What are paragangliomas/pheochromocytomas?

Paragangliomas and pheochromocytomas are tumors that develop out of the neuroendocrine tissue responsible for making epinephrine. This hormone, also known as adrenaline, and other related hormones help regulate heart rate and blood pressure in response to stress.

Paragangliomas, known as PGLs, can develop anywhere in the body from the pelvis to the skull. Pheochromocytomas, known as PCCs, are found specifically in the adrenal gland where adrenaline is produced. 

PCCs and PGLs are rare and often slow growing. Most are benign but can cause problems such as high blood pressure, sweating, and headaches when they produce hormones. 

How we approach paragangliomas/pheochromocytomas at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s

Children with paragangliomas and pheochromocytomas are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's through our Endocrine-Oncology Program. Our integrated pediatric oncology service offers—in one specialized program—the combined expertise of a leading cancer center and a premier children’s hospital. We build a team to treat your child consisting of oncologists, endocrinologists, genetic counselors, and surgeons.

Find in-depth information on PGLs and PCCs on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s website, including answers to:

  • What are the causes and symptoms of PGLs and PCCs?
  • How are PGLs/PCCs diagnosed?
  • What are the treatments for PGLs and PCCs?
  • What is the latest research on PGLs and PCCs?
  • What is the long-term outlook for PGLs and PCCs?