Cancer is complex — there is no routine parathyroid cancer, nor is there ever a routine way to treat it.

The OSUCCC – James physicians are nationally and internationally renowned in research and patient care for their one particular cancer. Because of that expertise and understanding of cancer’s complexities and how it acts and reacts differently in each person, the very best outcomes — and the most effective means of treating cancer patients — come from a team approach.

At the OSUCCC – James, parathyroid cancer patients have a team of experts that includes medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, geneticists, endocrinologists, otolaryngologists, nutritionists and more. Also on that team are parathyroid cancer researchers who help sequence tumors to identify key molecules that fuel each patient’s cancer and who then develop drugs that target only those particular molecules. Many of our experts also help write the national clinical guidelines for treatments.

As one of only a few cancer centers in the country funded by the National Cancer Institute to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials, the OSUCCC – James offers patients access to more clinical trials than nearly any other cancer hospital in the country and to more of the latest, most targeted, most effective treatment options — many that are available nowhere else but at the OSUCCC – James.

There are several types of treatment for parathyroid cancer. The OSUCCC – James team of subspecialists determine the best treatment for each patient based on his or her specific, individual parathyroid cancer. Patients may receive one treatment or a combination of treatments.

Treatment Options

There are several types of treatment for parathyroid cancer. You may receive one treatment or a combination of treatments and may benefit from new therapies available in clinical trials.

The following treatments are available to treat parathyroid cancer:


Surgery is the treatment chosen most often to treat parathyroid cancer. This type of cancer spreads slowly, and removing the tumor can cure parathyroid cancer or manage its effects for a long time.

Types of surgery include:

En Bloc Resection

A surgeon removes the parathyroid gland and the capsule around it. The doctor also may remove nearby lymph nodes, the half of the thyroid gland on the same side of the neck as the parathyroid cancer and some muscles, tissues or a nerve in the neck.

Tumor Debulking

This refers to the process by which a surgeon removes as much of the tumor as possible.


A surgeon removes parathyroid cancer that has spread to any distant organ such as the lungs.

Parathyroid cancer surgery can damage nerves of the vocal cords. Treatments can help manage speech problems caused by nerve damage.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Radiation is often used to treat specific areas of the body.

Radiation therapy may be given after surgery to kill any thyroid cancer cells that were not removed.


Chemotherapy uses specialized drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by destroying the cells or by stopping the cells from making new cells. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injected into a vein or placed directly into an organ or body cavity.

Supportive Care

Patients who have parathyroid cancer also need treatment for hypercalcemia. Treatment for hypercalcemia is given before surgery to treat parathyroid cancer. Supportive treatment for hypercalcemia caused by parathyroid cancer may include:

  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Drugs to increase the amount of urine made by the body
  • Drugs to stop absorption of calcium from food
  • Drugs to stop the parathyroid gland’s hormone production

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Clinical Trials

For cancer patients, clinical trials mean hope. Hope for a cancer-free world and for better, more targeted ways to prevent, detect, treat and cure individual cancers. Patients can enter clinical trials before, during or after starting their cancer treatment.

The OSUCCC – James has more than 500 open clinical trials at any given time, with some of the world’s latest discoveries available to clinical trial patients right here in Columbus, Ohio. In fact, patients have access to more cancer clinical trials here than at nearly any other hospital in the region as well as access to some of the most advanced, targeted treatments and drugs available.

The OSUCCC – James is one of only a few U.S. cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. These trials go only to centers that demonstrate an exemplary capacity for research and clinical care, the expertise to deliver the latest in treatments and the infrastructure to interpret and track treatment results.

Additionally, Ohio State has nearly 300 cancer researchers dedicated to understanding what makes each patient’s cancer grow, move, metastasize or reoccur. Because of the OSUCCC – James’ NCI phase I and phase II approvals, these experts can move research discoveries into clinical trials and make them available to patients sooner.

If you have received a parathyroid cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a parathyroid cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

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