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Written by Kathleen Doheny with Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, and Vivien Herman-Bonert, MD

Cushing's disease, an uncommon but hard to treat endocrine disorder, occurs when a tumor on the pituitary gland, called an adenoma—that is almost always benign—leads to an overproduction of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), which is responsible for stimulating the release of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.

Until now, surgery to remove the non-cancerous but problematic tumor has been the only effective treatment. Still, many patients will require medication to help control their serum cortisol levels, and others cannot have surgery or would prefer to avoid it.

Finally, a drug proves effective as added on or alternative to surgery in managing Cushing's disease. Photo; 123rf

New Drug Offers Alternative to Surgery for Cushing's Disease

Now, there is good news about long-term positive results achieved with pasireotide (Signifor)—the first medication to demonstrate effectiveness in both normalizing serum cortisol levels and either shrinking or slowing growth of tumors over the long term.1,2  These findings appear in the journal, Clinical Endocrinology, showing that patients followed for 36 months as part of an ongoing study had improved patient outcomes for Cushing’s disease.2
"What we knew before this extension study was—the drug will work in approximately half of the patients with mild Cushing's disease," says study author Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, director of the Northwest Pituitary Center and professor of neurological surgery and medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and clinical nutrition at the Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Medicine.

“Pasireotide also offers good clinical benefits," says Dr. Fleseriu who is also the president of the Pituitary Society, “which includes improvements in blood pressure, other signs and symptoms of Cushing’s symptom], and quality of life.”2
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Please let us know if you see this endo and if he is helpful or not - thanks!

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter

272 Garrison Drive

Murfreesboro, TN 37129

615-893-4480

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter is committed to meeting the needs of Rutherford County's growing community. In addition to adding two new locations in 2019, MMC will be adding five new doctors to its team of physicians.


The physicians joining MMC this fall are: Christopher Albergo, M.D. (Endocrinology), Lauren Blackwell, D.O. (Pediatrics), C. Brad Bledsoe, M.D. (Dermatology), Britni Caplin, M.D. (ENT), and Brittany Cook, M.D. (Ophthalmology).


"With a national shortage of physicians, it is becoming more and more challenging to find quality physicians to meet the growing healthcare needs of our community," noted Joey Peay, MMC's Chief Executive Officer. "For MMC to find five quality physicians to join us in 2019 in addition to the nine that began practicing at MMC in 2018 is truly remarkable! Each of them will be a valuable member of our medical team and a wonderful member of the Murfreesboro community."


Christopher Albergo, M.D. is a board-certified Endocrinologist skilled in general endocrinology, including Hypothyroid, Parathyroid, Thyroid Cancer, Graves' Disease, Pituitary disorders, Adrenal disorders, Hypogonadism , PCOS, Obesity, Diabetes and Osteoporosis.


Read about all the new doctors here: https://www.wgnsradio.com/murfreesboro-medical-clinic-surgicenter-is-proud-to-announce-the-addition-of-five-new-physicians-to-its-practice-in-2019--cms-53464
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In patients with Cushing’s disease, removing the pituitary tumor via an endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) leads to better remission rates than microscopic TSS, according to new research.

But regardless of surgical approach, plasma cortisol levels one day after surgery are predictive of remission, researchers found.

The study, “Management of Cushing’s disease: Changing trend from microscopic to endoscopic surgery,” was published in the journal World Neurosurgery.

Because it improves visualization and accessibility, endoscopic TSS has been gaining popularity over microscopic TSS to remove pituitary tumors in Cushing’s disease patients. Yet, although this surgery has been associated with high remission rates, whether it outperforms microscopic surgery and determining the factors affecting long-term outcomes may further ease disease recurrence after TSS.

A team with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences addressed this topic in 104 patients who underwent surgery from January 2009 to June 2017. Among these patients, 47 underwent microscopic surgery and 55 endoscopic surgery. At presentation, their ages ranged from 9 to 55 (mean age of 28). Also, patients had been experiencing Cushing’s symptoms over a mean duration of 24 months.

