Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1

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Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1
Other namesMEN-1 syndrome
Autosomal dominant - en.svg
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner.
Specialty Oncology   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
SymptomsWermer's syndrome

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1) is one of a group of disorders, the multiple endocrine neoplasias, that affect the endocrine system through development of neoplastic lesions in pituitary, parathyroid gland and pancreas. [1]


Signs and symptoms


Hyperparathyroidism is present in ≥ 90% of patients. Asymptomatic hypercalcemia is the most common manifestation: about 25% of patients have evidence of nephrolithiasis or nephrocalcinosis. In contrast to sporadic cases of hyperparathyroidism, diffuse hyperplasia or multiple adenomas are more common than solitary adenomas.


Pancreatic islet cell tumors occur in 60 to 70% of patients. Tumors are usually multicentric. Multiple adenomas or diffuse islet cell hyperplasia commonly occurs; such tumors may arise from the small bowel rather than the pancreas. About 30% of tumors are malignant and have local or distant metastases. Malignant islet cell tumors due to MEN 1 syndrome often have a more benign course than do sporadically occurring malignant islet cell tumors.[ citation needed ]About 40% of islet cell tumors originate from a β-cell, secrete insulin (insulinoma), and can cause fasting hypoglycemia. β-cell tumors are more common in patients < 40 years of age. About 60% of islet cell tumors originate from non-β-cell elements and tend to occur in patients > 40 years of age. Non-β-cell tumors are somewhat more likely to be malignant.

Most islet cell tumors secrete pancreatic polypeptide, the clinical significance of which is unknown. Gastrin is secreted by many non–β-cell tumors (increased gastrin secretion in MEN 1 also often originates from the duodenum). Increased gastrin secretion increases gastric acid, which may inactivate pancreatic lipase, leading to diarrhea and steatorrhea. Increased gastrin secretion also leads to peptic ulcers in > 50% of MEN 1 patients. Usually the ulcers are multiple or atypical in location, and often bleed, perforate, or become obstructed. Peptic ulcer disease may be intractable and complicated. Among patients presenting with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, 20 to 60% have MEN 1.

A severe secretory diarrhea can develop and cause fluid and electrolyte depletion with non–β-cell tumors. This complex, referred to as the watery diarrhea, hypokalemia and achlorhydria syndrome (VIPoma) has been ascribed to vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, although other intestinal hormones or secretagogues (including prostaglandins) may contribute. Hypersecretion of glucagon, somatostatin, chromogranin, or calcitonin, ectopic secretion of ACTH resulting in Cushing's syndrome, and hypersecretion of somatotropin–releasing hormone (causing acromegaly) sometimes occur in non–β-cell tumors. All of these are rare in MEN 1.[ citation needed ]Nonfunctioning pancreatic tumors also occur in patients with MEN 1 and may be the most common type of pancreatoduodenal tumor in MEN 1. The size of the nonfunctioning tumor correlates with risk of metastasis and death.


Pituitary tumors occur in 15 to 42% of MEN 1 patients. From 25 to 90% are prolactinomas. About 25% of pituitary tumors secrete growth hormone or growth hormone and prolactin. Excess prolactin may cause galactorrhea, and excess growth hormone causes acromegaly clinically indistinguishable from sporadically occurring acromegaly. About 3% of tumors secrete ACTH, producing Cushing's disease. Most of the remainder are nonfunctional. Local tumor expansion may cause visual disturbance, headache, and hypopituitarism. Pituitary tumors in MEN 1 patients appear to be larger and behave more aggressively than sporadic pituitary tumors.

Other manifestations

Adenomas and adenomatous hyperplasia of the thyroid and adrenal glands occurs occasionally in MEN 1 patients. Hormone secretion is rarely altered as a result, and the significance of these abnormalities is uncertain. Carcinoid tumors, particularly those derived from the embryologic foregut, occur in isolated cases. Multiple subcutaneous and visceral lipomas, angiofibromas, and collagenomas may also occur.


