Organoid Models of Pituitary Adenomas

Case ID:

This technology is a patient-derived organoid of a pituitary adenoma for the purpose of identifying treatment for Cushing’s Disease (CD). The lack of specificity of current standard of care treatments with low efficacy and tolerability makes CD a medical therapeutic challenge. One major limitation to developing new medical therapies is the lack of human relevant model systems. Here, the inventors harvested human pituitary adenoma tissue during transsphenoidal surgery from patients to generate organoids (hPITOs). They utilized several methods to  investigate the organoid model, including a high-throughput drug screen that demonstrated patient-specific drug responses of hPITOs amongst each adenoma subtype. The reported findings of this study are conclusive and demonstrate that from these patient-derived organoids the treatment of Cushing’s Disease may be improved.

Cushing’s Disease is a serious endocrine disorder in which benign tumors release a hormone that stimulate the adrenal glands to overproduce cortisol. Chronic exposure to excess cortisol has adverse effects on the body, including increased stroke rates, diabetes, obesity, cognitive impairment, anxiety, depression, and death. Yet the primary treatment for CD, which is pituitary surgery, has a disease remission rate in only 47% of patients. Therefore, treatments for CD must improve. This technology is an organoid cell line that models pituitary adenomas in patients. Thus, any conclusions from these studies may lead to novel treatment methods with higher success rates.


  • Cushing’s Disease treatment
  • Organoid line


  • Novel
  • High-throughput
  • Drug screening
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Garrett Edmunds
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Yana Zavros
Andrew Little