Eighty-seven patients showed weight gain. Hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes mellitus were among the most common co-morbidities, found in 76 and 33 patients, respectively. Nineteen patients had osteoporosis and 12 osteopenia, which refers to lower-than-normal bone mineral density.

As assessed with magnetic resonance imaging, 68 patients had a microadenoma (a tumor diameter smaller than one centimeter) and 27 had a macroadenoma (a tumor one centimeter or larger). Only two patients had an invasive pituitary adenoma.

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So do we need to get our bones checked too?

https://www.sciencealert.com/our-bones-provide-our-bodies-with-a-secret-weapon-that-saves-us-in-times-of-danger

Bizarre Discovery Shows Your Bones Could Be Triggering The 'Fight-or-Flight' Response

 




MIKE MCRAE



13 SEP 2019










When faced with a threat, hormones flood our bodies in preparation either for battle or a quick escape - what's commonly known as the 'fight-or-flight' response.

For decades, we've generally thought this response was driven by hormones such as adrenaline. But it now seems that one of the most important of these messengers could come from a rather unexpected place – our skeleton.

 



We usually think of chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline as the things that get the heart racing and muscles pumping. But the real star player could actually be osteocalcin, a calcium-binding protein produced by our bones.

As a response to acute stress, steroids of the glucocorticoid variety are released by the body's endocrine system, where they manage the production of a cascade of other 'get ready to rumble' chemicals throughout various tissues.

Researchers from the US, the UK, and India argue there's one tiny problem with this explanation of the fight-or-flight reaction. It isn't exactly fast.

While nobody is disputing that our bodies produce cortisol when stressed, the fact their main action is to trigger cells into transcribing specific genes – a process that takes time – makes it an unlikely candidate for a rapid physiological response.

"Although this certainly does not rule out that glucocorticoid hormones may be implicated in some capacity in the acute stress response, it suggests the possibility that other hormones, possibly peptide ones, could be involved," says geneticist Gerard Karsenty of Columbia University.

 


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Presented by

Andrew Lin, MD
Neuro-Oncologist & Neurologist
Memorial Sloak Kettering Cancer Center
 



After registering you will receive a confirmation email with details about joining the webinar.

Contact us at webinar@pituitary.org with any questions or suggestions.
 

Date: September 18, 2019 
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM. Pacific Daylight Time, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Learning Objectives:

During the conversation I will be:
1) Defining aggressive pituitary tumors.
2) Reviewing the current treatment options for aggressive pituitary tumors.
3) Discussing experimental treatment options including a phase II trial investigating the activity of the immunotherapies nivolumab and ipilimumab.

Presenter Biography:

I am a neuro-oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and a member of the Multidisciplinary Pituitary & Skull Base Tumor Center. In collaboration with my colleagues in endocrine, neurosurgery, and radiation oncology, I treat patients with aggressive pituitary tumors, who are resistant to conventional treatments (i.e. surgery and radiation), with chemotherapy. With my colleagues at MSK, I have published several research articles on pituitary tumors and opened several clinical trials.
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For patients with persistent or recurring Cushing’s disease, monthly pasireotide therapy was safe and effective, leading to normal urinary free cortisol levels in 47% of patients after 2 years, according to findings published in Clinical Endocrinology.

Maria Fleseriu




“The management of Cushing’s syndrome, and particularly Cushing’s disease, remains challenging,” Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, professor of neurological surgery and professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and clinical nutrition in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University and director of the OHSU Northwest Pituitary Center, told Endocrine Today. “Long-acting pasireotide provided sustained biochemical improvements and clinical benefit in a significant proportion of patients with Cushing’s disease who elected to continue in this extension study. There were many adverse events reported overall, but no new safety signals emerging over long-term treatment.”

