Author Interviews, Endocrinology, NIH, Pediatrics / 19.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50940" align="alignleft" width="150"]Kenneth S. Korach, Ph.D. Senior Principal Investigator Chief, Receptor Biology Section Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory NIEHS/NIH Dr. Kenneth Korach[/caption] Kenneth S. Korach, Ph.D. Senior Principal Investigator Chief, Receptor Biology Section Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory NIEHS/NIH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lavender oil is among the most popular essential oils used today. Our society deems essential oils and other homeopathic remedies as safe alternatives for medical treatment, personal hygiene commodities, aromatherapy, and cleaning products; however, there are many natural products that have effects on the human body, similar to potent synthetic drugs.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Hormone Therapy, JAMA, Schizophrenia / 01.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50518" align="alignleft" width="200"]Mark Weiser, M.D. Associate Director for Treatment Trials The Stanley Medical Research Institute Kensington, MD 20895 Dr. Weiser[/caption] Mark Weiser, M.D. Associate Director for Treatment Trials The Stanley Medical Research Institute Kensington, MD 20895 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the years many theories have been proposed explaining schizophrenia, and studies tested compounds based on these theories.  Some showed improvement in symptoms, but these positive findings were often not later replicated, and the theory discarded. Over the past 15 years several studies performed in Australia by Dr. Jayshri Kulkarni (Molecular psychiatry. 2015;20(6):695) showed positive effects of estrogen patches on symptoms in women with schizophrenia.
Author Interviews, Testosterone / 22.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50358" align="alignleft" width="133"]Christel Renoux,  MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurology & Neurosurgery McGill University Centre For Clinical Epidemiology Jewish General Hospital - Lady Davis Research Institute Montreal Canada Dr. Renoux[/caption] Christel Renoux,  MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurology & Neurosurgery McGill University Centre For Clinical Epidemiology Jewish General Hospital - Lady Davis Research Institute Montreal Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Testosterone replacement therapy is increasingly being prescribed for the treatment of non-specific symptoms among aging men. However, there are concerns regarding the cardiovascular safety of testosterone replacement therapy in aging men and warnings have been issued by health agencies.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hormone Therapy, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, University of Pennsylvania / 15.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50254" align="alignleft" width="180"]Ravi Jayadevappa, PhD, MS Department of Medicine Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104-2676  Dr. Jayadevappa[/caption] Ravi Jayadevappa, PhD, MS Department of Medicine Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104-2676  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the US, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among men. Research shows that hormone therapy or ADT reduces the levels of male hormones in the body, called androgens, to stop them from stimulating cancer cells to grow., and thus is effective in reducing the spread and progression of prostate cancer. At the same time, some research has suggested that decreasing androgen levels may increase the risk factors for Alzheimer’s and dementia, including loss of lean body mass, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. The ADT therapy may lead to impaired neuron growth and the regeneration of axons, thus affecting the cognitive function. Thus there is growing interest in the possible association between exposure to ADT and cognitive dysfunction. Our study investigates the association between exposure to ADT and subsequent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia in elderly, fee-for-service Medicare enrollees using SEER-Medicare linked databases.
Aging, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Gender Differences, Hormone Therapy, JAMA, Menopause, Weight Research / 05.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50128" align="alignleft" width="144"]Rachel Zsido PhD student Department of Neurology  International Max Planck  Rachel Zsido[/caption] Rachel Zsido PhD student Department of Neurology International Max Planck MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We integrated measures of brain network structure, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), serum estradiol levels, and cognitive performance from 974 participants in order to shed light on potential mechanisms underlying cognitive health. We believe it is imperative to assess sex-specific risk trajectories in brain aging and cognitive decline, especially given the known sex differences in both VAT accumulation patterns and estradiol fluctuations across the lifespan. Thus, we aimed to answer three questions in men and in women: 1) Does visceral adipose tissue exacerbate the association between age and brain network structure, 2) Does estradiol mitigate the negative association between VAT and brain network structure, and 3) What does this imply for healthy cognitive aging in men and women? 
