A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Pituitary Disorders

City of Hope is a leader in the diagnosis, treatment and research of pituitary gland disorders, including pituitary tumors and cancers. Our specialized pituitary clinic takes a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to treating a broad variety of conditions, including:
 
  • Pituitary Tumors (both hormone and non-hormone secreting)
    • Adenomas (benign), including prolactinomas
    • Adenocarcinomas (malignant)
    • Secondary tumors (metastases from cancers that originated elsewhere)
    • Craniopharyngiomas (tumors involving the stalk connecting the pituitary gland and the brain)
  • Acromegaly (overproduction of growth hormone)
  • Cushing syndrome (overproduction of cortisol or “the stress hormone”)
  • Hyperprolactinemia (overproduction of prolactin, which stimulates milk production)
  • Hypopituitarism (underproduction of one or more pituitary hormones)
 
Our multidisciplinary team of health care professionals take an integrated approach to treating these diseases by combining the latest research findings with outstanding patient care. This includes using advanced technologies and specialized techniques such as:
 
  • tests that can help detect pituitary dysfunctions earlier, before they cause more serious and lasting harm to the body
  • minimally-invasive surgical techniques that can remove the pituitary tumors with less impact to the surrounding healthy brain tissue; our neurosurgeons’ expertise in biopsy and resection also means they can access and treat tumors that are considered inoperable elsewhere
  • highly precise radiation therapy that can target pituitary tumorss with minimal exposure to nearby tissues
  • drug and hormone therapies to treat hormonal imbalances caused by pituitary disorders
 
Additionally, City of Hope patients have access to our extensive team of supportive care experts — including rehabilitation specialists, palliative care physicians and clinical social workers. Working closely with the patient’s primary care team, they can detect and address quality of life issues related to pituitary disorders and their treatments. This includes managing symptoms (such as nausea, fatigue and cognitive impairments), maintaining quality of life throughout therapy and adjusting to a post-treatment lifestyle.
 
Learn more about pituitary disorders, symptoms, risk factors and diagnostic tests on Hormone Health Network’s website.
 
 
As one of a handful of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in research and treatment of pituitary tumors and disorders. With our decades of experience, specialized therapy protocols and extensive program of clinical trials, newly diagnosed or relapsed patients can find a treatment regimen that is tailored to their needs and gives them the best chance for survival. U.S. News & World Report also named City of Hope as one of the top cancer hospitals in the country.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.

Pituitary Tumors Team

Our Treatment Approach to Pituitary Disorders

At City of Hope’s pituitary clinic, patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of medical experts across different fields including neurosurgery, radiation oncology, endocrinology, medical oncology and supportive care medicine. Together, they work collaboratively to plan and implement a treatment regimen that is individually tailored to the patient to improve survival chances, enhance outcomes, minimize side effects and boost quality of life.

Surgery

For operable pituitary conditions such as tumors, surgery is typically the first treatment provided and can be curative for many patients. At City of Hope, our surgeons’ experience and expertise with pituitary tumors mean they can resect tumors that are considered inoperable elsewhere.
 
City of Hope’s surgeons also utilize minimally invasive procedures whenever possible, such as endonasal transsphenoidal surgery. This relatively new procedure allow surgeons to access and operate on the pituitary gland via the nasal and sinus cavities, minimizing impact on surrounding nerve and brain tissue. If the tumor is located in a challenging or hard-to-visualize area, this procedure’s precision may be further enhanced with cortical mapping and image guiding technologies.
 
As a result, patients can experience optimal outcomes with fewer side effects, faster recovery time and shorter hospital stays.
 

Radiation Therapy

For some pituitary tumors — particularly those that are inoperable or those that returned after surgery — radiation can target and kill tumor cells, improving survival outcomes and providing symptom relief.
 
Radiation may also be performed after surgery to kill any remaining abnormal cells at the tumor site, or combined with chemotherapy to improve the effectiveness of both therapies.
 
In addition to standard radiation regimens, City of Hope also offers Helical TomoTherapy, an advance technology combining radiation delivery with advanced imaging. This allows the radiation beams to be “sculpted” to the tumor’s size and shape for more focused radiation on the tumor site while minimizing exposure to adjacent tissues and organs, reducing the likelihood and severity of side effects.
 

Drug/Hormone Therapy

City of Hope uses a wide range of medicines to treat pituitary disorders and the hormonal imbalances they may cause. These drugs may block the production or absorption of pituitary hormones (if the gland is over secreting hormones) or may act as replacement hormones (if the gland is under active.)
 
As part of the treatment team, an endocrinologist and/or medical oncologist will evaluate the pituitary dysfunction, the patient’s health and other factors so that the drug therapy regimen can be tailored to the patient throughout the continuum of care. Additionally, regular follow-ups with our endocrinologist mean that any hormonal issues due to pituitary dysfunction can be treated in a timely manner.
 
