Current management of adrenal tumors.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Adrenal tumors evoke considerable interest and diagnostic challenges. This rare group of tumors includes functional tumors with a gamut of clinical presentations, as well as adrenocortical carcinoma, with its advanced disease at presentation and dismal prognosis posing additional challenge. Increasing detection of incidentalomas adds further interest with the concomitant diagnostic and management dilemmas. RECENT FINDINGS: Significant advances have been made in diagnostic imaging modalities for identifying malignancy risk in adrenal incidentalomas. Considerable progress has occurred in understanding adrenocortical carcinoma pathogenesis from the study of genetics at the germline level in familial carcinomas, as well as at the somatic level by analyzing molecular alterations in sporadic tumors; this research supplies opportunities to develop novel therapeutic agents against a tumor with poor prognosis. SUMMARY: Laparoscopic adrenalectomy has emerged as standard of care in the treatment of functional benign adenomas and nonfunctional tumors larger than 4 cm when adrenocortical carcinoma is not suspected. Open adrenalectomy with en-bloc excision has been the mainstay for primary and recurrent adrenocortical carcinoma due to the lack of effective adjuvant therapy. International consensus conferences have attempted to standardize diagnostic and treatment approaches in the management of adrenal tumors; further research is necessary.
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