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, OBGYNE / 08.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49026" align="alignleft" width="200"]Prof. Arri Coomarasamy MBChB, MD, FRCOGInstitute of Metabolism and Systems ResearchProfessor of GynaecologyDirector of Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage ResearchUniversity of Birmingham Prof. Coomarasamy[/caption] Prof. Arri Coomarasamy MBChB, MD, FRCOG Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research Professor of Gynaecology Director of Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research University of Birmingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Progesterone hormone is known to be essential to maintain a pregnancy. Researchers and clinicians have debated for over 50 years whether progesterone supplementation in women with early pregnancy bleeding could rescue a pregnancy from miscarrying. There were some clinical studies suggesting progesterone could be useful, but the studies were of poor quality and small, so we could not be certain. So the current study, called the PRISM trial, was conducted using very sound methods and on a large population of women, in fact over 4000 women in the UK, to produce a definitive answer to this question. Overall, there were more babies in the group of women given progesterone compared with the group of women given the dummy placebo tablets, but there was statistical uncertainty in this finding. However, when we looked at the sub-population of women who were at high risk of miscarriage because of not only bleeding in early pregnancy but also having a history of previous miscarriage, we found progesterone was shown to have clear benefit. This is a hugely important finding as there is now a treatment option to women with early pregnancy bleeding and a history of previous miscarriages.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Gender Differences, Social Issues / 18.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Eider Pascual-Sagastizabal, PhD Professor of Evolutionary Psychology and Education University School of Education of Bilbao (Leioa) University of the Basque Country  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The search for markers of aggression during childhood is a particularly relevant area of research, since the results of intervention and prevention during this developmental stage are more promising than those obtained during later stages. The psychobiological approach to aggressive behavior is of particular importance, as it analyzes the joint, interactive influence of both psychological and biological variables. We have found that there are different interactions on a biological and psychological level that could account for aggressive behavior in children. More deeply, empathy and hormones could together account for aggressive behavior. In fact, the interactions were different for boys and for girls. 
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Thyroid Disease / 31.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48168" align="alignleft" width="133"]Terry Davies, MD, ProfessorMedicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone DiseaseIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiCo-Director, The Thyroid Center, Mount Sinai Union Square Dr. Davies[/caption] Terry Davies, MD, Professor Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Co-Director, The Thyroid Center, Mount Sinai Union Square MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The receptor for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is the major antigen for Graves' disease and patients have unique antibodies to the TSHR which stimulate excessive thyroid hormone secretion. We have characterized a variant TSHR called v1.3 which is a splicing variant which we find expressed in thyroid, bone marrow, thymus and adipose tissue and incorporates an intronic sequence which is fully translated. 
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Weight Research / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48208" align="alignleft" width="135"]Liya Kerem, MDFellow, Pediatric Endocrine UnitMassachusetts General Hospital for ChildrenHarvard Medical School Dr. Kerem[/caption] Liya Kerem, MD Fellow, Pediatric Endocrine Unit Massachusetts General Hospital for Children Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The hypothalamic neurohormone Oxytocin (OXT), shown to decrease food intake in animals and humans, is a promising novel treatment for obesity. We previously showed that in men with overweight/obesity, intranasal (IN)OXT reduced the fMRI activation in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the origin of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system, in response to high-calorie food vs non-food visual stimuli. Here, we employed fMRI functional connectivity analysis, which better characterizes the exchange in information between neural systems in a context-dependent manner. We hypothesized that Oxytocin would reduce the functional connectivity of the VTA with food motivation brain areas in response to high-calorie foods. 
Author Interviews, Duke, Endocrinology, Environmental Risks, Thyroid Disease, Weight Research / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48201" align="alignleft" width="128"]Christopher D. Kassotis, Ph.D.NRSA Postdoctoral Research ScholarStapleton LabDuke UniversityNicholas School of the EnvironmentDurham, NC 27708  Dr. Kassotis[/caption] Christopher D. Kassotis, Ph.D. NRSA Postdoctoral Research Scholar Stapleton Lab Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment Durham, NC 27708  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • So this was something that Heather Stapleton had been curious about for years, as she's been one of several researchers characterizing the hundreds of chemicals that have been measured in indoor house dust. Before I came to Duke, one of her PhD students had measured the ability of many common indoor contaminants to activate the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARg). The majority of these chemicals did, often quite well, which led to them testing indoor house dust extracts, also finding that the majority of dust extracts were also able to do so at very low levels. As PPARg is often considered the master regulator of fat cell development, the next obvious question was whether these common contaminants (and house dust) could promote fat cell development in cell models. My first work at Duke evaluated a suite of common indoor contaminants, finding that many of these chemicals could promote fat cell development, and that low levels of house dust extracts did as well.
