Hoag Endocrine Tumors Program

Endocrine tumors occur in hormone-producing glands of the endocrine system that includes the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, intestines and pituitary glands. Tumors arising in these glands can produce hormones themselves, which can lead to serious illness. Not all endocrine tumors are malignant (cancerous).

Endocrine tumors are rare and have unique complexities. That’s why it is important to seek treatment from a team of physicians with knowledge and experience in these diseases.

Hoag’s Endocrine Tumors Program provides a comprehensive approach to the treatment of cancers in the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands, as well as intestinal carcinoid tumors, pancreatic endocrine tumors, and pituitary gland neoplasms. Our multidisciplinary team consists of subspecialty trained physicians who are part of an expert team using the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine tumors.

Through Hoag’s Endocrine Tumors Program, patients receive expert, advanced care for these rare cancers.

  • Thyroid Cancer
    Thyroid cancer is the most common type of endocrine cancer and is in most cases, curable. It occurs when malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissue of the thyroid gland, a butterfly shaped organ at the base of the neck along the windpipe that makes and secretes a hormone that regulates metabolism and can affect the function of nearly every other organ in the body. Certain inherited disorders may increase an individual’s risk for developing thyroid cancer. Hoag’s multidisciplinary team of thyroid specialists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of thyroid cancer.
  • Parathyroid Tumors
    The parathyroid glands are four pea-sized organs in the neck near the thyroid gland that produce a hormone that regulates the body’s use and storage of calcium. Parathyroid tumors are usually benign (non-cancerous). Parathyroid cancer is extremely rare, affecting approximately .005% of the U.S. population annually. Certain inherited disorders may increase an individual’s risk for developing benign parathyroid tumors or parathyroid cancer. Hoag’s endocrine tumor physician specialists have unique expertise in the treatment of benign and malignant parathyroid tumors.
  • Adrenal Cancer (Adrenocortical Carcinoma)
    Most adrenal tumors are benign. Adrenal Cancer is a rare disease that occurs in the adrenal cortex, which is the outer layer of the adrenal gland. The body’s two adrenal glands are small, triangle shaped glands that sit on top of each kidney and are responsible for making important hormones. A tumor of the adrenal cortex may be functioning (makes more hormones than normal) or non-functioning (does not make more hormones than normal). Certain inherited disorders may increase an individual’s risk for developing adrenal cancer. At Hoag Family Cancer Institute, our fellowship trained endocrine surgeons and physician specialists are experienced in the treatment of benign adrenal tumors and all stages of adrenal cancer.
  • Pheochromocytoma
    Pheochromocytomas are tumors of the inner layer of the adrenal gland. Paragangliomas are tumors arising from sympathetic ganglia and cells of neural crest embryologic orignin. Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas are tumors that produce excess catecholamines that can cause high blood pressure, headaches, heart palpitations and sweating. Between 25-40 % of these tumors are associated with an inherited genetic change that predisposes a patient to these tumors. Malignant pheochromocytomas are rare but new treatments have recently been approved and should soon be available at Hoag.
  • Neuroendocrine and Pancreas Neuroendocrine Tumors
    Neuroendocrine tumors begin in cells of the body’s neuroendocrine system, which is responsible for releasing hormones into the blood in response to signals from the central nervous system. Neuroendocrine cancers are rare tumors. They can be found all over the body and are most commonly found in the abdomen. Neuroendocrine tumors may be further classified as carcinoid tumors or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) when they occur in the pancreas. Certain inherited disorders may increase an individual’s risk for developing neuroendocrine tumors. Recent innovations in imaging including Gallium68 Dotatate PET/MRI have been pioneered at Hoag, and Hoag was the first hospital in Orange County to offer Lutathera™ treatment for this rare form of cancer. Hoag’s Endocrine Tumors Program is Orange County’s leading provider of neuroendocrine cancer care.
  • Pituitary Tumors
    Pituitary tumors begin in the pituitary gland, a pea-sized organ in the center of the brain that makes hormones that affect many of the body’s functions. The majority of pituitary tumors are considered benign (non-cancerous). They are usually slow growing and can grow quite large if left untreated. Hoag offers Orange County’s only comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach for pituitary tumors.

Why Choose Hoag Endocrine Tumors Program for Your Care?

  • Comprehensive State-of-the-Art Endocrine Tumors Program – The Hoag Endocrine Tumors Program has specialized expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of these rare tumors. The team works together to develop individual treatment plans utilizing the latest advances in order to provide comprehensive, personalized care for each patient.
  • Multidisciplinary Team – The program’s multidisciplinary team consists of fellowship trained surgeons, advanced endoscopists, medical oncologists, endocrinologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, hepatologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine specialists, and nurse navigators who work together in the evaluation and treatment of patients with endocrine cancers. The team meets regularly at tumor board sessions to review and coordinate patient care plans.
  • Research and Clinical Trials – Recent advances in the treatment of endocrine cancers are expanding treatment options for patients with advanced or metastatic disease. Hoag’s Endocrine Tumors Program is committed to offering promising new therapies including access to research studies and groundbreaking clinical trials. Hoag is a member of the International Thyroid Oncology Group and has an active drug development effort to bring novel therapeutic agents to our patients. Patients with rare cancers may have the DNA sequence of their tumors analyzed to help doctors select the best treatment for the them.
  • Hereditary Cancer Program – Some endocrine tumors may be caused by a hereditary condition. Hoag’s Hereditary Cancer Program offers genetic counseling and genetic testing for patients concerned about hereditary cancer.
  • Patient-Centered Care – Hoag Family Cancer Institute is committed to caring for the whole patient. In addition to expert medical care, Hoag offers a range of Cancer Support Services that provide education for patients and families, creative and therapeutic outlets, one-on-one counseling, and other services to help patients every step of the way.