Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 12/2018

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas and how to treat them. Use the menu to see other pages.

Doctors are working to learn more about pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, ways to prevent them, how to best treat them, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with these types of tumors. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for you.

  • Targeted therapy. Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells while limiting damage to healthy cells. Several targeted therapies are being studied for the treatment of malignant pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, including a class of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), which includes cabozantinib (Cometriq), sunitinib (Sutent), and axitinib (Inlyta). Learn more about the basics of targeted therapy.

  • Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, is designed to boost the body's natural defenses to fight a tumor. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function. The immunotherapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is being researched as a treatment for pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas in clinical trials. Learn more about the basics of immunotherapy.

  • Genetics. Researchers continue to analyze the role of genes in the development of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas. The focus of these studies is to help fine-tune the diagnosis of these tumors and help predict treatment results.

  • Palliative care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

Looking for More About the Latest Research?

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, explore these related items that will take you outside of this guide:

The next section in this guide is Coping with Treatment. It offers some guidance in how to cope with the physical, emotional, and social changes that pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas and their treatment can bring. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.