  • We next explored this more systematically in a group of adults involved in a thyroid cancer cohort (this was just recently published in Science of the Total Environment: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719307715?dgcid=author
  • In this study we evaluated the extent to which house dust extracts could promote fat cell development in a common cell model, and associated this with the metabolic health of adults living in these homes. We found that the greater extent of fat cell development was associated with significantly greater thyroid stimulating hormone concentrations (control residents only, with no evidence of thyroid dysfunction) and lower free triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). We further found a significant and positive association between extent of fat cell development and the body mass index (BMI) of all adults in the study. So this suggested that the indoor environment might play a role in the BMI and metabolic health of residents, and we next wondered if this would be more pronounced in children, who may be exposed to these contaminants during a critical window of development.
  • The next step, for our current work, was to substantiate these effects in a larger group of households, each with children.
  • Our major conclusions thus far have been that ~80% of house dust extracts promote significant fat cell development in a cell model - either via development from precursor cells into mature fat cells, measured via accumulation of lipids into the cells, or via the proliferation of those precursor fat cells. We also reported positive correlations of fat cell development with the concentrations of 70 different contaminants in the dust from these homes, suggesting that mixtures of contaminants are likely all acting weakly to produce these effects in combination. We’ve also begun to assess the other chemicals present in dust - chemistry can be either targeted (measuring concentrations of specific known chemicals in a sample), or non-targeted, where you try and determine the identity of the other chemicals in a sample. This has greater utility for identifying many more chemicals, though you will often not get chemical concentrations from this, nor absolute confirmed identification - just varying degrees of certainty based on evidence. Thus far we report approximately 35,000 chemicals in house dust samples across this study, and differential analyses have begun to pick out the few (less than 10 in each case) chemicals most differentially expressed between samples that exhibit high degrees of fat cell development in the lab vs inactive samples, for example, or which are differentially present in the homes of children categorized as obese or overweight. We are now working to confirm identity of these select contaminants that are more likely to be causative factors in the results we have observed.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Gender Differences, Hormone Therapy / 26.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48102" align="alignleft" width="133"]Joshua Safer, MD, Executive DirectorCenter for Transgender Medicine and SurgeryMount Sinai Health SystemSenior Faculty, Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone DiseaseIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Dr. Safer[/caption] Joshua Safer, MD, Executive Director Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery Mount Sinai Health System Senior Faculty, Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The standard trans feminizing hormone regimen includes estrogen both to suppress testosterone and so that the individual has sufficient circulating sex hormone in the body for good bone health. After orchiectomy, there is no need to suppress testosterone because the levels are very low and it is common to cut the estrogen dose in half.  Cis women with premature ovarian failure often take about 2 mg of estradiol daily so that dose has seemed reasonable for trans women without testes.  However, when my co-author Sira Korpaisarn and I checked estradiol levels and gonadotropins (pituitary hormones, LH and FSH) as a guide to dosing, we found that based on that testing, trans women may require higher doses of estrogens than the 2 mg that we expected.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Genetic Research / 24.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48099" align="alignleft" width="200"]Emily J. Gallagher, MDAssistant Professor of MedicineEndocrinology, Diabetes and Bone DiseaseIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai  Dr. Gallagher[/caption] Emily J. Gallagher, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome Type 2 (MEN2) is an inherited endocrine disorder characterized by the development of pheochromocytoma, medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and parathyroid tumors. It occurs due to activating missense variants in the RET gene. The estimated prevalence of MEN2 is 1 per 30,000 in the general population. Through a collaboration between The Center for Genomic Health, the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, and the Division of Endocrinology at Mount Sinai, our aim was to investigate the prevalence and clinical manifestations of pathogenic RET variants in the multi-ethnic BioMe Biobank. The BioMe Biobank is an electronic health record-linked biobank with exome sequencing data available for more than 30,000 patients recruited across The Mount Sinai Health System.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, BMJ, Hormone Therapy / 07.