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.