Pheochromocytoma

Pheochromocytoma treatment

Scripps Health offers treatment options for pheochromocytoma.

Pheochromocytoma treatment

Pheochromocytoma is an extremely rare type of neuroendocrine tumor that forms in the adrenal medulla (the center of the adrenal gland).


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Detection and diagnosis of pheochromocytoma

Tests and exams required for the detection and diagnosis of pheochromocytoma may include:


  • Blood catecholamine studies.

Treatment for pheochromocytoma

Treatment options for pheochromocytoma may include:

Surgery

Adrenalectomy, which is the removal of one or both adrenal glands, as well as inspection of tissues and lymph nodes inside the abdomen to determine if the tumor has spread.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs are approved for use in fighting pheochromocytoma that has spread to other parts of the body.

Radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy can be provided for palliative care of pheochromocytoma.

Radiofrequency ablation

A procedure using radio waves and heat to destroy abnormal cells.

Cryoablation

A procedure in which physicians freeze and destroy abnormal cells in the adrenal glands, using liquid carbon dioxide.

Embolization therapy

This is a specific treatment to block the artery that leads to the adrenal gland, helping kill cancer cells growing there.

Targeted therapy

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as sunitinib, can block signals that tumors need to grow and are being studied as new treatment options for pheochromocytoma.

Support services

To enhance the care of people dealing with pheochromocytoma, Scripps Health also offers patient support services.