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47814" align="alignleft" width="142"]Tomi Mikkola MDAssociate ProfessorHelsinki University HospitalDepartment of Obstetrics and GynecologyHelsinki, Finland Dr. Mikkola[/caption] Tomi Mikkola MD Associate Professor Helsinki University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Helsinki, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In Finland we have perhaps the most comprehensive and reliable medical registers in the world. Thus, with my research group I have conducted various large studies evaluating association of postmenopausal hormone therapy use and various major diseases (see e.g. the references in the B;MJ paper). There has been various smaller studies indicating that hormone therapy might be protective for all kinds of dementias, also Alzheimer’s disease. However, we have quite recently shown that hormone therapy seems to lower the mortality risk of vascular dementia but not Alzheimer’s disease (Mikkola TS et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2017;102:870-7). Now in this upcoming BMJ-paper we report in a very large case-control study (83 688 women with Alzheimer’s disease and same number of control women without the disease) that systemic hormone therapy was associated with a 9-17% increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, this risk increase is particularly in women using hormone therapy long, for more than 10 years. This was somewhat surprising finding, but it underlines the fact that mechanisms behind Alzheimer’s disease are likely quite different than in vascular dementia, where the risk factors are similar as in cardiovascular disease. We have also shown how hormone therapy protects against cardiovascular disease, particularly in women who initiate hormone therapy soon after menopause.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Pediatrics / 03.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47745" align="alignleft" width="200"]Yehuda Limony, MD, MScPediatric Endocrinology UnitFaculty of Health SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevClalit Health ServicesBeer-Sheva, Israel  Dr. Limony[/caption] Yehuda Limony, MD, MSc Pediatric Endocrinology Unit Faculty of Health Sciences Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Clalit Health Services Beer-Sheva, Israel  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The variability of the onset age of puberty is the subject of many studies in numerous disciplines; nonetheless, the timing of puberty remains an enigma. The conventional paradigm is that the time of onset of puberty is genetically determined even though genome-wide association studies explain only a very low percentage of the physiologic variability. It is commonly believed, therefore, that many environmental factors interfere with the genetics of timing of puberty. On the other hand, children grow toward an adult height that is the standardized average of parents' height called "target height". That is why children are usually similar in height to parents. This targeted growth process is evident especially in children whose height percentile in childhood is different from their target height percentile (we called this difference the "height gap"). It is known that the timing of puberty is associated with adult height: earlier puberty causes shorter adult height and vice versa. We hypothesized that the targeted process of growth involves adaptation of the age of onset of puberty in accordance with the height gap.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Thyroid, Thyroid Disease / 04.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47320" align="alignleft" width="120"]Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.Sc. Assistant Clinical Investigator/Assistant Professor Metabolic Disease Branch/NIDDK/NIH Bethesda, MD Dr. Klubo-Gwiezdzinska[/caption] Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.Sc. Assistant Clinical Investigator/Assistant Professor Metabolic Disease Branch/NIDDK/NIH Bethesda, MD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: People with intermediate- and high-risk differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) are treated with surgical removal of the thyroid gland and radioactive iodine therapy.  After surgery and initial treatment, the thyroid hormone levothyroxine is used for long-term management not only to replace appropriate physiologic thyroid hormones post-surgery, but also to suppress thyrotropin (TSH) release from the pituitary gland at supraphysiologic doses. The current recommended American Thyroid Association TSH suppression goal in patients with a high-risk differentiated thyroid cancer presenting with distant metastases is less than 0.1mIU/ml, and between 0.1-0.5 mIU/ml for patients with intermediate-risk DTC presenting with local metastases to the neck lymph nodes. This TSH goal is much lower than physiologic TSH level, which ranges between 0.4-4.1 mIU/ml, depending on the measurement method and person’s age. TSH suppression is used because some preclinical evidence suggests that TSH can stimulate growth of cancer cells.  However, several preclinical studies show that thyroid hormones may also stimulate cancer growth. In addition, too much levothyroxine, leading to TSH suppression, may cause side effects such as abnormal heart rhythms and decreased bone mass. In this study, based on a large multicenter database analysis, we found that continuous TSH suppression with levothyroxine was not associated with better progression-free survival and overall survival in patients with either intermediate- and high-risk differentiated thyroid cancer. The patients were followed for an average of 7 years after surgical thyroid cancer removal and radioactive iodine therapy. 
