The PI3K/Akt Pathway in Tumors of Endocrine Tissues

Helen Louise Robbins, Angela Hague

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)
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The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway is a key driver in carcinogenesis. Defects in this pathway in human cancer syndromes such as Cowden's disease and Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia result in tumors of endocrine tissues, highlighting its importance in these cancer types. This review explores the growing evidence from multiple animal and in vitro models and from analysis of human tumors for the involvement of this pathway in the following: thyroid carcinoma subtypes, parathyroid carcinoma, pituitary tumors, adrenocortical carcinoma, phaeochromocytoma, neuroblastoma, and gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. While data are not always consistent, immunohistochemistry performed on human tumor tissue has been used alongside other techniques to demonstrate Akt overactivation. We review active Akt as a potential prognostic marker and the PI3K pathway as a therapeutic target in endocrine neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188
Number of pages22
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2016


  • Thyroid tumors
  • pituitary tumors
  • parathyroid tumors
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors
  • Akt (PKB)


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