Taking Testosterone Doesn’t Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Stacy Loeb, MD, MScDepartment of Urology, Population Health, and Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer CenterNew York University, New York

Dr. Stacy Loeb

Dr. Stacy Loeb MD Msc
Assistant Professor of Urology and Population Health
New York University Langone Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The association between exposure to testosterone replacement therapy and prostate cancer risk is controversial.  The purpose of our study was to examine this issue using national registries from Sweden, with complete records on prescription medications and prostate cancer diagnoses.  Overall, we found no association between testosterone use and overall prostate cancer risk. There was an early increase in favorable cancers which is likely due to a detection bias, but long-term users actually had a significantly reduced risk of aggressive disease.

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Oral Dydrogesterone May Become Preferred Treatment Option for IVF

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Matthias Straub
Senior Director, Clinical Development
Abbott

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Lotus I study provides clinical evidence that oral dydrogesterone is a treatment option for women who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. The current standard of care for IVF globally is micronized vaginal progesterone (MPV), which is administered vaginally.

The Lotus I study concludes that oral dydrogesterone is similarly well-tolerated and efficacious compared to MVP, while being easier to administer than MVP.

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Vitamin D During Fetal Life and Bone Health in Children at Age 6

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Audry H. Garcia PhD

Scientist Department of Epidemiology
Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam
Rotterdam, the Netherlands 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Fetal bone mineralisation requires an adequate transfer of calcium to the fetus by the end of the pregnancy. Considering that vitamin D is required to maintain normal blood concentrations of calcium, adequate 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations in pregnant women seem to be crucial for bone development of the offspring. Maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been associated with abnormal early skeletal growth in offspring and might be a risk factor for decreased bone mass in later life. Several studies have linked vitamin D deficiency in fetal life to congenital rickets, craniotabes, wide skull sutures and osteomalacia. However, the evidence of long-lasting effects of maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy on offspring’s skeletal development is scarce and inconsistent, and has led to contradictory recommendations on vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy.

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Study Fails To Support Routine Screening For Subclinical Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor, Brian Casey, M.D. Gillette Professorship of Obstetrics and Gynecology UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Casey

Professor Brian Casey, M.D.
Gillette Professorship of Obstetrics and Gynecology
UT Southwestern Medical Center 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: For several decades now, subclinical thyroid disease, variously defined, has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.  In 1999, two studies are responsible for increasing interest in subclinical thyroid disease during pregnancy because it was associated with impaired neuropsychological development in the fetus.  One study showed that children born to women with the highest TSH levels had lower IQ levels.  The other showed that children of women with isolated low free thyroid hormone levels performed worse on early psychomotor developmental tests. Together, these findings led several experts and professional organizations to recommend routine screening for and treatment of subclinical thyroid disease during pregnancy.

Our study was designed to determine whether screening for either of these two diagnoses and treatment with thyroid hormone replacement during pregnancy actually improved IQ in children at 5 years of age.

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Thyroid Hormone Disruptors Found In Household Cats and Dust

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jana Weiss PhD Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry Stockholm University

Dr. Jana Weiss

Jana Weiss PhD
Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry
Stockholm University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In an earlier publication, we could see an association between elevated concentrations of brominated flame retardants (BFR) in the blood of cats with developed Feline hyperthyroidism, compared to healthy cats (Norrgran et al 2015, ES&T 49:5107-5014). To establish the exposure pathway we now took paired samples from healthy cats and dust from their households. We also analysed the cats food to include another major exposure pathway. In total 17 families participated. They lived in houses in the countryside or in apartments in the city. All families had kids under 12 years of age living at home, thus representing a household with typical child products. The dust was sampled from the living room, the child’s room and from the adult’s bedrooms. We could not see any difference in the composition of compounds between the rooms, but we saw that levels were in general higher in the living room compared to the other two rooms. This was expected as many products being treated with BFRs can be found in the living room.

We could see that higher levels of some  brominated flame retardants in the dust were correlated to elevated levels in the cat’s blood. Therefore, this hypothesized exposure pathways is now statistically established. We could also confirm cat food to be the major exposure pathway for naturally brominated compounds coming from the marine food web, such as6-OH-BDE47, a known thyroid hormone disruptor. Continue reading

Prostate Cancer: No Association Between Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Dementia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Farzin Khosrow-Khavar, M.Sc. Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University
Center for Clinical Epidemiology – Jewish General Hospital
Montreal, QC 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies have shown an association between androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, these studies had methodological limitations that may account for this positive association. Using appropriate study design and methodology, we found no association between androgen deprivation therapy and risk of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) in patients with prostate cancer. These results were consistent by cumulative duration of  androgen deprivation therapy use and by ADT modality.

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Testosterone Therapy Improves Bone Mineral Density In Men With Low T

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tony M. Keaveny, Ph.D. Professor, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering; Co-Director, Berkeley BioMechanics Laboratory University of California Berkeley, CA 94720-1740

Dr. Tony Keaveny

Tony M. Keaveny, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering;
Co-Director, Berkeley BioMechanics Laboratory
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1740

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: As men age, they experience decreased serum testosterone concentrations, decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and increased risk of fracture. While prior studies have been performed to determine the effect of testosterone treatment on bone in older men, for various reasons those studies have been inconclusive.

The goal of this study was to overcome past limitations in study design and determine if testosterone treatment — versus a placebo — in older men with low testosterone would improve the bone. Specifically, we used 3D quantitative CT scanning to measure changes in BMD and engineering “finite element analysis” to measure changes in the estimated bone strength, both at the spine and hip. The study was performed on over 200 older men (> age 65) who had confirmed low levels of serum testosterone.

