How We Can Help You
Paragangliomas are rare, neuroendocrine tumors that can involve different areas of the head at the base of the brain and neck. About 90-percent of these tumors are noncancerous and will not spread.
Most doctors will never see a paraganglioma over the lifetime of their careers. So, treatment at an academic medical center which manages a high volume of paragangliomas is important for the best outcomes.
Stanford is a global referral center for paraganglioma and is at the forefront of developing new, minimally invasive procedures that treat them.
WHAT WE OFFER YOU FOR PARAGANGLIOMAS
- Globally-recognized expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of paragangliomas.
- Team-based treatment planning that brings together specialists from neurosurgery, head and neck surgery, neuroradiology, radiation oncology, neuropathology, audiology, physical therapy, speech and language pathology, and more.
- Access to advanced imaging including neuro-navigation of the brain to help surgeons more clearly distinguish tumors from sensitive surrounding tissues.
- An active clinical research program dedicated to broadening options for the diagnosis and treatment of paragangliomas.
- Assistance from our International Medical Services team to plan your travel and accommodations.
Treatment Options for Paranglioma
Recommendations for treatment depend on the size and location of the tumor, its rate of growth, and details of your overall health. Many paragangliomas do not require immediate treatment.
If you have a small tumor that isn’t causing symptoms, your doctor may recommend periodic MRI imaging and physical exams without other interventions.
A form of radiation therapy called stereotactic radio surgery or CyberKnife may be recommended. CyberKnife is a robotic system that was developed at Stanford. It delivers precise pulses of high-dose radiation to the target tissue, while limiting exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. Radiation cannot remove the tumor, but it can be very effective at stopping its growth.
The extent of surgery depends on the tumor location. For example, surgery for tumors near the middle ear might involve only a brief, outpatient procedure. Surgery for tumor on the jugular vein will require inpatient surgery and a period of recovery in the ICU. Surgery is sometimes performed in conjunction with a procedure called embolization, which cuts the blood supply that helps to feed the tumor.
Many paragangliomas may be treated with a combination of active surveillance, surgery, and radiation therapy
Clinical Trials for Paragangliomas
Clinical trials evaluate new approaches, devices, or medications in the treatment of paragangliomas. Ask your doctor or clinical trials coordinator about available trials that may be additional options for your care.
To learn more about the clinical trials we offer, contact Maria Coburn at 650-736-9551.