Efficacy and safety of ablative therapy in the treatment of patients with metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma

Jacob Kohlenberg, Brian Welch, Oksana Hamidi, Matthew Callstrom, Jonathan Morris, Juraj Sprung, Irina Bancos, William Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) are incurable neuroendocrine tumors. The goals of treatment include palliating symptoms and reducing tumor burden. Little is known about the use of radiofrequency ablation (RFA), cryoablation (CRYO), and percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) to treat metastatic PPGL. We performed a retrospective study of patients age 17 years and older with metastatic PPGL who were treated with ablative therapy at Mayo Clinic, USA, between June 14, 1999 and November 14, 2017. Our outcomes measures were radiographic response, procedure-related complications, and symptomatic improvement. Thirty-one patients with metastatic PPGL had 123 lesions treated during 42 RFA, 23 CRYO, and 4 PEI procedures. The median duration of follow-up was 60 months (range, 0–163 months) for non-deceased patients. Radiographic local control was achieved in 69/80 (86%) lesions. Improvement in metastasis-related pain or symptoms of catecholamine excess was achieved in 12/13 (92%) procedures. Thirty-three (67%) procedures had no known complications. Clavien-Dindo Grade I, II, IV, and V complications occurred after 7 (14%), 7 (14%), 1 (2%), and 1 (2%) of the procedures, respectively. In patients with metastatic PPGL, ablative therapy can effectively achieve local control and palliate symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number195
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Cryoablation
  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Neuroendocrine tumor
  • Percutaneous ablation
  • Percutaneous ethanol injection
  • Radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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