Adrenal Cancer Treatments: More Options, Better Outcomes

  • Thomas Schwaab, MD, PhD, collaborates with a multidisciplinary team of specialists to determine the best treatment approach for your specific case.

Roswell Park takes a multidisciplinary approach to adrenal cancer treatment. A team of surgical and medical oncologists, pathologists, endocrinologists and genitourinary (GU) specialists collaborate to determine the best treatment plan for each patient.

Surgery

Surgery is the most common treatment for adrenal cancer and, at present, the only potentially curative option. Surgery may be performed by a traditional (open) approach or by laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy is a less-invasive technique using small, keyhole incisions to access the adrenal gland either through the abdomen or back, and may be performed with robotic assistance. A laparoscopic surgery procedure has a faster recovery time than the open surgical approach.

Robot-Assisted Surgery

A majority of GU cancer surgeries at Roswell Park are now performed with robotic assistance. While open surgery involves a long incision, robotic surgery is done laparoscopically — that is, through small incisions in the abdomen. The technology used is Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci® Surgical System, which offers breakthrough surgical capabilities, imitating the movements of a human surgeon’s hands while increasing precision. Patients who have robotic-assisted surgery at Roswell Park experience a 50 percent decrease in pain, less blood loss, quicker recovery, and fewer complications compared to those who undergo traditional open surgery.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing.

Chemotherapy is used for advanced adrenal cancers that cannot be surgically removed, disrupting hormone production by the adrenal glands and kills adrenal gland cells. The most common side effects are nausea and poor appetite.

Clinical Trials

We maintain one of the first Clinical Research Centers in the nation that focuses specifically on the development of new cancer treatments, giving patients access to the newest drugs and opportunities to be among the first to benefit from cutting-edge treatments and new protocols. Clinical research trials are now available to patients with many types of cancers. Find available clinical research studies or call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724).