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Thyroid Disease, Vanderbilt / 27.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47159" align="alignleft" width="150"]Joe-Elie Salem, MD, PhD Associate Professor - MCU-PH, Sorbonne Université - INSERM - CIC, Clinical Pharmacology, Cardio-oncology, APHP, La Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France Adjunct Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Cardio-oncology Clinical Pharmacology, Nashville, TN Dr. Salem[/caption] Joe-Elie Salem, MD, PhD Associate Professor - MCU-PH, Sorbonne Université - INSERM - CIC, Clinical Pharmacology, Cardio-oncology, APHP, La Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France Adjunct Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Cardio-oncology Clinical Pharmacology, Nashville, TN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has strengthened the link between thyroid function and atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke and other heart-related complications. They phenome-wide association study scanned the medical records of more than 37,000 people for an association between genetically determined variation in thyroid stimulating hormone levels (a measure of thyroid function) and AF risk. Previous observational studies have found that subclinical hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid which does not meet the clinical threshold for diagnosis or treatment, nevertheless can increase the risk of atrial fibrillation.  But whether to treat subclinical hypo- or hyperthyroidism to reduce AF risk remains a matter of debate in the medical community. 
Author Interviews, BMJ, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Hormone Therapy, Menopause, Thromboembolism / 11.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46894" align="alignleft" width="120"]Yana Vinogradova, PhD Research Fellow Department of Primary Care School of Medicine University of Nottingham University Park, Nottingham Dr. Vinogradova[/caption] Yana Vinogradova, PhD Research Fellow Department of Primary Care School of Medicine University of Nottingham University Park, Nottingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The study targeted middle age women going through menopause.  This is the stage of life when women naturally reach the end of their reproductive life and their hormones gradually decrease.  Some women experience unpleasant effects such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, memory and concentration loss, headaches.  Quality of life may be severely affected.  Hormone replacement therapy uses a class of drugs, which, like all drugs, have side effects.   VTE is a serious side effect which can have a lethal outcome. There are different preparations of hormones available for such women.  Some of them were extensively studied in a large American Trial Women’s Health Initiative and showed the risk of VTE to be twice as high for women who took them.  However, these well-studied drugs are mostly prescribed in America.  The more popular drugs in Europe and the UK have been much less studied, so it was unclear how they compared. 
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Testosterone / 16.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45941" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Andreas Walther Dr. Walther[/caption] Dr. Andreas Walther PhD Department of Biological Psychology, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland Task Force on Men’s Mental Health of the World Federation of the Societies of Biological Psychiatry MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study situation with regard to endogenous testosterone level and depressive symptoms in men is currently very mixed. There are studies that show no association, but other studies show that low testosterone levels are associated with increased depressive symptoms. That is why several studies have tried to administer testosterone in men to treat depressive symptomatology among other conditions (e.g. erectile dysfunction, cognitive decline). However, no clear conclusions could be drawn from the studies to date, as some studies reported positive results, while others did not show any effects. Likewise, some studies showed better results in certain subgroups of men such as dysthymic men, treatment resistant, men with low testosterone, which raised the question of relevant moderators.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Endocrinology, Prostate Cancer / 14.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45946" align="alignleft" width="200"]Diagram_showing_prostate_cancer_that_has_spread_to_the_bones_CRUK_183.svg.png Prostate cancer that has metastasized to the bone: Wikipedia Image[/caption] Vincenza Conteduca, MD, PhD Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) Srl - IRCCS Meldola , Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In our previous publications, we showed that the study of plasma cell-free DNA holds promise for improving treatment choice in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Specifically, we demonstrated that the detection in plasma of aberrations (copy number alterations and/or point somatic mutations) of androgen receptor (AR), using an easy and robust multiplex droplet digital PCR method, predicted an adverse outcome in mCRPC patients treated with second-generation AR-directed therapies (abiraterone or enzalutamide) in both settings: chemotherapy-naïve and post-docetaxel. This current multi-institution work builds on our previous discoveries. We investigated the association of androgen receptor status and survival in men treated with docetaxel. Moreover, we performed an exploratory analysis in patients treated with docetaxel or AR-directed therapies as first-line therapy. Interestingly, we observed that plasma AR-gained patients do not have a worse outcome compared to AR-normal patients when treated with docetaxel as first-line therapy. This introduces the opportunity to use plasma to select for docetaxel in preference to androgen receptor-directed therapies in AR gained mCRPC patients.