Pheochromocytomas (PCCs) and extra-adrenal sympathetic paragangliomas (sPGLs) are catecholamine-producing tumors occurring in the context of hereditary tumor syndromes, with known germline mutations, and as sporadic tumors. The pathogenesis of sporadic PCC and sPGL is poorly understood, and little is known about intra-tumoral heterogeneity with respect to molecular aberrations. Since knowledge on intra-tumoral heterogeneity is important for understanding the pathogenesis of these tumors, we investigated 12 benign and 8 malignant PCCs and sPGLs for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on DNA extracted from different regions of each tumor and from metastases. LOH markers were selected on chromosomal regions frequently deleted in PCC, including 1p, 3q, 3p, and 11p. Benign tumors were found to have less intratumoral heterogeneity (overall 8%) than malignant tumors (overall 23%), with the highest frequencies for chromosome 1p36 in the benign tumors (17%) and 1p13 and 3q24 in malignant tumors (both 38%). In addition, differences in LOH patterns were detected between paired primary malignant tumors, and their metastases and different LOH patterns were observed in bilateral PCC of a multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 patient. We demonstrate that malignant PCC and sPGL have more intra-tumoral molecular heterogeneity than benign tumors, which suggests that benign and malignant PCC and sPGL have a different pathogenesis.

dx.doi.org/10.1677/ERC-10-0072, hdl.handle.net/1765/88825
Endocrine - Related Cancer
Department of Pathology

Korpershoek, E, Stobbe, C.K, van Nederveen, F.H, de Krijger, R.R, & Dinjens, W.N.M. (2010). Intra-tumoral molecular heterogeneity in benign and malignant pheochromocytomas and extra-adrenal sympathetic paragangliomas. Endocrine - Related Cancer, 17(3), 653–662. doi:10.1677/ERC-10-0072