Pituitary adenomas

A benign tumor of the pituitary, the master gland that controls other glands and influences numerous body functions including growth. Although the tumor itself is not cancerous, it may affect pituitary function. Pituitary tumors can divided into microadenomas (< 1 cm) or macroadenomas (> 1 cm). Symptoms depend on the location and effect on surrounding structures and can include visual changes due to compression of the optic nerve, headaches and endocrine dysfunction due to excess production of pituitary hormones from the tumor.

William Beaumont Hospital employs a multidisciplinary approach for treating pituitary adenoma involving both radiation oncologists and neurologists to determine the best course of treatment for each individual patient. The primary aim of treatment for pituitary is surgical removal of the tumor if possible. If the tumor is not accessible or the tumor had been previously operated on and has recurred then Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be used. The primary goal of radiosurgery is permanent control of the tumor, maintaining pituitary function and preserving neurological function. Another treatment option is fractionated external beam radiotherapy which will deliver smaller doses of radiation over a longer time period. This treatment is not as focused as Gamma Knife radiosurgery and therefore may cause damage to surrounding normal tissue.

Gamma Knife vs. Cyberknife