Some treatments are standard the currently used treatment , and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.
Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment. Many pituitary tumors can be removed by surgery using one of the following operations:. After the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left.
Advances in Surgery for Pituitary Tumors
Treatment given after the surgery, to lower the risk that the cancer will come back, is called adjuvant therapy. Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. There are two types of radiation therapy:. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type of the cancer being treated.
External radiation therapy is used to treat pituitary tumors. Drugs may be given to stop a functioning pituitary tumor from making too many hormones. Chemotherapy may be used as palliative treatment for pituitary carcinomas , to relieve symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body systemic chemotherapy.
When chemotherapy is placed directly into the cerebrospinal fluid , an organ , or a body cavity such as the abdomen , the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas regional chemotherapy. The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type of the cancer being treated.
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Information about clinical trials is available from the NCI website. For information about side effects caused by treatment for cancer, see our Side Effects page. For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Clinical trials are part of the cancer research process.
Clinical trials are done to find out if new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment. Many of today's standard treatments for cancer are based on earlier clinical trials.
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Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new treatment. Patients who take part in clinical trials also help improve the way cancer will be treated in the future. Even when clinical trials do not lead to effective new treatments, they often answer important questions and help move research forward. Some clinical trials only include patients who have not yet received treatment.
Other trials test treatments for patients whose cancer has not gotten better. There are also clinical trials that test new ways to stop cancer from recurring coming back or reduce the side effects of cancer treatment. Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. Clinical trials supported by other organizations can be found on the ClinicalTrials. Some of the tests that were done to diagnose the cancer or to find out the stage of the cancer may be repeated. Some tests will be repeated in order to see how well the treatment is working.
Decisions about whether to continue, change, or stop treatment may be based on the results of these tests. Some of the tests will continue to be done from time to time after treatment has ended. The results of these tests can show if your condition has changed or if the cancer has recurred come back. These tests are sometimes called follow-up tests or check-ups. For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section. Treatment for luteinizing hormone -producing and follicle-stimulating hormone -producing tumors is usually transsphenoidal surgery to remove the tumor.
Treatment of pituitary carcinomas is palliative , to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life. Treatment may include the following:. Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available. For general cancer information and other resources from the National Cancer Institute, see the following:. The PDQ database contains summaries of the latest published information on cancer prevention, detection, genetics, treatment, supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine.
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Most summaries come in two versions. The health professional versions have detailed information written in technical language. The patient versions are written in easy-to-understand, nontechnical language. Both versions have cancer information that is accurate and up to date and most versions are also available in Spanish. The PDQ summaries are based on an independent review of the medical literature.
This PDQ cancer information summary has current information about the treatment of pituitary tumors. It is meant to inform and help patients, families, and caregivers. It does not give formal guidelines or recommendations for making decisions about health care. Editorial Boards write the PDQ cancer information summaries and keep them up to date. These Boards are made up of experts in cancer treatment and other specialties related to cancer. The summaries are reviewed regularly and changes are made when there is new information.
The date on each summary "Updated" is the date of the most recent change. The information in this patient summary was taken from the health professional version, which is reviewed regularly and updated as needed, by the PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board. A clinical trial is a study to answer a scientific question, such as whether one treatment is better than another.
Trials are based on past studies and what has been learned in the laboratory. Each trial answers certain scientific questions in order to find new and better ways to help cancer patients. During treatment clinical trials, information is collected about the effects of a new treatment and how well it works.
Management of Pituitary Tumors: Focus on Carcinomas
If a clinical trial shows that a new treatment is better than one currently being used, the new treatment may become "standard. Clinical trials can be found online at NCI's website.
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