (2018) – Faculty of Medicine, Universitaí Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome.

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