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Pituitary adenomas are common intracranial neoplasms that may be hormone-secreting or nonfunctional. Genetic defects associated with some pituitary tumors have been identified, although our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms remains incomplete. We have studied 75 sporadic pituitary tumors, representing the major clinical subtypes, by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) with the aim of assessing for DNA copy number changes. CGH revealed chromosomal imbalances in 34 adenomas (45.3%), whereby gains were 4.9 times more frequently observed than losses. Most of the genetic alterations detected by CGH affected entire chromosomes (108/131, 82.4%). Gain of genetic material was observed predominantly on chromosomes X (24/75, 32%), 19 (12/75, 16%), 12 (6/75, 6.7%), 7 and 9 (5/75, 6.7%), whereas loss of DNA sequences most frequently affected chromosomes 11 (4/75, 5.3%), 13 and 10 (3/75, 4%). There were no significant differences in the CGH results for the individual clinical subtypes of pituitary tumors. These results reveal a nonrandom pattern of chromosomal alterations in pituitary tumors, in particular gains of entire chromosomes, and this may contribute to the development of such neoplasms.


Journal article


Int J Cancer

Publication Date





809 - 814


Adenoma, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Chromosome Aberrations, DNA, Neoplasm, Female, Gene Dosage, Humans, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Karyotyping, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Proteins, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Pituitary Neoplasms, X Chromosome