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Found 12 results

  1. 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. Two patients with larger tumors were operated on transcranially (through the skull). The surgery resulted in total tumor removal in 90 cases (86.5%). A blood loss greater than 100 milliliter was more common with endoscopic than with microscopic TSS. Ten patients developed transient diabetes inspidus, two experienced seizures after surgery, and six of nine patients with macroadenoma and visual deterioration experienced vision improvements after TSS. The incidence of intraoperative leak of cerebrospinal fluid — the liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord — was 23.2%, while that of post-operative leak was 7.7% and was more common in microadenoma than macroadenoma surgery (9.8% vs. 5.0%). Seventeen patients were lost to follow-up and two died due to metabolic complications and infections. The average follow-up was shorter for endoscopic than with microscopic surgery (18 months vs. 35 months). Among the remaining 85 cases, 65 (76.5%) experienced remission, as defined by a morning cortisol level under 5.0 μg/dL, restored circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock, typically impaired in Cushing’s patients), and suppression of serum cortisol to below 2 μg/dl after overnight dexamethasone suppression test. The remission rate was 54.5% in pediatric patients and was higher with endoscopic than with microscopic TSS (88.2% vs. 56.6%). Also, patients with microadenoma showed a trend toward more frequent remission than those with macroadenoma (73.2% vs. 64.3%). Ten of the remaining 20 patients experienced disease recurrence up to 28 months after surgery. Sixteen cases revealed signs of hypopituitarism, or pituitary insufficiency, which were managed with replacement therapy. A subsequent analysis found that morning cortisol level on day one after surgery was the only significant predictor of remission. Specifically, a one-unit increase in cortisol lowered the likelihood of remission by 7%. A cortisol level lower than 10.7 μgm/dl was calculated as predicting remission. Overall, the study showed that “postoperative plasma cortisol level is a strong independent predictor of remission,” the researchers wrote, and that “remission provided by endoscopy is significantly better than microscopic approach.” From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2019/09/24/cortisol-levels-predict-remission-cushings-patients-undergoing-transsphenoidal-surgery/
  2. 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. While ACTH levels had no predictive value, the team found that people who went into remission had significantly lower ACTH nadir levels and ACTH levels at discharge. On the other hand, levels of ACHT nadir and at discharge were significantly higher for people who experienced a relapse, compared to those who remained in remission. Using artificial intelligence algorithms, the researchers further found that ACTH nadir, ACTH at discharge, and cortisol nadir values were all of great relevance to predict remission within three months. Analysis indicated that using a cutoff point of 3.3 pmol/L of ACTH after surgery and before discharge gave the best sensitivity and specificity for predicting a patient’s prognosis. Researchers further found that the time patients took to reach their ACTH nadir, regardless of nadir levels, also influenced their outcomes. In fact, patients reaching this nadir in less than than 46 hours more likely achieved early remission. And taking longer than 39 hours to reach the ACTH nadir was significantly more frequent in patients who experienced recurrence. This indicates that the time to ACTH nadir is an important measure for prognosis. “In the immediate postoperative period of patients with [Cushing’s disease], the ACTH concentration is of prognostic utility in relation to late disease remission,” the researchers said. Overall, “we propose an ACTH value <3.3 pmol/L as a good long-term prognostic marker in the postoperative period of CD. Reaching the ACTH nadir in less time is associated to a lesser recurrence rate,” the study concluded. PATRICIA INACIO, PHD EDITOR Patricia holds her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from University Nova de Lisboa, and has served as an author on several research projects and fellowships, as well as major grant applications for European Agencies. She also served as a PhD student research assistant in the Laboratory of Doctor David A. Fidock, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Columbia University, New York. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2019/08/29/acth-levels-after-surgery-help-predict-remission-recurrence-in-cushings-study-suggests/