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Testosterone Improves Anemia and Bone Strength, Worsens Coronary Plaque and Has No Effect on Memory

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ronald S. Swerdloff, MD Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine and Director of a World Health Organization Collaborative Center in Reproduction a Mellon Foundation Center for Contraceptive Development and a NIH Contraceptive Clinical Trial Center Director of the Harbor-UCLA Reproductive Program LA BioMed Lead Researcher David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA Health

Dr. Ronald Swerdloff

Ronald S. Swerdloff, MD
Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine and
Director of a World Health Organization Collaborative Center in Reproduction
a Mellon Foundation Center for Contraceptive Development and a
NIH Contraceptive Clinical Trial Center
Director of the Harbor-UCLA Reproductive Program
LA BioMed Lead Researcher
David Geffen School of Medicine
UCLA Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: While we have long known that testosterone levels decrease as men age, very little was known about the effects of testosterone treatment in older men with low testosterone until last year.

Our team of researchers from LA BioMed and 12 other medical centers in the U.S., in partnership with the National Institute on Aging, conducted a coordinated group of seven trials known as The Testosterone Trials (TTrials). We studied the effects of testosterone treatment for one year as compared to placebo for men 65 and older with low testosterone. The TTrials are now the largest trials to examine the efficacy of testosterone treatment in men 65 and older whose testosterone levels are low due seemingly to age alone.

The first published research from the TTrials last year reported on some of the benefits to testosterone treatment. We have now published four additional studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and JAMA Internal Medicine that found additional benefits and one potential drawback.

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Testosterone Replacement Did Not Increase Cardiovascular Risk In Androgen-Deficient Men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Cheetham-Craig.jpg

Dr. Craig Cheetham

T. Craig Cheetham, PharmD, MS
Southern California Permanente Medical Group
Department of Research & Evaluation
Pasadena, CA 91101

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Concerns have been raised about the cardiovascular safety of testosterone replacement therapy. Patient selection criteria may have been a factor in the findings from studies reporting an increased cardiovascular risk with testosterone replacement therapy. Many men who were receiving testosterone replacement therapy don’t fall into the categories of ‘frail elderly’ or ‘high cardiovascular risk’. We therefore studied testosterone replacement therapy in a population of androgen deficient men within Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California. Continue reading

Hair Cortisol in the Evaluation of Cushing Syndrome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mihail Zilbermint, M.D.
Endocrinologist, Office of the Scientific Director

Mihail Zilbermint, M.D. Endocrinologist, Office of the Scientific Director Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health

Eunice Kennedy Shriver
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institutes of Health 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Diagnosing Cushing Syndrome is often difficult and challenging.  Diagnosing hypercortisolemia, could require the use of a combination of any of these tests: 24-hour free urine cortisol monitoring, an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and measurement of late night salivary cortisol.  Cortisol levels may change daily, requiring that testing be repeated.  Undiagnosed and untreated Cushing Syndrome greatly increases morbidity and mortality risk.

Cortisol levels can be detected in hair samples.  Much like hemoglobin A1C is a long-term indicator of blood glucose levels, efforts have been made to determine if hair cortisol could serve as a long-term measure of the body’s glucocorticoid levels.  We sought to compare the results of cortisol levels for Cushing Syndrome patients with data from data on cortisol in hair segments, to gain further information on the role of sampling hair cortisol as an initial or supportive method for diagnosing Cushing Syndrome.

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Bisphenol A May Promote Obesity By Interfering with Leptin Early in Life

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alfonso Abizaid PhD

Department of Neuroscience
Carleton University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a compound considered to be a potential environmental hazard and an endocrine disruptor. We have found an association between exposure to BPA at levels that are considered safe by Health Canada and the EPA early in life, and the development of obesity. In addition, we found that this propensity to develop obesity is due to under development of the hypothalamic projection field of POMC neurons, a set of neurons that regulate satiety and stimulate metabolic rate.

In this paper we replicate those findings and also show that this abnormal development is due to BPA altering the secretion of the hormone leptin at critical times where this hormone is important for the post-natal development of these POMC neurons.

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IV Etelcalcetide (Parsibiv®) Can Treat Elevated PTH in Dialysis Patients More Effectively Than Oral Medication

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Geoffrey A. Block, MD Director of Research at Denver Nephrology Denver, Colorado

Dr. Geoffrey Block

Geoffrey A. Block, MD
Director of Research at Denver Nephrology
Denver, Colorado

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Secondary hyperparathyroidism is a chronic and progressive disorder characterized by elevations in parathyroid hormone (PTH). It is seen in most patients with advanced chronic kidney disease and has been associated with a number of important adverse health effects such as bone pain, fracture, premature cardiovascular disease, abnormal heart enlargement, pathologic calcium accumulation in blood vessels and tissues and premature death.

Currently there are several classes of drugs used to treat high PTH but each are associated with challenging side effects which limit their effectiveness. Active vitamin D compounds are effective in lowering PTH but do so at the expense of causing elevations in other minerals such as calcium and phosphorus which are felt to be harmful.

An oral drug known as cinacalcet (Sensipar®) is in the class of medicine known as ‘calcimimetics’ and reduces PTH and simultaneously reduces calcium and phosphorus however it must be taken daily due to its short half-life and is commonly associated with nausea when first initiated or the dose is increased. Clinical trials with cinacalcet are suggestive though not conclusive of a beneficial effect on improving cardiovascular events and prolonging life.

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