We are excited to share the findings of A/Prof Ann McCormack and her dedicated research team as they continue their investigation into pituitary tumours and their immune microenvironment.
Aggressive pituitary tumours are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, particularly pituitary carcinomas, with mortality rates of up to 66% one year after diagnosis.
Most cases progress despite treatment with existing therapies, and there is an urgent need to identify novel treatment options. Immunotherapy has transformed cancer treatment in numerous malignancies however, our understanding of the immune microenvironment and the potential role of immunotherapy in aggressive pituitary tumours remains largely unknown.
Ongoing research aims to understand the intricacies of pituitary tumours, particularly their immune interactions. They have discovered variations in cellular senescence among different pituitary tumour types. Notably, more invasive and gonadotroph tumours show reduced senescence markers, possibly indicating greater aggressiveness.
Interestingly, tumours with higher senescence markers also exhibit increased immune cell presence. This hints at the immune system’s role in controlling tumour growth, offering potential for novel treatments.
A/Prof McCormack is proud to work with colleagues at SydPath, St Vincent’s Pathology. They remain optimistic that continued collaboration and research will contribute to better treatment options for pituitary tumours, giving hope to patients and their families.
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“The St Vincent’s Clinic Research Foundation grant enabled us to deepen our understanding of the pituitary tumour microenvironment, and our research lays the foundation for ongoing investigations.”