People with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 are born with one mutated copy of the MEN1 gene in each cell. Then, during their lifetime, the other copy of the gene is mutated in a small number of cells. These genetic changes result in no functional copies of the MEN1 gene in selected cells, allowing the cells to divide with little control and form tumors. This is known as Knudson's two-hit hypothesis [2] and is a common feature seen with inherited defects in tumor suppressor genes. Oncogenes can become neoplastic with only one activating mutation, but tumor suppressors inherited from both mother and father must be damaged before they lose their effectiveness. The exception to the "two-hit hypothesis" occurs when suppressor genes exhibit dose-response, such as ATR. [3] The exact function of MEN1 and the protein, menin, produced by this gene is not known, [4] but following the inheritance rules of the "two-hit hypothesis" indicates that it acts as a tumor suppressor.


In a diagnostic workup individuals with a combination of endocrine neoplasias suggestive of the MEN1 syndrome are recommended to have a mutational analysis of the MEN1 gene if additional diagnostic criteria are sufficiently met, mainly including: [1] [5]


Multiple endocrine neoplasia or MEN is part of a group of disorders that affect the body's network of hormone-producing glands (the endocrine system). Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream and regulate the function of cells and tissues throughout the body. Multiple endocrine neoplasia involves tumors in at least two endocrine glands; tumors can also develop in other organs and tissues. These growths can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). If the tumors become cancerous, some cases can be life-threatening.

The two major forms of multiple endocrine neoplasia are called type 1 and type 2. These two types are often confused because of their similar names. However, type 1 and type 2 are distinguished by the genes involved, [1] the types of hormones made, and the characteristic signs and symptoms.

These disorders greatly increase the risk of developing multiple cancerous and noncancerous tumors in glands such as the parathyroid, pituitary, and pancreas. Multiple endocrine neoplasia occurs when tumors are found in at least two of the three main endocrine glands (parathyroid, pituitary, and pancreatico-duodenum). Tumors can also develop in organs and tissues other than endocrine glands. If the tumors become cancerous, some cases can be life-threatening. The disorder affects 1 in 30,000 people.

Although many different types of hormone-producing tumors are associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia, tumors of the parathyroid gland, pituitary gland, and pancreas are most frequent in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1. MEN1-associated overactivity of these three endocrine organs are briefly described here:


The treatment of choice of parathyroid tumors is open bilateral exploration with subtotal (7/8) or total parathyroidectomy. Autoimplantation may be considered in case of a total parathyroidectomy. Optimal timing for this operation has not yet been established but it should be performed by an experienced endocrine surgeon. [6]


In the video game Trauma Team, Gabriel Cunningham's son, Joshua Cunningham, is diagnosed with Wermer's syndrome. It is also mentioned in the South Korean drama "Medical Top Team", as Dr. Choi Ah Jin (Oh Yeon-seo) is diagnosed with MEN-1.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

Endocrine system system of glands of an organism that secrete hormones directly into the circulatory system to be carried towards distant target organs

The endocrine system is a chemical messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormones released by internal glands of an organism directly into the circulatory system, regulating distant target organs. In humans, the major endocrine glands are the thyroid gland and the adrenal glands. In vertebrates, the hypothalamus is the neural control center for all endocrine systems. The study of the endocrine system and its disorders is known as endocrinology. Endocrinology is a branch of internal medicine.

Gigantism Human growth disorder

Gigantism, also known as giantism, is a condition characterized by excessive growth and height significantly above average. In humans, this condition is caused by over-production of growth hormone in childhood resulting in people 7 to 9 ft in height.

Multiple endocrine neoplasia human disease

The term multiple endocrine neoplasia encompasses several distinct syndromes featuring tumors of endocrine glands, each with its own characteristic pattern. In some cases, the tumors are malignant, in others, benign. Benign or malignant tumors of nonendocrine tissues occur as components of some of these tumor syndromes.

Anterior pituitary Anterior lobe of the pituitary gland

A major organ of the endocrine system, the anterior pituitary is the glandular, anterior lobe that together with the posterior lobe makes up the pituitary gland (hypophysis). The anterior pituitary regulates several physiological processes, including stress, growth, reproduction, and lactation. Proper functioning of the anterior pituitary and of the organs it regulates can often be ascertained via blood tests that measure hormone levels.

