Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 499–507 | Cite as

Adrenocortical carcinoma: the dawn of a new era of genomic and molecular biology analysis

  • R. Armignacco
  • G. Cantini
  • L. Canu
  • G. Poli
  • T. Ercolino
  • M. Mannelli
  • M. Luconi


Over the last decade, the development of novel and high penetrance genomic approaches to analyze biological samples has provided very new insights in the comprehension of the molecular biology and genetics of tumors. The use of these techniques, consisting of exome sequencing, transcriptome, miRNome, chromosome alteration, genome, and epigenome analysis, has also been successfully applied to adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). In fact, the analysis of large cohorts of patients allowed the stratification of ACC with different patterns of molecular alterations, associated with different outcomes, thus providing a novel molecular classification of the malignancy to be associated with the classical pathological analysis. Improving our knowledge about ACC molecular features will result not only in a better diagnostic and prognostic accuracy, but also in the identification of more specific therapeutic targets for the development of more effective pharmacological anti-cancer approaches. In particular, the specific molecular alteration profiles identified in ACC may represent targetable events by the use of already developed or newly designed drugs enabling a better and more efficacious management of the ACC patient in the context of new frontiers of personalized precision medicine.


Adrenal cancer Genomics Molecular biology 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


The research leading to these results received funding from the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant agreement no. 259735 ENS@T-Cancer, and was supported by Associazione Italiana Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC) Investigator grant to M.L. (Grant # IG2015-17691). All authors are members of the ENS@T (European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors).

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

No informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”University of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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