The Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to patients with pituitary and hypothalamic disorders, including acromegaly, Cushing's disease, prolactinomas, and nonfunctioning pituitary tumors. We provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnostic evaluations and individualized treatment plans formulated by a dedicated, coordinated team of neuroendocrinologists, pituitary neurosurgeons and specialized radiation oncologists.
Anne Klibanski, M.D., Director, Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center
The Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center works with referring physicians to provide the following:
Consultative evaluations of patients with pituitary disorders
Complete basal and dynamic hormone testing
Coordination of endocrine evaluations, radiological studies, visual field testing, and surgical and radiation therapy consultations.
A diagnostic and therapeutic plan formulated for each patient and provided to the referring physician
A weekly multidisciplinary case conference at which complex cases are presented
A research program designed to enhance the care of patients with rare pituitary disorders
Medical education specifically in the area of pituitary disorders: educational presentations by our faculty, a Neuroendocrine Bulletin and postgraduate educational opportunities
In response to continuing developments of new treatments for patients with pituitary disease, the Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center offers an Information Service for Physicians. The purpose is to support physicians in the care of their patients by providing access to the most recent information and research regarding pituitary disease and its treatment.
Clinical and Basic Research Studies -- We are actively recruiting participants for several research studies described on this site and we hope that you will consider participating.
These studies are designed to advance our understanding of pituitary disorders and improve treatment for pituitary patients.
Patients may qualify for research studies in the Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center. We are currently accepting patients for screening to determine study eligibility.
Depending on the study, subjects may receive free testing, medication and/or stipends.
The Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center offers detailed outpatient evaluation of all disorders affecting the endocrine function of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, achieved through comprehensive office visits, complete basal and dynamic hormone testing, and coordination of radiological studies and visual field evaluations. Patients are presented at the weekly Neuroendocrine Clinical Conference which is attended by endocrinologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, and radiation therapy physicians. A diagnostic and therapeutic plan is formulated for each patient and provided to the referring physician.
The pituitary gland secretes a number of hormones that control many of the endocrine functions of the body. It secretes prolactin, which stimulates mild production after pregnancy; ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) controls cortisol production by the adrenal glands; TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones; GH (growth hormone) is important for normal growth and bone development and for maintaining bone and muscle mass in adults.
Pituitary tumors can be either secretory (secreting excessive pituitary hormones) or non-functioning (non-secreting). Large tumors, whether secretory or non-functioning, can cause visual loss from pressure on the optic nerves or chiasm, headaches and/or hormone deficiencies from damage to the normal pituitary gland.
There are a number of syndromes associated with excess hormone secretion, including:
There are also a number of tumors, cysts and other disorders in the pituitary gland area that do not secrete hormones but may need to be treated. These include:
Inflammatory disorders (sarcoid, lymphocytic hypophysitis and others)
Prolactinomas (excess prolactin secretion) can cause amenorrhea (loss of menstrual periods) and galactorrhea (breast milk production) in women, and low testosterone in men with loss of libido (sex drive) and erectile dysfunction. First line of treatment is usually medication.
When surgery is necessary, most pituitary tumors can be removed through a transsphenoidal approach. A small incision is made in the back of the nasal passage, into the patient's sphenoid sinus. The pituitary gland sits in a bony cavity called the "sella turcica" in the back wall of the sphenoid sinus. This minimally invasive technique, called transsphenoidal surgery, typically helps patient recover from surgery faster.
Our surgeons, specializing in minimally invasive transsphenoidal surgery, perform more than 150 transsphenoidal procedures per year.
Physicians at the Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center conduct research and clinical trials, allowing us to bring our patients promising new treatments as quickly as possible.
Physicians at the Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center at Massachusetts General Hospital are conducting several exciting research studies aimed at understanding and addressing medical issues related to pituitary disorders and learning more about the mechanisms of anorexia nervosa and applying novel treatments that will help improve future clinical treatments.