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Endocrinology, JCEM, OBGYNE, Yale / 25.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45459" align="alignleft" width="150"]Valerie A. Flores, MD Clinical Instructor Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences Yale School of Medicine - Yale New Haven Hospital Dr. Flores[/caption] Valerie A. Flores, MD Clinical Instructor Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences Yale School of Medicine - Yale New Haven Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Endometriosis is a debilitating gynecologic disease that affects 1 in 10 reproductive-aged women, causing pain and infertility.  It is a hormonally dependent disorder— estrogens promote growth of endometriosis, while progesterone inhibits estrogen-dependent proliferation. Although progestin-based therapies (including combined oral contraceptives) are first-line therapy in the management of endometriosis-associated pain, response to progestins is variable and currently unpredictable.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, OBGYNE, Smoking / 24.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nis Brix M.D., PhD Student Department of Public Health Department of Epidemiology Aarhus University Hospital Nis Brix M.D., PhD Student Department of Public Health Department of Epidemiology Aarhus University Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Several studies have indicated a secular trend towards earlier puberty. This is a potential concern as early puberty has been linked to an increased risk of a number of diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. For this reason, our research team are interested in identifying potential modifiable causes of early puberty. Smoking during pregnancy may be such a modifiable cause of early puberty in the children. Former studies have already linked smoking during pregnancy to earlier age at the daughters’ first menstrual period, a relatively late marker of pubertal development, but other markers of puberty are less studied, especially in the sons. We studied 15,819 sons and daughters. The mothers gave detailed information on smoking during their pregnancies, and the children gave information on a number of pubertal milestones half-yearly from the age of 11 years. The milestones for the sons were age at voice break, first ejaculation of semen, pubic hair and testicular growth, armpit hair growth and onset of acne. For the daughters the milestones were age at their first menstrual period, pubic hair growth, breast development, armpit hair growth and onset of acne. Our results suggested that the more cigarettes the mother smoked during her pregnancy the earlier her children, both sons and daughters, went through puberty. If the mother smoked more than ten cigarettes a day during pregnancy, the children appeared to go through puberty, on average, three to six months earlier than the children of non-smoking mothers.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Fertility, OBGYNE / 05.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ernest Loumaye, MD, PhD Co-Founder and CEO ObsEva SA   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? How does Nolasiban work to decrease contractions and improve uterine blood flow? Response: The WHO has recognized infertility as a global health issue, and many couples undergo IVF treatment: there are more than 700,000 annual IVF treatment cycles in Europe and more than 200,000 in the U.S. However, more than 50% of IVF procedures do not result in pregnancy, and failure has tremendous emotional and financial costs to patients.  ObsEva is dedicated to improving fertility outcomes in IVF while also supporting the use of single embryo transfer to minimize multiple births that are associated with significant health risks to mother and baby, as well as significant health costs from premature delivery. Nolasiban works by blocking the hormone oxytocin, which is known to induce uterine contractions.  Nolasiban reduces uterine contractions and could improve uterine blood flow, both effects being favourable for the embryo to properly implant.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, JAMA, Thyroid Disease / 02.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: thyroid-gland-wikipediaDr. med. Martin Feller, MSc Epidemiology (LSHTM) FMH Allgemeine Innere Medizin & Prävention und Gesundheitswesen Scientific Research Coordinator INSELSPITAL, Universitätsspital Bern Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für Allgemeine Innere Medizin (RodondiResearch) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: SUBCLINICAL HYPOTHYROIDISM IS VERY COMMON, WITH AN ESTIMATED 13 MILLION AMERICANS AFFECTED. SUBCLINICAL HYPOTHYROIDISM IS OFTEN TREATED WITH LEVOTHYROXINE, PARTICULARLY WHEN IT CO-OCCURS WITH SYMPTOMS POTENTIALLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO HYPOTHYROIDISM SUCH AS TIREDNESS, CONSTIPATION, AND UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT GAIN. THIS PRACTICE MAY CONTRIBUTE TO LEVOTHYROXINE BEING THE MOST PRESCRIBED DRUG FROM 2014 ONWARDS IN THE US. HOWEVER, IN OUR META-ANALYSIS OF 21 RANDOMIZED CLINICAL TRIALS, WE OBSERVED NO BENEFIT OF LEVOTHYROXINE THERAPY (COMPARED TO PLACEBO) REGARDING GENERAL QUALITY OF LIFE, THYROID-RELATED SYMPTOMS, DEPPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS, FATIGUE, COGNITIVE FUNCTION, BLOOD PRESSURE OR BODY-MASS INDEX. 
