Getting treatment for pituitary gland disorders at City of Hope puts you at the center of some of the most innovative and groundbreaking research and surgical methods for brain tumors. Our neurosurgeons regularly treat difficult cases and use their expertise to design innovative, less invasive surgical approaches — including using fewer incisions to remove most of the tumor tissue to preserve patient functioning and quality of life.
When you get pituitary tumor treatment at City of Hope, you are partnering with a world class team of experts spanning multiple disciplines, who see and treat challenging brain tumors on a daily basis. And you have access to transformative surgical methods and technology, groundbreaking research studies and leading-edge radiation therapy — all with a focus on your quality of life.
It's collective decision making. You have several health care practitioners that know the patient and who bring different information to the table. And making a joint decision is better for the patient." Behnam Badie, director, Brain Tumor Program
When it comes to treatment for pituitary disorders, City of Hope has an unmatched reputation for comprehensive and compassionate care. Our team has pioneered state-of-the-art procedures that target tumor cells while minimizing side effects. We bring together broad expertise from multiple disciplines under one roof to provide exceptional care, including:
City of Hope’s team of neurosurgeons, endocrinologists, researchers, nurses, radiologists and genetic counselors work together closely at all stages of your care to provide seamless, coordinated care. We balance that approach with personalized medicine — not just when it comes to your condition, but the kind that makes you feel supported throughout your treatment. And our commitment to personalized care means preserving your quality of life is at the heart of your treatment.
City of Hope is nationally recognized as a leader in the research and treatment of pituitary disorders. If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.
Pituitary tumors, which start in the pituitary gland, are usually benign (noncancerous) and represent up to 20 percent of all primary brain tumors. They are rare — only 10,000 people are diagnosed with this condition in a typical year, according to the American Cancer Society. Up to one in four people have this type of tumor but never display symptoms.
Pituitary tumors develop when abnormal cells in the pituitary gland (a tiny structure located at the base of the brain responsible for making or storing various hormones) grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, interfering with normal brain and hormonal functioning.
Things that put you at higher risk for getting a pituitary disorder are called risk factors. There are very few known causes of pituitary tumors, although family history and certain genetic syndromes play a role in some cases. Risk factors include:
Symptoms of pituitary tumors depend on which part of the gland and what hormone (if any) is being released. Pituitary tumors that grow without affecting hormonal function tend to grow larger and undetected — causing no symptoms until they press on nerves or nearby brain regions — while tumors that cause hormonal symptoms right away tend to be discovered at an earlier stage.
Since the pituitary gland is near the optic nerve, symptoms may include vision problems. Symptoms resulting from disruption in normal brain functioning include:
Symptoms arising from tumors that disrupt normal hormonal functioning include:
Other medical conditions share these symptoms. If you have any of these conditions, you may need further consultation to rule out a pituitary disorder.
Accurately diagnosing pituitary disorders requires an expert and deeply experienced team that can accurately diagnose you — so that you get the best and most effective treatment. City of Hope’s team of highly trained experts use their clinical expertise, honed by seeing many types of pituitary disorders, to provide you with the most accurate diagnosis.
Here special treatments are created and routinely performed. When routine therapies stop working, you have options here that you don't elsewhere." Mike Chen, neurosurgeon
City of Hope’s approach to treating pituitary disorders starts with a coordinated, multidisciplinary care team whose main goal is finding a treatment plan that extends your life. We combine leading-edge technologies — like minimally invasive surgery and the latest radiological approaches — with research and clinical trials not found anywhere else.
City of Hope’s neurosurgeons specialize in using minimally invasive procedures whenever possible. By using fewer incisions, our surgeons can extract the tumor with minimal impact to surrounding healthy brain tissue. Minimally invasive procedures used at City of Hope include:
City of Hope researchers are also developing a miniaturized surgical system to allow brain surgeries to be even less invasive, with an even lower risk of complications.
City of Hope is one of only a few dozen centers in the country that treat pituitary disorders using a comprehensive approach. Your care includes regular interaction and input from a team that includes neurosurgeons, endocrinologists, radiologists and pathologists — along with researchers who collaborate with clinical staff regularly to quickly bring potential therapies from the lab to patients.
City of Hope’s renowned physicians and researchers use the latest in technology and innovation to treat pituitary tumors, coupled with an enduring belief in providing unparalleled compassionate care. Call 800-826-HOPE or go online to request an appointment.
Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
Clinical trials – research studies that involve volunteer patients – are a crucial component to developing new, more effective treatments that save lives. Many of today’s standard therapies are based on the results of previous trials, some of which were initiated at City of Hope.
Getting treated for a pituitary disorder at City of Hope means you are steps away from labs where new treatments for cancer are being developed every day. That proximity means you benefit from something unique in cancer care — bench to bedside treatment. “Bench to bedside” means innovative research we are conducting in our labs is moved quickly to the bedside to treat our patients.
City of Hope conducts a wide variety of clinical trials, many of them not available to the general public. Current research ranges from genetic testing to developing better imaging techniques to DNA-based growth hormone therapy.
When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your family take each step in your pituitary disorder treatment and recovery.
Find answers to your questions here:
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.
For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact Julie Hara. Or, you can make a gift to support all the research at City of Hope by donating online.