  3. 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. With regard to HPA function in the entire cohort 6 weeks after surgery, 32 patients (29.4%) did not pass the short Synacthen test. Of this group, 5 patients (15.6%) recovered at 3 months, 4 (12.5%) at 6 months, and 2 (6.2%) recovered 9 to 12 months after the surgery. Predictors of future adrenal recovery at 6 weeks included having preoperative 30-minute cortisol >430 nmol/L (P <.001) and a day 8 postoperative cortisol >160 nmol/L (P =.001). With these cutoffs, 80% of patients with preoperative 30-minute cortisol >430 nmol/L (odds ratio [OR], 7.556; 95% CI, 2.847-20.055) and 80% of patients with day 8 postoperative cortisol >160 nmol/L (OR, 9.00; 95% CI, 2.455-32.989) passed the short Synacthen test at 6 weeks postsurgery. In addition, a 6-week baseline short Synacthen test cortisol level above or below 180 nmol/L (P <.001) predicted adrenal recovery at that time point. None of the patients with all 3 variables below the aforementioned cutoffs recovered HPA axis within 1 year. On the other hand, 91.8% of patients with all 3 variables above those cutoffs had normal adrenal function at 6 weeks (OR, 12.200; 95% CI, 5.268-28.255). In addition to the retrospective design, the study had other limitations, including the potential for selection bias, a heterogeneous patient cohort, and no data beyond 12 months after the surgery. “[T]hese data offer the opportunity for patients who may have been given life-long replacement, to safely come off therapy and therefore avoid unnecessary glucocorticoid exposure,” wrote the researchers. Reference Pofi R, Gunatilake S, Macgregor V, et al. Recovery of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis following transsphenoidal adenomectomy for non-ACTH secreting macroadenomas [published online June 21, 2019]. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. doi:10.1210/jc.2019-00406 From https://www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/home/topics/adrenal/recovery-of-hpa-axis-can-occur-late-after-transsphenoidal-adenomectomy/
  4. 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. The study included 11 males (40.7%) and 16 females (59.3%), with a mean age of 15.3 (ranging between 4 and 18). Medical records indicated that 32 surgical procedures were performed in the 27 patients, as six children required a second operation. Among the patients, 13 had Cushing’s disease, while the rest had growth-hormone-secreting adenomas, prolactinomas, or non-functional adenomas. The researchers found that most patients underwent remission following their surgery. Among the 27 patients, 22 patients (81.4%) underwent remission while five patients (18.5%) did not. Four patients underwent remission after a second operation. Based on these findings, the team believes that the transsphenoidal surgical approach adequately removes pituitary tumors and restores normal hormonal balance in the majority of pediatric patients with pituitary adenomas. “Satisfactory results are reported with both EETS and TMS in the literature,” they wrote. “Despite the technical difficulties in pediatric age, transsphenoidal resection of adenoma is still the mainstay treatment that provides cure in pediatric patients.” From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2019/05/30/transsphenoidal-surgery-effective-remove-pituitaty-adenomas-children-study/
  5. In patients with a diagnosis of Cushing disease in whom magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows either no abnormalities or nonspecific abnormalities, surgery is preferable to medical treatment, according to study results published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. There is a consensus that the first line of treatment for Cushing disease is transsphenoidal surgery to remove the pituitary adenoma causing the disease, with an 80% remission rate following the intervention. However, in the absence of clear evidence of a pituitary adenoma on imaging, there is some controversy regarding the best treatment. The goal of this retrospective single-center study was to assess the outcomes of surgery in patients with Cushing disease with clear evidence of a pituitary adenoma on MRI compared with outcomes in patients with inconclusive or normal MRI. The cohort included 195 patients treated with transsphenoidal surgery between 1992 and 2018 (156 women; mean age at surgery, 41 years) classified into 4 MRI groups: 89 patients were found to have microadenoma, 18 had macroadenoma, 44 had nonspecific/inconclusive abnormalities on MRI results, and 44 had normal imaging results. The researchers reported that MRI performance in their neuroradiology department improved with time; the proportion of inconclusive or normal MRI results decreased from 60% in 1992 to 1996 to 27% in 2012 to 2018 (P =.037). In analyzing the influence of MRI findings on remission rates, the researchers found no significant difference among the 4 groups: remission rate was 85% for microadenomas, 94% for macroadenomas, 73% for inconclusive MRI, and 75% for negative MRI (P =.11). This finding indicates the overall percentage of patients in remission after transsphenoidal surgery is only slightly lower in those with normal or inconclusive MRI results compared with patients with clear evidence of microadenoma or macroadenoma. There was no difference in remission rate after a microscopic vs endoscopic surgical