Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma: NICHD Research Goals

The NICHD supports research on pheochromocytoma with the goal of increasing the understanding of the disease and improving disease management. Research supported by the Institute is intended to lead to better methods of diagnosis, treatment, and overall understanding of the illness. To achieve these goals, the Institute bases its strategy on multidisciplinary collaborations with investigators from several NIH Institutes and outside medical centers.

Outcomes of NICHD-supported research on pheochromocytoma-associated genes may improve the diagnosis of the disease through the discovery of better genetic testing methods. NICHD-supported pheochromocytoma research also leads to the better care and treatment of diagnosed women and their children.

To advance research on pheochromocytoma, the NICHD links patient-oriented studies with laboratory or "bench-level" studies. Patient-oriented studies in medical neuroendocrinology help guide the Institute's future hypotheses and discoveries. Bench-level studies include tumor pathology and chemistry research that apply the technologies of basic research to the development of new clinical therapies.

NICHD-funded studies include efforts to:

  • Define the molecular and genetic bases of the disease and transfer this knowledge to better diagnosis and treatment of malignant pheochromocytoma.
  • Develop highly effective therapeutic strategies in order to improve the patient's quality of life and prognosis.
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary research through new collaborations among researchers.
  • Produce better diagnostic and detection methods in order to help improve diagnosis of pheochromocytoma and determine tumor location(s).
  • Understand the significance of differences in clinical presentation among patients, which are thought to be due to molecular and cellular differences among patients.
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