Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 Treatment Options

Generally, surgery is the first line of treatment for MEN1 tumors; however, in some cases, the kind of treatment you receive depends on the location of your tumor. Sometimes, careful watching is the recommended treatment, as many endocrine tumors associated with MEN1 are noncancerous (benign).

Following active treatment, your oncology team will work with you to create the most appropriate follow-up care plan.

Carcinoid Tumors

Your physician will generally recommend the surgical removal of carcinoid tumors.

Islet Cell Tumors of the Pancreas

Tumors in the pancreas or duodenum can be cancerous at the time they are diagnosed or may subsequently turn into cancer. In general it’s recommended that these tumors be removed early to prevent the development of cancer or spread to the lymph nodes or liver.

It’s important to preserve the function of the pancreas while removing all of the potentially cancerous tumor growths. An expert endocrine surgeon with experience managing patients with MEN1 is vital.

Your Scott & White Integrated Care Team will evaluate your tumor and your health status carefully and advise you on the best course of treatment for islet cell tumors of the pancreas.

“Your doctors will perform imaging and diagnostic blood tests to help decide whether surgery is indicated, and your surgeon will discuss the plan for management at length with you to help you understand the treatment plan,” says Dr. Lairmore.

Your physician may recommend the surgical removal of your parathyroid if:

  • you have persistently elevated calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels
  • you have significant bone loss
  • you have kidney damage or kidney stones
  • you have other significant symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, increased thirst or depression that can be related to overactive parathyroid glands

Pituitary Tumors

If your pituitary tumor produces the hormone prolactin, your physician may recommend managing your tumor with drugs that imitate dopamine in your brain (called dopamine agonists).

If your pituitary tumor becomes very large or overproduces any of a variety of hormones, your physician may recommend the surgical removal of your pituitary gland.


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