Research project

PRIN 2017 - PRIN2017S55RXB - Antonella Farsetti - New Biomarkers for Pituitary Tumor (DIT.AD010.044)

Thematic area

Engineering, ICT and technologies for energy and transportation

Project area

Biotecnologie (DIT.AD010)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institute for system analysis and computer science "Antonio Ruberti" (IASI)

Project manager

Phone number: 0649937102


The large majority of pituitary tumors (PT) are benign and relatively slow growing. Nevertheless, some of them can show an aggressive behavior characterized by progression, resistance to treatment and poor prognosis. Reliable circulating and/or tissue biomarkers predicting the biological behavior of PT are lacking.

LncRNAs have been recently found to play a role in human diseases, including cancer. Their expression, sometimes aberrant, is frequently associated to the tumor phenotype. Intensive research has been devoted to the molecular dissection of lncRNA serving as signals of cellular programs active in cancer, providing prognostic information or even representing a therapeutic option. Previous studies have identified selected lncRNAs whose expression is differentially modulated in PT: MEG3, HOTAIR, MALAT-1, and H19.

On the basis of our recent study demonstrating that HOTAIR and MALAT1 act as ER partners in the regulation of the estrogen-dependent and independent transcription of hormone-regulated genes in prostate cancer, our strategy is to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying lncRNAs contribution to the aggressiveness of PT and to the acquisition of drug resistance.


This study aims to identify: 1) novel tissue biomarkers of aggressiveness in PT; 2) tissue biomarkers predicting the response to medical treatment (dopamine agonists and somatostatin analogues); 3) new molecular markers/pathways relevant for the biological behavior and/or for the sensitivity to medical treatment in PT patients, also to potentially identify new molecular therapeutics.

Start date of activity



Endocrinology, Precision medicine, Pituitary tumors

Last update: 23/07/2024