RE: pituitary ("basophils" + 2 questions + thoughts)

From:"Nader, Alexander" <>

> The tumour can be given a meaningful name such as 
> "somatotrophocytoma" or "growthormonoma."  Cushing attributed
> his now eponymous syndrome to a basophil adenoma. How much more
> elegant to call it a "corticotrophocytoma," with the informal
> alternative of "acthoma."

I disagree on this topic. Tumour taxonomy should always have its base on
morphology of the stem cell, not in functional states of cells, tissues or
organs. Keeping in mind how quick names of hormones are changing, this
nomenclature is even more questionable. Remember Apudoma and what APUD stood
So let's use "STH-producing neuroendocrine tumour, densely granulated" or
"somatotroph adenoma". Rather long names, but you can define a short-cut in
your favorite word processor. We should search also for new names for
phaeochromocytomas and chemodectomas (one of the most idiotic terms in
tumour pathology).

Once I performed an autopsy on a young girl who died on widespread
metastatic "malignant VIPoma", the tumour was reported to produce VIP in
fewer than 10 % of the cells of the primary (pancreas) and not a single cell
in any of the metastases showed positivity, so why call a highly malignant
neuroendocrine tumour a "VIPoma"? Why don't we call also some of the
neuroendocrine lung tumours "acthomas", "PHEXomas",..?

But I agree completely with you that terms like "chromophobe adenoma" are
obsolete without reporting the endocrine activity of the tumour.

BTW: why should "chromophobe" cells fear the staining? ;-)

Dr. Alexander Nader
Path. Institut Hanuschkrankenhaus
A 1140 Vienna, Austria 

"Computers are like air conditioners -they stop working properly when you
open Windows" 

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