In addition to standard drug regimens, patients have access to newly developed drugs (or drug combinations) through our clinical trials program.
 

Become a Patient

If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.

Pituitary Research

There is extensive collaboration between City of Hope clinicians and researchers to develop and evaluate new cancer therapies designed to improve survival and quality of life outcomes. City of Hope patients have access to a wide variety of clinical trials ranging from new chemotherapy and targeted therapies, novel surgical techniques, new radiation approaches and strategies to minimize side effects and chances of cancer recurrence.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.

Living with Pituitary Disorders

While our primary goal is to cure or control the disease, another top priority is relieving suffering and discomfort for pituitary disorder patients undergoing treatments.
 
In addition to curative treatments, City of Hope pituitary disorder patients and their caregivers have access to the broad range of services offered by our Department of Supportive Care Medicine. The department’s staff of professionals, including supportive medicine physicians, rehabilitation therapists, psychiatrists, support groups and clinical social workers, can help patients and loved ones with a variety of care and wellness issues including:
 
 
The Department of Supportive Care Medicine is based in City of Hope’s Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, which integrates all support services in a central location. The Biller Resource Center provides a warm and welcoming space where patients, families and caregivers can access the resources, education and support they need to strengthen and empower themselves, before, during and after treatment.
 
For more information or to contact the Biller Resource Center staff, please call 626-256-4673, ext. 32273 (3CARE).
 
 
This site includes tips, tools and online resources to help cancer patients and their families with issues that arise during cancer treatment.
 
Additional Resources
 
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.

Support this program

We deliver exquisite care at the leading edge of cancer treatment. It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts over 100 years ago. Their efforts - and those of our supporters today - have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables City of Hope to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies - helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.

For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact:

Julie Hara

Senior Development Officer
Phone: 626-218-0869
Email: juhara@coh.org

 
 

Pituitary Disorders

Pituitary Disorders

City of Hope is a leader in the diagnosis, treatment and research of pituitary gland disorders, including pituitary tumors and cancers. Our specialized pituitary clinic takes a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to treating a broad variety of conditions, including:
 
  • Pituitary Tumors (both hormone and non-hormone secreting)
    • Adenomas (benign), including prolactinomas
    • Adenocarcinomas (malignant)
    • Secondary tumors (metastases from cancers that originated elsewhere)
    • Craniopharyngiomas (tumors involving the stalk connecting the pituitary gland and the brain)
  • Acromegaly (overproduction of growth hormone)
  • Cushing syndrome (overproduction of cortisol or “the stress hormone”)
  • Hyperprolactinemia (overproduction of prolactin, which stimulates milk production)
  • Hypopituitarism (underproduction of one or more pituitary hormones)
 
Our multidisciplinary team of health care professionals take an integrated approach to treating these diseases by combining the latest research findings with outstanding patient care. This includes using advanced technologies and specialized techniques such as:
 
  • tests that can help detect pituitary dysfunctions earlier, before they cause more serious and lasting harm to the body
  • minimally-invasive surgical techniques that can remove the pituitary tumors with less impact to the surrounding healthy brain tissue; our neurosurgeons’ expertise in biopsy and resection also means they can access and treat tumors that are considered inoperable elsewhere
  • highly precise radiation therapy that can target pituitary tumorss with minimal exposure to nearby tissues
  • drug and hormone therapies to treat hormonal imbalances caused by pituitary disorders
 
Additionally, City of Hope patients have access to our extensive team of supportive care experts — including rehabilitation specialists, palliative care physicians and clinical social workers. Working closely with the patient’s primary care team, they can detect and address quality of life issues related to pituitary disorders and their treatments. This includes managing symptoms (such as nausea, fatigue and cognitive impairments), maintaining quality of life throughout therapy and adjusting to a post-treatment lifestyle.
 
Learn more about pituitary disorders, symptoms, risk factors and diagnostic tests on Hormone Health Network’s website.
 
 
As one of a handful of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in research and treatment of pituitary tumors and disorders. With our decades of experience, specialized therapy protocols and extensive program of clinical trials, newly diagnosed or relapsed patients can find a treatment regimen that is tailored to their needs and gives them the best chance for survival. U.S. News & World Report also named City of Hope as one of the top cancer hospitals in the country.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.

Pituitary Disorders Team

Pituitary Tumors Team

Pituitary Disorder Treatment Options

Our Treatment Approach to Pituitary Disorders

At City of Hope’s pituitary clinic, patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of medical experts across different fields including neurosurgery, radiation oncology, endocrinology, medical oncology and supportive care medicine. Together, they work collaboratively to plan and implement a treatment regimen that is individually tailored to the patient to improve survival chances, enhance outcomes, minimize side effects and boost quality of life.