 



In the last decade, medical treatment for Cushing’s disease has progressed from a few steroidogenesis inhibitors to three novel drug groups: new inhibitors for steroidogenic enzymes with possibly fewer adverse effects, pituitary-directed drugs that aim to inhibit the pathophysiological pathways of Cushing’s disease, and glucocorticoid receptor antagonists that block cortisol’s action, Fleseriu, who is also an Endocrine Today Editorial Board member, said.
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To report our management of bilateral adrenalectomy with autologous adrenal gland transplantation for persistent Cushing's disease, and to discuss the feasibility of autologous adrenal transplantation for the treatment of refractory Cushing's disease.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

A retrospective analysis was performed in 4 patients (3 females, aged 14-36 years) who underwent autologous adrenal transplantation for persistent Cushing's disease after endonasal transsphenoidal resection of a pituitary tumor. The procedure was performed by implanting a vascularized adrenal graft into the left iliac fossa with direct and indirect anastomoses. Postoperative follow-up was performed in 1, 1.5, 8, and 10 years, and an over 8-year long-term follow-up was reached in 2 out of the 4 cases. Hormone replacement dosage was guided by clinical symptoms and endocrine results including serum cortisol (F), 24 h urine-free cortisol, and adrenocorticotrophic hormone levels.

RESULTS:

All 4 patients with symptomatic Cushing's disease experienced resolution of symptoms after autotransplantation without Nelson Syndrome. Functional autografts were confirmed through clinical evaluation and endocrine results. One year after transplantation, adrenal function and hormone replacement dosage remained stable without adrenal hyperplasia. After long-term follow-up, dosages of hormone replacement were reduced in all patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this series of 4 patients, we demonstrate the long-term efficacy of bilateral adrenalectomy with autologous adrenal transplantation and propose this procedure as a viable treatment option for refractory Cushing's disease.

© 2019 S. Karger AG, Basel.

KEYWORDS:

Cortisol; Adrenalectomy; Autologous adrenal gland transplantation ; Cushing’s disease; Nelson syndrome


PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31434089
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MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated (NASDAQ: CORT) announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for a patent covering the administration of Korlym® with food.  The patent will expire in November 2032.

“This patent covers an important finding of our research – that for optimal effect, Korlym must be taken with food,” said Joseph K. Belanoff, MD, Corcept’s Chief Executive Officer. “Korlym’s label instructs doctors that ‘Korlym must always be taken with a meal.’”

Upon issuance, Corcept plans to list the patent, entitled “Optimizing Mifepristone Absorption” (U.S. Pat. App. 13/677,465), in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (the “Orange Book”).  Korlym is currently protected by ten patents listed in the Orange Book.

Hypercortisolism

Hypercortisolism, often referred to as Cushing’s syndrome, is caused by excessive activity of the hormone cortisol. Endogenous Cushing’s syndrome is an orphan disease that most often affects adults aged 20-50. In the United States, an estimated 20,000 patients have Cushing’s syndrome, with about 3,000 new patients diagnosed each year. Symptoms vary, but most people with Cushing’s syndrome experience one or more of the following manifestations: high blood sugar, diabetes, high blood pressure, upper-body obesity, rounded face, increased fat around the neck, thinning arms and legs, severe fatigue and weak muscles. Irritability, anxiety, cognitive disturbances and depression are also common. Hypercortisolism can affect every organ system in the body and can be lethal if not treated effectively.
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Levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in circulation after pituitary surgery may help predict which Cushing’s disease patients will achieve early remission and which will eventually see the disease return, a study shows.

Also, the earlier that patients reached their lowest peak of ACTH levels, the better their long-term outcomes.

The study, “Prognostic usefulness of ACTH in the postoperative period of Cushing’s disease,” was published in the journal Endocrine Connections.

Removing the pituitary tumor through a minimally invasive surgery called transsphenoidal surgery is still the treatment of choice for Cushing’s disease patients. But not all patients enter remission, and even among those who do, a small proportion will experience disease recurrence.