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44732" align="alignleft" width="133"]Julie Flom, MD MPH Clinical Fellow Division of Allergy & Immunology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Dr. Flom[/caption] Julie Flom, MD MPH Clinical Fellow Division of Allergy & Immunology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Women who are minorities and of lower socioeconomic have particularly high rates of exposure to chronic ongoing adversity such as poverty as well as traumatic stressors in their lifetime and are also more likely to have low birthweight infants.  Not all women exposed to chronic adversity or trauma transfer this risk to the next generation – it is primarily when the trauma results in changes in her bodies’ ability to handle ongoing stress that the developing child can be impacted. Our group undertook a study to investigate whether women with increased exposure to traumatic stressors over her lifetime were at higher risk of having low birthweight infants and also whether effects of trauma would only be evident among women who produced higher levels of cortisol, the major stress response hormone, while pregnant.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, UCLA / 22.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44624" align="alignleft" width="200"]Amar U. Kishan, MD Assistant Professor Department of Radiation Oncology University of California, Los Angeles Dr. Kishan[/caption] Amar U. Kishan, MD Assistant Professor Department of Radiation Oncology University of California, Los Angeles MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Three large randomized trials demonstrated an overall survival (OS) benefit when androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is combined with radiotherapy (RT) for high-risk prostate cancer (PCa). The duration of ADT in these seminal studies ranged from six months to lifelong. Because ADT has multiple attendant adverse effects--including bone loss, altered metabolism, diminished muscle mass, gynecomastia, hot flashes, and possibly increased cardiovascular events--shortening the duration of ADT without compromising oncologic effectiveness has been an area of active study. Five trials have compared various durations of ADT, reaching conflicting conclusions with respect to overall survival outcomes, with some suggesting an improvement with longer durations of ADT and others failing to show a uniform survival benefit. Most of these trials have amalgamated Gleason grade group 4 (Gleason score 8) PCa with Gleason grade group (GG) 5 (Gleason score 9-10) PCa. Emerging data indicate that GS 9-10 PCa constitutes a distinct subset of high-risk PCa with inferior outcomes and earlier progression than GS 8 disease. With the knowledge that GS 9-10 PCas constitute a distinct, more aggressive form of PCa, one might hypothesize that longer durations of ADT may be more advantageous in both augmenting local control and controlling potential micrometastatic disease. Alternatively, as GS 9-10 lesions by definition contain highly de-differentiated Gleason pattern 5 disease foci and may proceed to a castrate-resistant state more rapidly, one may also hypothesize that GS 9-10 lesions are less responsive to ADT, and longer durations may be counter-productive. In order to identify differences in the impact of ADT duration on clinical outcomes of patients with GG 4 and GG 5 PCa, we performed an individual patient-level meta-analysis of six randomized trials. Our working hypothesis was that longer durations of ADT would offer significant survival benefits in both groups.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Pediatrics, Thyroid Disease / 17.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44492" align="alignleft" width="150"]Carrie Breton ScD Associate Professor and Director of the MADRES Center  Division of Environmental Health Los Angeles, CA 90032 Dr. Breton[/caption] Carrie Breton ScD Associate Professor and Director of the MADRES Center Division of Environmental Health Los Angeles, CA 90032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I am interested in how the environment can influence our very early development, starting in the womb. I have studied the health effects of air pollutants on children for several years and wanted to focus now on the earliest windows of susceptibility.  Thyroid hormones play a critical role in fetal growth and development. We knew we could get information on newborn thyroid levels from the California Department of Public Health’s newborn screening program therefore look at this question in our study population. We found that exposure to high levels of PM2.5 and PM10 throughout most of pregnancy affected TT4 levels in newborns.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Kaiser Permanente, Menopause, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 30.