Surgery

For operable pituitary conditions such as tumors, surgery is typically the first treatment provided and can be curative for many patients. At City of Hope, our surgeons’ experience and expertise with pituitary tumors mean they can resect tumors that are considered inoperable elsewhere.
 
City of Hope’s surgeons also utilize minimally invasive procedures whenever possible, such as endonasal transsphenoidal surgery. This relatively new procedure allow surgeons to access and operate on the pituitary gland via the nasal and sinus cavities, minimizing impact on surrounding nerve and brain tissue. If the tumor is located in a challenging or hard-to-visualize area, this procedure’s precision may be further enhanced with cortical mapping and image guiding technologies.
 
As a result, patients can experience optimal outcomes with fewer side effects, faster recovery time and shorter hospital stays.
 

Radiation Therapy

For some pituitary tumors — particularly those that are inoperable or those that returned after surgery — radiation can target and kill tumor cells, improving survival outcomes and providing symptom relief.
 
Radiation may also be performed after surgery to kill any remaining abnormal cells at the tumor site, or combined with chemotherapy to improve the effectiveness of both therapies.
 
In addition to standard radiation regimens, City of Hope also offers Helical TomoTherapy, an advance technology combining radiation delivery with advanced imaging. This allows the radiation beams to be “sculpted” to the tumor’s size and shape for more focused radiation on the tumor site while minimizing exposure to adjacent tissues and organs, reducing the likelihood and severity of side effects.
 

Drug/Hormone Therapy

City of Hope uses a wide range of medicines to treat pituitary disorders and the hormonal imbalances they may cause. These drugs may block the production or absorption of pituitary hormones (if the gland is over secreting hormones) or may act as replacement hormones (if the gland is under active.)
 
As part of the treatment team, an endocrinologist and/or medical oncologist will evaluate the pituitary dysfunction, the patient’s health and other factors so that the drug therapy regimen can be tailored to the patient throughout the continuum of care. Additionally, regular follow-ups with our endocrinologist mean that any hormonal issues due to pituitary dysfunction can be treated in a timely manner.
 
In addition to standard drug regimens, patients have access to newly developed drugs (or drug combinations) through our clinical trials program.
 

Become a Patient

If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.

Pituitary Disorder Research and Clinical Trials

Pituitary Research

There is extensive collaboration between City of Hope clinicians and researchers to develop and evaluate new cancer therapies designed to improve survival and quality of life outcomes. City of Hope patients have access to a wide variety of clinical trials ranging from new chemotherapy and targeted therapies, novel surgical techniques, new radiation approaches and strategies to minimize side effects and chances of cancer recurrence.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.

Living with Pituitary Disorders

Living with Pituitary Disorders

While our primary goal is to cure or control the disease, another top priority is relieving suffering and discomfort for pituitary disorder patients undergoing treatments.
 
In addition to curative treatments, City of Hope pituitary disorder patients and their caregivers have access to the broad range of services offered by our Department of Supportive Care Medicine. The department’s staff of professionals, including supportive medicine physicians, rehabilitation therapists, psychiatrists, support groups and clinical social workers, can help patients and loved ones with a variety of care and wellness issues including:
 
 
The Department of Supportive Care Medicine is based in City of Hope’s Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, which integrates all support services in a central location. The Biller Resource Center provides a warm and welcoming space where patients, families and caregivers can access the resources, education and support they need to strengthen and empower themselves, before, during and after treatment.
 
For more information or to contact the Biller Resource Center staff, please call 626-256-4673, ext. 32273 (3CARE).
 
 
This site includes tips, tools and online resources to help cancer patients and their families with issues that arise during cancer treatment.
 
Additional Resources
 
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.

Support This Program

Support this program

We deliver exquisite care at the leading edge of cancer treatment. It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts over 100 years ago. Their efforts - and those of our supporters today - have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables City of Hope to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies - helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.

For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact:

Julie Hara

Senior Development Officer
Phone: 626-218-0869
Email: juhara@coh.org

 
 
Quick Links
Division of Neurosurgery
City of Hope has some of the most advanced tools for the surgical removal of brain and spine tumors. Learn how these tools have enabled surgery of the highest precision while minimizing adverse outcomes.
 
City of Hope’s Division of Neurosurgery focuses on surgical treatment of both benign and malignant brain, spine and pituitary tumors. Our physicians are nationally-recognized experts in neurosurgery and neuro-oncology, and employ today’s leading edge therapies.

For questions or additional information, please call 626-471-7100.
With Cancer, Expertise Matters

 
Cancer patients need to have confidence in their treatment plans by exploring all possible options. Often that means they should get a second opinion. For these four patients, getting a second opinion from experts at City of Hope was life-saving.
Clinical Trials
Our aggressive pursuit to discover better ways to help patients now – not years from now – places us among the leaders worldwide in the administration of clinical trials.
 


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