While cortisol levels have been suggested as a main predictor of remission and recurrence, there is no consensus as to which cutoff point should be used after surgery, or the best time for measuring this hormone.

Because Cushing’s disease is caused by an ACTH-producing tumor in the pituitary gland, and ACTH has a short half-life (approximately 10 minutes), it is expected that ACTH levels drop markedly within a few hours after surgery.

Thus, a group of researchers in Spain aimed to determine whether blood levels of ACTH could be useful for predicting remission of Cushing’s disease both immediately after surgery (defined as less than 72 hours) and in the long term.

Researchers analyzed 65 patients with Cushing’s disease who had undergone transsphenoidal surgery (seven required a second intervention) between 2005 and 2016. Remission within three months was seen in 56 of 65 cases; late disease recurrence was seen in 18 of 58 cases.

Investigators measured the ACTH nadir concentration (defined as the lowest concentration) and the time taken to reach nadir levels after surgery, as well as the plasma ACTH concentration before hospital discharge.
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Purpose: Cushing’s syndrome is characterized by metabolic disturbances including insulin resistance. Mitochondrial dysfunction is one pathogenic factor in the development of insulin resistance in patients with obesity. We explored whether mitochondrial dysfunction correlates with insulin resistance and other metabolic complications.

Patients and methods: We investigated the changes of mRNA expression of genes encoding selected subunits of oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS), pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) and citrate synthase (CS) in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SCAT) and peripheral monocytes (PM) and mitochondrial enzyme activity in platelets of 24 patients with active Cushing’s syndrome and in 9 of them after successful treatment and 22 healthy control subjects.

Results: Patients with active Cushing’s syndrome had significantly increased body mass index (BMI), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and serum lipids relative to the control group. The expression of all investigated genes for selected mitochondrial proteins was decreased in SCAT in patients with active Cushing’s syndrome and remained decreased after successful treatment. The expression of most tested genes in SCAT correlated inversely with BMI and HOMA-IR. The expression of genes encoding selected OXPHOS subunits and CS was increased in PM in patients with active Cushing’s syndrome with a tendency to decrease toward normal levels after cure. Patients with active Cushing’s syndrome showed increased enzyme activity of complex I (NQR) in platelets.

Conclusion: Mitochondrial function in SCAT in patients with Cushing’s syndrome is impaired and only slightly affected by its treatment which may reflect ongoing metabolic disturbances even after successful treatment of Cushing’s syndrome.

Keywords: Cushing’s syndrome, insulin resistance, mitochondrial enzyme activity, gene expression
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Presented by

Nathan T Zwagerman MD
Director of Pituitary and Skull base surgery
Department of Neurosurgery
Medical College of Wisconsin
 



After registering you will receive a confirmation email with details about joining the webinar. 

Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time


Webinar Description:

Learning Objectives:

Describe the signs and symptoms of Cushing's Disease


Describe the work up for patients with Cushing's Disease


Understand the goals, risks, and expected outcomes for treatment


Describe alternative treatments when surgery is not curative.



Presenter Bio:

Dr. Zwagerman is a Professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He did his undergraduate work in psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned his medical degree at Wayne State University in Detroit. He did his fellowship in endoscopic and open cranial base surgery, and then his residency in neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
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Recovery of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis can occur as late as 12 months after transsphenoidal adenomectomy (TSA), according to study results published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. These findings emphasize the need to periodically assess these patients to avoid unnecessary hydrocortisone replacement.

The primary treatment for most pituitary lesions is TSA. After pituitary surgery, the recovery of pituitary hormone deficits may be delayed; limited data are available regarding the postsurgical recovery of hormonal axes or predictors of recovery. The goal of this study was to assess HPA axis dysfunction and predictive markers of recovery following TSA, as well as time to recovery, to identify subgroups of patients who may be more likely to recover.

