Survivin expression in pituitary adenomas.

UNLABELLED: Survivin has received great attention due to its expression in many human tumours and its potential as a therapeutic target in cancer. Its expression is developmentally regulated: present during fetal development, it is undetectable in terminally differentiated normal adult tissue. Survivin expression has been described to be cell cycle-dependent and restricted to the G2-M checkpoint, where it inhibits apoptosis in proliferating cells.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to determine the survivin expression in different types of pituitary adenomas.

METHODS: Tissue samples were obtained during surgical removal of the tumour from 12 patients with diagnosed: acromegaly in seven cases, non-functioning pituitary tumours in four cases and prolactinoma in one case. Six patients with acromegaly received long-acting somatostatin analogues before tumour resection. After RNA extraction and cDNA synthesis, the amplification of specific survivin's gene fragment was performed.

RESULTS: In agreement with the current view that survivin is a tumor-associated antigen, highly expressed in various tumours, we found the presence of survivin expression as a characteristic feature of human pituitary adenomas. The findings of our study demonstrated the presence of an active survivin gene in all twelve analysed pituitary tumours.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on these findings, we conclude that the estimation of survivin expression in human pituitary tumours may help predict tumour growth and prognosis.

 Full text PDF