Pituitary Tumors

+ -Text Size

Treating Pituitary Tumors TOPICS

Treatment of non-functional (not hormone-producing) pituitary tumors

Large tumors

Large tumors (macroadenomas) that are causing symptoms are often treated with surgery. This helps get rid of the symptoms and danger to vital structures quickly. As with gonadotropin-secreting tumors, frequent MRI scans should be done early after treatment. If there is re-growth of the adenoma, radiation therapy may be used. Drug treatment is usually not helpful in treating these tumors, but doctors have reported some success using the chemotherapy drug temozolomide for fast-growing tumors.

Incidentalomas

These small pituitary tumors (microadenomas) usually cause no symptoms and do not secrete high levels of any hormone. They are usually found during an MRI scan done for some other reason. Most doctors recommend just watching these, with regular physical exams and repeat MRI scans to see if they are growing. Hormone levels may be checked at least once as well. The important point is that people with incidentalomas should not receive unnecessary tests or treatments.


Last Medical Review: 01/11/2013
Last Revised: 01/11/2013