Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma Center of Excellence Clinic

The Pheo Para Center of Excellence program provides an environment where patients receive the best possible pheo para care through a geographically diverse network of clinical centers. In addition to clinical and wellness services, the centers provide professional and lay education in the areas they server, work with the Pheo Para Alliance in its efforts to continually improve the lives of those affected by the illness, and support clinical research efforts.

Pheo Para Alliance Center of Excellence

In 2021, Tufts MC was designated the first-ever Pheo/Para Specialized Clinical Center by the Pheo Para Alliance Center of Excellence program. CBS Boston featured Tufts MC neuroendicronologist, Dr. Ronald Lechan and his team (pictured above receiving the designation), for their work saving a young woman’s life from this rare and often misdiagnosed tumor. 

An expert team lead by Clinic Director, Ronald M. Lechan, MD, PhD and Arthur Tischler, MD 

Lechan, Center Co-Director

Dr. Lechan is a Neuroendocrinolgist who has a particular interest in pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and cares for multiple patients with sporadic and familiar pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma including families with MEN2, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, FH, TMEM27, NF1 and VHL mutations and a patient with a somatic mutation associated in EPAS1 (Pacak-Zhuang Syndrome).  Included have been patients with cardiac paranglioma, pheochromocytoma during pregnancy, pheochromocytoma associated with ectopic ACTH secretion and severe Cushing's. In conjunction with Dr. Arthur Tischler, Dr. Lechan retains an IRB-approved clinical protocol entitled "Diagnosis and Pathobiology of Pheochromocytoma, Paraganglioma and Syndromically Related Tumors" allowing us to retain a large repository of heochromocytoma/paragalglioma tissue that has been used in multiple studies around the globe including the Cancer Geneome Atlas (TCGA) study, Australian A5 study and Broad Institute Cancer Dependent Project. Dr. Lechan has also been a participant in an international collaborative study on pheochromocytoma-specific morbidity and mortality among adults with bilateral pheochromocytomas undergoing total adrenalectomy vs cortical-sparing adrenalectomy (JAMA Network Open 2(8): e198898. Doi: 10.1001, 2019); co-author on the original publication in J Clin Oncol (31: 1690, 2013) describing a new syndrome of paraganglioma and somatostatinoma associated with polycythemia and co-author on manuscripts describing succinate dehydrogenase mutations associated with cardiac paragangliomas (Am J Cardiology 115: 1753, 2015), Chari malformation associated with EPAS1-associated syndrome (Int J Mol Sci 10:20, 2019), and genotype-phenotype features of TMEM127 pheochromocytoma susceptibility gene (J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 106:e350, 2021). Multiple abstracts on pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma have been presented at International meetings including a paper entitled "Resolution of Cardiomyopathy after Removal of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma" presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgery, and a paper entitled "A Case Worsening Hyperglycemia as a Manifestation of Ectopic Cushing's Syndrome Secondary to an Adrenocorticotropic Hormone-Producing Pheochromocytoma" to presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

Tischler, Center Co-Director

Dr. Tischler is a pathologist at Tufts Medical Center and professor of pathology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is internationally recognized as an authority on the surgical pathology of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas and as a researcher on the pathobiology of these tumors. His research encompasses basic and translational aspects of tumor biology, with a particular focus on development and application of models for basic and pre-clinical studies. The PC12 rat pheochromocytoma line, which he established in a collaborative study with Dr Lloyd Greene in 1976, has now been utilized in more than 18,000 publications (PubMed search 3/4/2021). More recently, mouse pheochromocytoma (MPC) cell lines currently used for testing a variety of pre-clinical imaging and treatment modalities were developed in the Tischler laboratory at Tufts Medical Center by Dr. James Powers and Dr. Tischler. In 2020 the Tischler laboratory succeeded in developing a long sought-after model specifically relevant to hereditary pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas caused by mutations of the succinate dehydrogenase B gene (Powers JF, Cochran B, Baleja JD, Sikes HD, Pattison AD, Zhang X, Lomakin I, Shepard-Barry A, Pacak K, Moon SJ, et al. 2020 A xenograft and cell line model of SDH-deficient pheochromocytoma derived from Sdhb+/- rats. Endocr Relat Cancer 27 337-354. 32252027). Dr. Tischler has served as Editor in Chief of the journal Endocrine Pathology and as president of the

Endocrine Pathology Society. He is an author of multiple chapters on pathology and classification of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma in the current (2017) and pending (2021) World Health Organization Endocrine bluebooks, and of numerous peer-reviewed papers. He was a founding member of the Pheochromocytoma Research and Support Organization (PRESSOR) and the PRESSOR Tumor Models Working Group. In 2011 he received the annual Science Award from the Pheo Para Alliance.


Feyza Erenler, MD

Michael Tarnoff, MD
Martin Goodman, MD

Konstantin Balonov, MD

Jonathan Stillman, MD
Miriam O’Leary

Carl Heilman, MD

Neel Madan, MD

John Aurora, PharmD, BCACP

Lori Pai, MD

Dallas Reed, MD