This single-center observational retrospective study enrolled 109 patients in the United Kingdom (71 men; mean age, 56 years; range, 17 to 82 years) who underwent TSA between February 2015 and September 2018 and had ≥1 reevaluation of the HPA axis with the short Synacthen (cosyntropin) test. The primary outcome was recovery of HPA axis function 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 9 to 12 months after TSA.

In 23 patients (21.1%), there was no evidence of pituitary hormone deficit before TSA. In 44 patients (40.4%), there was 1 hormone deficiency and in 25 patients (22.9%), preoperative evaluation showed >1 hormone deficiency.

Of the 23 patients with abnormal HPA function before surgery, 8 patients (34.8%) had recovered 6 weeks after the surgery. Patients who recovered were younger (mean age, 50±14 vs 70±9 years; P =.008) compared with patients who did not respond. Of the 15 remaining patients, 2 (13.3%) recovered at 3 months and 3 (20%) recovered at 9 to 12 months...
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**REGISTER NOW!**

Saturday, Sept 14, 2019

7:30am – 4:00pm

Please join the Pituitary Network Association and The Ohio State University for a Pituitary Patient Symposium featuring a series of pituitary and hormonal patient education sessions presented by some of the top physicians of pituitary and hormonal medicine. The symposium faculty will share the most up-to-date information and be available to answer your most pressing questions.

Keynote Speaker: Maria Fleseriu, MD FACE

**We are offering a limited number of registration only scholarships. Register today to claim your scholarship!**

Please email carol@pituitary.org to register!


*This registration is for the Patient Symposium only. The Ohio State University is offering a CME Course separate from our Symposium. For information on the CME course go to ccme.osu.edu
 

OSU Pituitary Symposium Agenda
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019
Patient and Family Track
Gabbe Conference Room – James L045
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Dr. Theodore Friedman hosts Gautam Mehta, MD for a fascinating webinar on Approaches for Pituitary Surgery


Dr. Mehta is a neurosurgeon specializing in pituitary surgery at the House Clinic in Los Angeles. He was trained by Ian McCutcheon, MD and Ed Oldfield, MD
 
Topics to be discussed include:
• How does Dr. Friedman diagnose Cushing’s Disease
• How does Dr. Friedman determine who goes to surgery?
• What type of patients need surgery besides those with Cushing’s Disease?
• How do the neurosurgeon and the Endocrinologist work together?
• How does the neurosurgeon read pituitary MRIs?
• What types of surgical approaches are used for pituitary surgery?
• How long does surgery take and how long will a patient be in the hospital? 
• What are the risks of pituitary surgery and how can they be minimized?
 
Sunday • August 4 • 6 PM PDT


Click here to start your meeting.

or
https://axisconciergemeetings.webex.com/axisconciergemeetings/j.php?MTID=ma1d8d5ef99605e305980e2f7cdfdb7bd
OR
Join by phone: (855) 797-9485<br clear="ALL">
Meeting Number (Access Code): 807 028 597 Your phone/computer will be muted on entry. 
Slides will be available on the day of the talk at slides 
There will be plenty of time for questions using the chat button. Meeting Password: hormones
For more information, email us at mail@goodhormonehealth.com
 
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It's unbelievable but the idea for Cushing's Help and Support arrived 18 years ago late last night. I was talking with my dear friend Alice, who ran a wonderful menopause site called Power Surge, wondering why there weren't many support groups online (OR off!) for Cushing's and I wondered if I could start one myself and we decided that I could.

Thanks to a now-defunct Microsoft program called FrontPage, the first one9page "website" (http://www.cushings-help.com) first went "live" July 21, 2000 and the message boards September 30, 2000.