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44211" align="alignleft" width="150"]Allison L. Naleway, PhD Senior Investigator Associate Director, Science Programs Center for Health Research Kaiser Permanente Dr. Naleway[/caption] Allison L. Naleway, PhD Senior Investigator Associate Director, Science Programs Center for Health Research Kaiser Permanente MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Reports of premature menopause after human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination have received a lot of media attention, including on social media, but these reports were based on a small number of isolated cases. Large studies have demonstrated the safety of HPV vaccination, but parental safety concerns—including potential impact on future fertility—are often cited as one reason for lower HPV coverage. Rates of HPV vaccination have lagged behind coverage rates for other recommended adolescent vaccinations, such as tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis and meningococcal conjugate. (Based on national coverage estimates from 2016, 65% of 13–17 year-old females received at least one HPV vaccination and only 49.5% were up to date with the series, compared to about 88% of adolescents who received Tdap.) We conducted a study of nearly 200,000 young women to determine whether there was any elevated risk of primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) after HPV or other recommended vaccinations. 
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, NEJM / 01.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43641" align="alignleft" width="196"]Prof. Dr. Mirjam Christ-Crain Professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism Heads the Department of Clinical Research University and University Hospital of Basel  Prof. Christ-Crain[/caption] Prof. Dr. Mirjam Christ-Crain Professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism Heads the Department of Clinical Research University and University Hospital of Basel   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by Diabetes Insipidus? Response: Drinking more than three litres per day with the equivalent increase in urination is regarded as too much. This drinking by the liter – known as “polyuria polydipsia syndrome" – usually develops over time through habit, or can be a side effect of a mental illness. In rare cases, however, it may be caused by diabetes insipidus. This is when the pituitary gland lacks the hormone vasopressin, which regulates the water and salt content in our body. Patients have a decreased ability to concentrate the urine, therefore lose a lot of fluid and have to increase their fluid intake accordingly to prevent dehydration (= Diabetes insipidus). The distinction between what is considered a "harmless" primary polydipsia and a diabetes insipidus is crucial, as their therapy is fundamentally different. Diabetes insipidus must be treated with the hormone vasopressin, while patients with primary polydipsia require behavioural therapy to reduce their habitual drinking. A wrong therapy can have life-threatening consequences as treatment with vasopressin without indication can lead to water intoxication.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Testosterone / 19.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43285" align="alignleft" width="128"]Traver Wright, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor Department of Health and Kinesiology Texas A&M University College Station, TX Dr. Wright[/caption] Traver Wright, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor Department of Health and Kinesiology Texas A&M University College Station, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Many cancer patients suffer from a loss of body mass known as cachexia which results in not only a loss of fat, but a debilitating loss of muscle mass and function. This cachexia negatively impacts patient mobility and quality of life, and can also reduce their eligibility to undergo treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.  Despite the profound negative consequences of cachexia, there are no established therapies to directly address this debilitating loss of body mass during treatment. In this National Cancer Institute funded double-blind, placebo-controlled study we examined the effectiveness of 7 weeks of treatment with the muscle-building hormone testosterone to preserve the body condition of men and women with cervical or head and neck cancer.  Twenty-one patients received weekly injections of either placebo or testosterone.  Over the 7 weeks of treatment, patients were monitored for changes in body composition, activity level, physical ability, and questionnaires regarding quality of life and well-being.