Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Thyroid Disease / 09.04.2017 Interview with: Arjola Bano, MD, DSc PhD candidate Departments of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Atherosclerosis is a chronic condition, characterized by the accumulation of lipids and fibrous elements in the arterial walls. It can progress insidiously from an asymptomatic narrowing of the arterial lumen (subclinical phase) to the clinical onset of vascular events (as coronary heart disease or stroke) and death. Despite advances in prevention and treatment, atherosclerotic diseases remain a leading cause of mortality worldwide. Therefore, identifying additional modifiable risk factors for atherosclerosis is of major importance. So far, the role of thyroid hormone on atherosclerosis remains unclear. Moreover, a comprehensive investigation exploring the link of thyroid function with the wide spectrum of atherosclerosis, including subclinical atherosclerosis, clinical atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic mortality, within the same population is lacking. Therefore, in a prospective study of 9231 middle-aged and elderly people, we explored the association of thyroid function with subclinical atherosclerosis (coronary artery calcification), atherosclerotic events (fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease or stroke) and atherosclerotic mortality (death from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular or other atherosclerotic disease). Higher free thyroxine (FT4) levels were associated with higher risk of subclinical atherosclerosis, atherosclerotic events and atherosclerotic mortality, independently of cardiovascular risk factors. The risk of atherosclerotic mortality increased with higher FT4 levels (HR; CI: 2.35; 1.61-3.41 per 1 ng/dl) and lower thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels (HR; CI: 0.92; 0.84-1.00 per 1 logTSH), with stronger estimates among participants with a history of atherosclerotic disease (HR; CI: 5.76; 2.79-11.89 for FT4 and 0.81; 0.69-0.95 for TSH). (more…)
Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer / 04.04.2017 Interview with Dr. Alice Levine MD Professor, Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease Associate Professsor ,Oncological Sciences Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai What is the background for this study? Response: Prostate cancer (PCa) bone metastases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. This cancer is unique in its tendency to produce osteoblastic (OB) bone metastases, which affects 90% of men with PCa bone metastases, compared to others that produce osteolytic bone metastases. Currently, there are no existing therapies that specifically target the OB phase and no effective therapies for PCa bone metastases that prolong survival. We have identified a secretory protein that promotes the development PCa osteoblastic bone metastases, Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP). Prostatic epithelial cells produce PAP. The physiologic function of PAP is unknown. It was the first human tumor marker ever described. Patients with PCa bone metastases demonstrated high levels of PAP. PAP is expressed by PCa cells in OB metastases and increases OB growth, differentiation, and bone mineralization. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Thyroid, Thyroid Disease / 02.04.2017 Interview with: Julie Sosa, MD MA FACS Professor of Surgery and Medicine Chief, Section of Endocrine Surgery Director, Surgical Center for Outcomes Research Leader, Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases Group Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Clinical Research Institute Durham, NC 2771 What is the background for this study? Response: The incidence of thyroid cancer has dramatically increased world-wide over the last several decades. In the United States, thyroid cancer is the fastest increasing cancer among women and men. This observation has been almost exclusively the result of an epidemic of papillary thyroid cancer, or PTC, which now comprises approximately 90% of new cases. The use of flame retardant chemicals, or Flame Retardant Chemicals, also increased over the last several decades due to the implementation of mandatory and voluntary flammability standards for furniture, electronics, and construction materials. Over time, FRs come out of these products and accumulate in indoor environments where humans are exposed. Animal studies suggest that FRs can disrupt thyroid function, and many contribute to cancer risk. But many human health endpoints have not been investigated. Our work was aimed at investigating whether exposure to Flame Retardant Chemicals could be associated with PTC. To address our research question, we recruited 140 adults, 70 with PTC and 70 who were healthy volunteers without evidence for thyroid cancer or thyroid disease. Then we visited participants’ homes and collected dust samples, a metric that we have previously shown is an indicator of long-term exposure to Flame Retardant Chemicals in the home. (more…)