All our Cushing’s-related sites:

Addison’s Help


Addison’s Help (Blog)


Addison’s knol


Adrenal Crisis (Facebook)


Adrenal Insufficiency Virginia (Facebook)


Cushing’s and Addison’s Documents


Cushing’s Help Message Boards


Cushie Blogger, mostly used for Cushing’s Awareness Posts and meeting information


Cushie Bloggers (Blog)


CushieWiki


Cushing’s and Addison’s Documents


Cushing’s and Cancer (Blog)


Cushing’s Bios


Cushing’s Help


Cushing’s Help and Support


Cushing’s Help Live Interviews


Cushing’s Help Message Boards


Cushing’s Help Organization


Cushing’s Help Podcasts


Cushing’s News Feed


Cushing’s Support


MaryO Cushing’s Bio


Twitter Cushings Help Organization, Inc



 
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Cases of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-independent Cushing’s syndrome are often caused by unilateral tumors in the adrenal glands, but Indian researchers have now reported a rare case where the condition was caused by tumors in both adrenal glands.

Fewer than 40 cases of bilateral tumors have been reported so far, but an accurate diagnosis is critical for adequate and prompt treatment. Sampling the veins draining the adrenal glands may be a good way to diagnose the condition, researchers said.

The study, “Bilateral adrenocortical adenomas causing adrenocorticotropic hormone-independent Cushing’s syndrome: A case report and review of the literature,” was published in the World Journal of Clinical Cases.

Cushing’s syndrome, a condition characterized by excess cortisol in circulation, can be divided into two main forms, depending on ACTH status. Some patients have tumors that increase the amount of ACTH in the body, and this hormone will act on the adrenal glands to produce cortisol in excess. Others have tumors in the adrenal glands, which produce excess cortisol by themselves, without requiring ACTH activation. This is known as ACTH-independent Cushing’s syndrome.

Among the latter, the disease is mostly caused by unilateral tumors — in one adrenal gland only —  with cases of bilateral tumors being extremely rare in this population.

Now, researchers reported the case of a 31-year-old Indian woman who developed ACTH-independent Cushing’s syndrome because of tumors in both adrenal glands.

The patient complained of weight gain, red face, moon face, bruising, and menstrual irregularity for the past two years. She recently had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and had started treatment the month prior to the presentation.

A physical examination confirmed obesity in her torso, moon face, buffalo hump, thin skin, excessive hair growth, acne, swollen legs and feet, and skin striae on her abdomen, arms, and legs.

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – 21-year-old Taylor Davis, spent nearly three years battling a mysterious illness called Cushing’s Disease.

“I could barely walk to class anymore. I was in pain. I gained like 70 pounds, despite extreme dieting and exercising,” said Davis.

When Davis enrolled into her spring semester classes at USC, she started experiencing several symptoms.

“I noticed my grades started to take a fall and I was like ok something is seriously wrong here because I’ve never had trouble in school and I could stay up studying all night long and not remember anything the next day,” said Davis.

Davis went from doctor to doctor, but no one could figure out what was wrong with her.

“I thought I was going crazy. Every doctor would say keep trying to diet and exercise and we’ll get you on some medication for your depression and your anxiety,” said Davis.

After dropping out of USC and spending time in the emergency room, a Cushing’s Disease Facebook group led her to a research doctor in California.

“Around October is when the doctor officially diagnosed me and within a month I had my brain surgery scheduled,” said Davis.

Fast forward a couple months later, Davis is thankful to share her experiences on social media and help others going through the same disease.

“I post about it all the time and by using the hashtags for Cushing’s disease, I probably get three to four messages a day from people all over the world. I’ve had people message me in Spanish and I have to use google translate to try and help them,” said Davis.

From https://www.wbtw.com/news/a-woman-in-the-pee-dee-spreads-awareness-on-mysterious-disease/
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Removing a pituitary tumor by surgery can be tricky. The gland is surrounded by carotid arteries, optic nerves, and lots of important brain matter. Nor is it easy to access or visualize. But with the help of revolutionary technology and modern expertise, surgeons are now able to remove pituitary tumors in a safe and minimally invasive way. / Image courtesy of Mayfield Brain & Spine

There are three basic things you should know about your pituitary gland: it’s buried away at the base of your brain; it’s very important; and, alas, it has a habit of growing tumors.

