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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2020 February;64(1):71-83

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.18.04419-3

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Immunotherapy and potential molecular targets for the treatment of pituitary adenomas resistant to standard therapy: a critical review of potential therapeutic targets and current developments

Tamara MAGHATHE, William K. MILLER, Luke MUGGE, Tarek R. MANSOUR, Jason SCHROEDER

Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, OH, USA



INTRODUCTION: Pituitary adenomas (PAs) are primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors, accounting for as much as 25% of intracranial neoplasms. Although existing remedies show success in treating most PAs, treatment of invasive and non-functioning PAs, in addition to functioning PAs unresponsive to standard therapy, remains challenging. With the continually increasing understanding of biochemical pathways involved in tumorigenesis, immunotherapy stands as a promising alternative therapy for pituitary tumors that are resistant to standard therapy.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A literature search was conducted of the PubMed database for immunotherapies of PAs. The search yielded a total of 2621 articles, 26 of which were included in our discussion.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Several pathologically expressed molecules could potentially serve as promising targets of current or future immunotherapies for PAs. Programmed death ligand-1, matrix metalloproteinases, EpCAM (Trop1) and Trop2, cancer-testis antigen MAGE-A3, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), folate receptor alpha, vascular endothelial growth factor, and galectin-3 have all been implicated as crucial factors involved with tumor survival and invasion. Inhibition of these pathways may prove efficacious in the management of invasive and treatment-resistant PAs.
CONCLUSIONS: Rapid advancements in tumor immunology may increase the probability of successful treatment of PAs by exploitation of the normal immune response or by targeting novel proteins. Current research on many of the targets reviewed in this article are successfully being utilized to manage various neoplastic disease including CNS tumors. These therapies may eventually play a key role in the treatment of PAs that do not respond to standard therapy.


KEY WORDS: Pituitary neoplasms; Immunotherapy; Review

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