Zollinger–Ellison syndrome Condition in which tumours stimulate excessive gastric acid production

Zollinger–Ellison syndrome is a disease in which tumors cause the stomach to produce too much acid, resulting in peptic ulcers. Symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Parathyroid chief cell

Parathyroid chief cells are one of the two cell types of the parathyroid glands, along with oxyphil cells. The chief cells are much more prevalent in the parathyroid gland than the oxyphil cells. It is perceived that oxyphil cells may be derived from chief cells at puberty, as they are not present at birth like chief cells.

Hyperparathyroidism endocrine disease

Hyperparathyroidism is an increase in parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels in the blood. This occurs from a disorder either within the parathyroid glands or outside the parathyroid glands. Most people with primary disease have no symptoms at the time of diagnosis. When symptoms occur, they are due to elevated blood calcium. With long-standing elevation, the most common symptom is kidney stones. Other symptoms may include bone pain, weakness, depression, confusion, and increased urination. Both primary and secondary may result in osteoporosis.

Insulinoma adenoma that is located in the pancreas and is characterized by overproduction of insulin

An insulinoma is a tumor of the pancreas that is derived from beta cells and secretes insulin. It is a rare form of a neuroendocrine tumor. Most insulinomas are benign in that they grow exclusively at their origin within the pancreas, but a minority metastasize. Insulinomas are one of the functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PNET) group. In the Medical Subject Headings classification, insulinoma is the only subtype of "islet cell adenoma".

Pituitary adenomas are tumors that occur in the pituitary gland. Pituitary adenomas are generally divided into three categories dependent upon their biological functioning: benign adenoma, invasive adenoma, and carcinomas. Most adenomas are benign, approximately 35% are invasive and just 0.1% to 0.2% are carcinomas. Pituitary adenomas represent from 10% to 25% of all intracranial neoplasms and the estimated prevalence rate in the general population is approximately 17%.

Endocrine gland

Endocrine glands are ductless glands of the endocrine system that secrete their products, hormones, directly into the blood. The major glands of the endocrine system include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are neuroendocrine organs.

Primary hyperparathyroidism Human disease

Primary hyperparathyroidism is usually caused by a tumor within the parathyroid gland. The symptoms of the condition relate to the elevated calcium levels, which can cause digestive symptoms, kidney stones, psychiatric abnormalities, and bone disease.

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 autosomal dominant disease characterized by medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, pheochromocytoma, hyperparathyroidism, and occasionally cutaneous lichen amyloidosis

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 is a group of medical disorders associated with tumors of the endocrine system. The tumors may be benign or malignant (cancer). They generally occur in endocrine organs, but may also occur in endocrine tissues of organs not classically thought of as endocrine.

McCune–Albright syndrome rare disease

McCune–Albright syndrome is a complex genetic disorder affecting the bone, skin and endocrine systems. It is a mosaic disease arising from somatic activating mutations in GNAS, which encodes the alpha-subunit of the Gs G protein-coupled receptor. These mutations lead to constitutive receptor activation.

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Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are neoplasms that arise from cells of the endocrine (hormonal) and nervous systems. Many are benign, while some are malignant. All NETs are cancer. The term benign as it relates to NETs is somewhat confusing and outdated, merely meaning it is not metastatic at the time of diagnosis but all NETs have that potential. They most commonly occur in the intestine, where they are often called carcinoid tumors, but they are also found in the pancreas, lung and the rest of the body.

Endocrine disease type of disease affecting the endocrine system

Endocrine diseases are disorders of the endocrine system. The branch of medicine associated with endocrine disorders is known as endocrinology.

MEN1 mammalian protein found in Homo sapiens

Menin is a protein that in humans is encoded by the MEN1 gene. Menin is a putative tumor suppressor associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1.

Parathyroid carcinoma endocrine disease

Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare cancer resulting in parathyroid adenoma to carcinoma progression. It forms in tissues of one or more of the parathyroid glands.

Parathyroid disease endocrine disease

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The fetal endocrine system is one of the first systems to develop during prenatal development.

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor islet cell tumor that has material basis in epithelial cells

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, often referred to as "islet cell tumors", or "pancreatic endocrine tumors" are neuroendocrine neoplasms that arise from cells of the endocrine (hormonal) and nervous system within the pancreas.


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External resources