Did your pulse quicken a tiny bit at mention of “tumors?” If so, it’s because your thyroid told it to, on instructions from your pituitary gland. But now it’s normal again, right? For that you can thank cortisol, which your pituitary gland told your adrenal glands to make in response to stress.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, according to Yair Gozal, MD, neurosurgeon at Mayfield Brain & Spine.

“The pituitary gland is also known as the master gland,” he explains. “It regulates the release of hormones from other glands, controlling blood pressure, urine output, body temperature, growth, metabolism, lactation, ovulation, testosterone, stress response, and more.”

That of course means when something is wrong with your pituitary gland—say, a tumor—the symptoms can vary. Perhaps the tumor grows from the part of the pituitary gland that produces prolactin, which regulates sexual function. In that case, a prolactinoma will result in halted menstruation or erectile disfunction (among other things.) Alternatively, suppose the tumor grows from the part of the pituitary gland that produces growth hormone. These tumors cause gigantism in children and acromegaly in adults (again, among other things.)
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This interview originally aired July 6, 2019.  Dr. William Young Jr., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist, discusses pituitary gland tumors.

The pituitary gland is a hormone-producing gland at the base of the brain. Sometimes known as the "master gland," the pituitary gland produces and regulates hormones that help the body function. Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths that develop in your pituitary gland.

Some pituitary tumors result in too many of the hormones that regulate important functions of your body. Some pituitary tumors can cause your pituitary gland to produce lower levels of hormones. Most pituitary tumors are noncancerous (benign) growths that remain in your pituitary gland or surrounding tissues, and don't spread to other parts of your body. There are various options for treating pituitary tumors, including removing the tumor, controlling its growth and managing your hormone levels with medications. Your health care provider also may recommend a wait-and-see approach.
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Are adrenal incidentalomas, which are found by chance on imaging, really harmless? In this paper, the authors looked at 32 studies, including 4121 patients with benign non-functioning adrenal tumours (NFATs) or adenomas that cause mild autonomous cortisol excess (MACE).

Only 2.5% of the tumours grew to a clinically significant extent over a mean follow-up period of 50 months, and no one developed adrenal cancer. Of those patients with NFAT or MACE, 99.9% didn’t develop clinically significant hormone (cortisol) excess.

This was a group (especially those with MACE) with a high prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. This could be because adrenal adenomas promote cardiometabolic problems, or vice versa, or maybe this group with multimorbidities is more likely be investigated. Adrenal incidentalomas are already found in around 1 in 20 abdominal CT scans, and this rate is likely to increase as imaging improves.

So it’s good news that this study supports existing recommendations, which say that follow-up imaging in the 90% of incidentalomas that are smaller than 4 cm diameter is unnecessary.  

From https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2019/07/03/ann-robinsons-journal-review-3-july-2019/
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Patients with Cushing’s disease may develop post-traumatic stress symptoms, which are generally resolved once they undergo surgery to remove the tumor, but can persist in some cases, a study shows.

The study, “Posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in patients with Cushing’s disease before and after surgery: A prospective study,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience.

Cushing’s disease is an endocrine disorder characterized by excess secretion of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by a pituitary adenoma (tumor of the pituitary gland). This leads to high levels of cortisol, a condition known as hypercortisolism.

Chronic hypercortisolism is associated with symptoms such as central obesity, buffalo hump, body bruising, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and weak bones.

Additionally, patients can develop psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, and cognitive dysfunction, all of which contribute considerably to a lower health-related quality of life.

Depression and anxiety rates are particularly high in Cushing’s disease patients, with 54% of them experiencing major depression and 79% having anxiety.

Due to the significant impact of psychological factors in these patients, they may be susceptible to post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). But more information on this phenomenon in these patients is still needed.

