Childhood Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN) Syndromes Treatment

Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes are inherited disorders that affect the endocrine system.
There are several types of MEN syndromes and each type may cause different conditions or cancers.
MEN1 syndrome usually causes tumors in the parathyroid gland, pituitary gland, or islet cells of the pancreas.
MEN2A syndrome may cause medullary thyroid cancer, pheochromocytoma, or parathyroid gland disease.
MEN2B syndrome causes several conditions.
Familial medullary carcinoma of the thyroid (FMTC) is like MEN2A syndrome without pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma gland disease.
Children with MEN2A syndrome, MEN2B syndrome, or FMTC may need genetic testing.
Tests used to diagnose and stage cancers related to MEN syndromes depend on the signs and symptoms and the patient’s family history.
If cancer, such as medullary thyroid cancer, has formed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread to nearby areas or to other parts of the body.
There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.
Cancer may spread from where it began to other parts of the body.

There are several types of MEN syndromes and each type may cause different conditions or cancers.

The two main types of MEN syndromes are MEN1 and MEN2. MEN2 syndrome has three subgroups: MEN2A syndrome, MEN2B syndrome, and familial medullary thyroid cancer.

There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.

Cancer can spread through tissue, the lymph system, and the blood:

  • Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
  • Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
  • Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.

There are different types of treatment for children with MEN syndromes.

Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.

Treatment of Childhood MEN1 Syndrome

Hyperparathyroidism is the most common sign of MEN1 syndrome. Children with MEN1 syndrome and primary hyperparathyroidism may have surgery to remove at least three parathyroid glands and the thymus. Treatment is also given for pancreatic islet cell and pituitary tumors, and other conditions linked to MEN1 syndrome as needed.

What is Cancer?

  • Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place.

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the risk of getting cancer. This can include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding exposure to known cancer-causing substances, and taking medicines or vaccines that can prevent cancer from developing.

  • Cancer can cause many different symptoms. Most often these symptoms are not caused by cancer, but by benign tumors or other problems. If you have symptoms that last for a couple of weeks, your doctor will do a physical exam and order tests or other procedures to find out what is causing your symptoms.