approach (P =.16). The researchers found that endoscopic-assisted surgery allowed a higher visualization rate than microscopic-assisted surgery. Although the neurosurgeon had a better visualization rate than MRI (100% vs 72%, respectively), there were some false-positive findings; thus, positive predictive value was similar (84% vs 78%, respectively). The study had several limitations including the retrospective design. In addition, in light of the long study duration, the researchers noted that changes in MRI technology and surgical procedures occurred over time. The researchers proposed that after exclusion of nonneoplastic hypercortisolism, patients with Cushing disease, an inconclusive or normal MRI, and a pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone gradient at bilateral inferior petrosal sampling be directed to an expert neurosurgeon for transsphenoidal surgery rather than treated medically. Reference Cristante J, Lefournier V, Sturm N, et al. Why we should still treat by neurosurgery patients with Cushing’s disease and a normal or inconclusive pituitary MRI [published online May 14, 2019]. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. doi:10.1210/jc.2019-00333 From https://www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/home/topics/adrenal/transsphenoidal-surgery-recommended-for-cushing-disease-with-inconclusive-or-normal-mri/
  6. Cushing’s disease patients whose pituitary tumors carry a USP8 mutation are more likely to achieve remission after surgery than those without such mutations, a retrospective Italian study found. The study, “Clinical characteristics and surgical outcome in USP8-mutated human adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas,” was published in the journal Endocrine. Cushing’s disease is a condition where a tumor on the pituitary gland produces too much of the adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH), which will act on the adrenal gland to make cortisol in excess. While rare, the condition can be life-threatening, as excess cortisol is linked to an increased risk of infections and cardiovascular complications, along with an increased likelihood of obesity and diabetes. The reasons some patients develop these pituitary adenomas are far from understood, but researchers recently found that some of these patients show mutations in the USP8 gene. These appear to increase EGFR signaling which, in turn, has a stimulatory role for the synthesis of ACTH. But more than influencing the development of Cushing’s disease, researchers believe the USP8 mutations may also determine response to treatment. Thus, a team in Italy examined whether patients with USP8 mutations presented different clinical features and responded differently to the standard surgical procedure, called transsphenoidal pituitary surgery. The study included 92 patients with ACTH-secreting pituitary tumors who received surgery at the neurosurgical department of the Istituto Scientifico San Raffaele in Milan between 1996 and 2016. “All surgical procedures were performed by the same experienced neurosurgeon, which is one of the most important factors affecting early and late surgical outcome of pituitary adenomas,” researchers explained. Among study participants, 22 (23.9%) had mutations in the USP8 gene, but these mutations were significantly more common in women than in men — 28.7% vs. 5.3%. Researchers think estrogens — a female sex hormone — may have a role in the development of mutated pituitary tumors. Overall, the two groups had similar tumor size and aggressiveness and similar ACTH and cortisol levels before surgery. But among those with microadenomas — tumors smaller then 10 mm in diameter — USP8-mutated patients had significantly larger tumor diameters. After receiving surgery, 81.5% of patients achieved surgical remission — deemed as low cortisol levels requiring glucocorticoid replacement therapy, normal cortisol levels in urine, and normal response to a dexamethasone-suppression test. But remission rates were significantly higher among those with USP8 mutations — 100% vs. 75.7%. Also, USP8 mutation carriers required steroid replacement therapy for shorter periods, despite ACTH and cortisol levels being similar among the two groups after surgery. Among patients who entered remission, 12 (16%) saw their disease return. While more patients with USP8 mutations experienced a recurrence — 22.7% vs. 13.2% — this difference was not significant. After five years, 73.8% of UPS8-mutated patients remained alive and recurrence-free, which researchers consider comparable to the 88.5% seen in patients without the mutation. Researchers also tested sex, age at surgery, and post-surgical ACTH and cortisol levels as possible predictors of disease recurrence, but none of these factors was associated with this outcome. “ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas carrying somatic USP8 mutations are associated with a greater likelihood of surgical remission in patients operated on by a single neurosurgeon. Recurrence rates are not related with USP8-variant status,” researchers concluded. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/10/23/cushings-disease-patients-usp8-mutations-more-likely-achieve-remission-after-surgery/