To address this lack of data, a group of Chinese researchers conducted a prospective study to investigate the occurrence, correlated factors, and prognosis of PTSS in patients with Cushing’s disease.

A total of 49 patients newly diagnosed with Cushing’s disease who underwent transsphenoidal removal of the tumor as their first-line treatment were asked to participate in this study. Another group of 49 age- and sex-matched healthy individuals were included as controls.
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The oral chemotherapy temozolomide might be an effective treatment for Cushing’s disease caused by aggressive tumors in the pituitary gland that continue to grow after surgery and taking other medications, a case report suggests.

The study, “Successful reduction of ACTH secretion in a case of intractable Cushing’s disease with pituitary Crooke’s cell adenoma by combined modality therapy including temozolomide,” was published in the journal J-Stage.

Cushing’s disease is often caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland that secretes high levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), leading to high levels of cortisol and other symptoms.

Macroadenomas are aggressive, fast-growing tumors that reach sizes larger than 10 millimeters. Crooke’s cell adenoma is a type of macroadenoma that does not respond to conventional therapies, but has deficient mechanisms of DNA repair. That is why chemotherapeutic agents that damage the DNA, such as temozolomide, might be potential treatments.

Researchers in Japan reported the case of a 56-year-old woman with Cushing’s disease caused by a Crooke’s cell adenoma in the pituitary gland who responded positively to temozolomide.

The patient was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease at age 39 when she went to the hospital complaining of continuous weight gain. She also had excessive production of urine and a loss of vision in the right eye.

The lab tests showed high levels of cortisol and ACTH, and the MRI detected a tumor of 4.5 centimeters in the pituitary gland. The doctors removed a part of the tumor surgically, which initially reduced the levels of ACTH and cortisol.

However, the hormone levels and the size of the residual tumor started to increase gradually after the surgery, despite treatment with several medications.

By the time the patient was 56 years old, she went to the hospital complaining of general fatigue, leg edema (swelling from fluid), high blood pressure, and central obesity (belly fat)....
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Meghan T added her Helpful Doctor, Sasan Mirfakhraee, to the Cushing's MemberMap

 

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4/5




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Sasan Mirfakhraee




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2001 Inwood Rd
Dallas, TX 75390




Phone


(214) 6452800




Email


sasan.mirfakhraee@utsouthwestern.edu




What are your Doctor’s Specialties?


Cushings Disease/Syndrome, type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as thyroid, pituitary, and bone remodeling disorders.




 

 

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Removal of pituitary adenomas by inserting surgical instruments through the nose (transsphenoidal resection) remains the best treatment option for pediatric patients, despite its inherent technical difficulties, a new study shows.

The study, “Transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas in pediatric patients: a multicentric retrospective study,” was published in the journal Child’s Nervous System.

Pituitary adenomas are rare, benign tumors that slowly grow in the pituitary gland. The incidence of such tumors in the pediatric population is reported to be between 1% and 10% of all childhood brain tumors and between 3% and 6% of all surgically treated adenomas.

Characteristics of patients that develop these pituitary adenomas vary significantly in different studies with regards to their age, gender, size of adenoma, hormonal activity, and recurrence rates.

As the pituitary gland is responsible for hormonal balance, alterations in hormone function due to a pituitary adenoma can significantly affect the quality of life of a child. In most cases, pituitary adenomas can be removed surgically. A common removal method is with a transsphenoidal resection, the goal of which is to completely remove the growing mass and cause the least harm to the surrounding structures.

In this study, the researchers report the surgical treatment of pediatric pituitary adenomas at three institutions. They collected data from 27 children who were operated for pituitary adenoma using one of two types of transsphenoidal surgeries — endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (EETS) and transsphenoidal microsurgery (TMS) — at the University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty in Istanbul, Turkey, at San Matteo Hospital in Pavia, and at the University of Insubria-Varese in Varese, Italy.
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