Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Adrenocortical Carcinomas

The National Cancer Institute's Endocrine Oncology Branch seeks parties to co-develop diagnostic that target altered human miRNA expression such as miRNA-483 and miRNA 100 to accurately predict if a patient's adrenal cortex tumor is benign or malignant.

Adrenocortical carcinomas (ACC) are rare but aggressive cancers and typically have a poor prognosis.  Currently, there are limited options for molecular diagnosis to distinguish malignant tumors from benign tumors of this type.  As a result there are few treatment strategies for ACC.

This technology describes that altered human miRNA expression such as miRNA-483 and miRNA 100 can accurately predict if a patient''''s adrenal cortex tumor is benign or malignant. Additionally, preliminary results suggest that altering the expression of this miRNA in ACC cells can effect cancer cell growth.  Therefore, inhibiting a miRNA may serve as a therapeutic option for ACC.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Technology can be developed into a diagnostic and prognostic marker for ACC.
  • Inhibiting miRNA can serve as a potential therapeutics for ACC.
  • Distinguishes malignant Adrenal cortex tumor from a benign tumor, options for such distinction are limited at this time.

Development Stage:
Pre-clinical (in vivo)


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Intellectual Property:
U.S. Provisional Application No. 12/961,298

Patterson E, et al. MicroRNA profiling of adrenocortical tumors reveals miR-483 as a marker of malignancy. PMID: 21472710
Patterson E, et al. The microRNA expression changes associated with malignancy and SDHB mutation in pheochromocytoma. PMID: 22241719

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing only

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Email: John.Hewes@nih.gov
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-026-2011
Updated: May 30, 2018