  7. A plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone suppression test performed shortly after surgical adenomectomy may accurately predict both short- and long-term remission of Cushing’s disease, according to research published in Pituitary. “Cushing’s disease is caused by hypersecretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by a pituitary adenoma, resulting in hypercortisolism,” Erik Uvelius, MD, of the department of clinical sciences, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Sweden, and colleagues wrote in the study background. “Surgical adenomectomy is the first line of treatment. Postoperative remission is reported in 43% to 95% of cases depending on factors such as adenoma size, finding of pituitary adenoma on preoperative MRI and surgeons’ experience. However, there is no consensus on what laboratory assays and biochemical thresholds should be used in determining or predicting remission over time.” In the study, the researchers retrospectively gathered data from medical records of 28 patients who presented with Cushing’s disease to Skåne University Hospital between November 1998 and December 2011, undergoing 45 transsphenoidal adenomectomies. On postoperative days 2 and 3, oral betamethasone was administered (1 mg at 8 a.m., 0.5 mg at 2 p.m., and 0.5 mg at 8 p.m.). Researchers assessed plasma cortisol and plasma ACTH before betamethasone administration and again at 24 and 48 hours, and measured 24-urinary free cortisol on postoperative day 3. At 3 months postoperatively and then annually, plasma concentrations of morning cortisol and ACTH along with urinary-free cortisol and/or a low-dose dexamethasone suppression test were evaluated at the endocrinologists’ discretion. The researchers defined remission as lessening of clinical signs and symptoms of hypercortisolism, as well as laboratory confirmation through the various tests. The researchers used Youden’s index to establish the cutoff with the highest sensitivity and specificity in predicting remission over the short term (3 months) and long term (5 years or more). Clinical accuracy of the different tests was illustrated through the area under curve. The study population consisted of mainly women (71%), with a median age of 49.5 years. No significant disparities were seen in age, sex or surgical technique between patients who underwent a primary procedure and those who underwent reoperation. Two of the patients were diagnosed with pituitary carcinoma and 11 had a macroadenoma. ACTH positivity was identified in all adenomas and pathologists confirmed two cases of ACTH-producing carcinomas. Of the 28 patients, 12 (43%) demonstrated long-term remission at last follow-up. Three patients were not deemed in remission after primary surgery but were not considered eligible for additional surgical intervention, whereas 13 patients underwent 17 reoperations to address remaining disease or recurrence. Four patients demonstrated long-term remission after a second or third procedure, equaling 16 patients (57%) achieving long-term remission, according to the researchers. The researchers found that both short- and long-term remission were most effectively predicted through plasma cortisol after 24 and 48 hours with betamethasone. A short-term remission cutoff of 107 nmol/L was predicted with a sensitivity of 0.85, specificity of 0.94 and a positive predictive value of 0.96 and AUC of 0.92 (95% CI, 0.85-1). A long-term remission cutoff of 49 nmol/L was predicted with a sensitivity of 0.94, specificity of 0.93, positive predictive value of 0.88 and AUC of 0.98 (95% CI, 0.95-1). This cutoff was close to the suppression cutoff for the diagnosis of Cushing’s disease, 50 nmol/L. The cutoff of 25 nmol/L showed that the use of such a strict suppression cutoff would cause a low level of true positives and a higher occurrence of false negatives, according to the researchers. “A 48 h 2 mg/day betamethasone suppression test day 2 and 3 after transsphenoidal surgery of Cushing’s disease could safely predict short- and long-term remission with high accuracy,” the researchers wrote. “Plasma cortisol after 24 hours of suppression showed the best accuracy in predicting 5 years’ remission. Until consensus on remission criteria, it is still the endocrinologists’ combined assessment that defines remission.” – by Jennifer Byrne Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures. From https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/neuroendocrinology/news/in-the-journals/%7B0fdfb7b0-e418-4b53-b59d-1ffa3f7b8cd3%7D/acth-test-after-adenomectomy-may-accurately-predict-cushings-disease-remission
  8. The chemotherapy temozolomide partially improved a case of an aggressive pituitary tumor that caused symptoms of Cushing’s disease (CD), according to a new study in Poland. However, after tumor mass and cortisol levels were stabilized for a few months, the patient experienced rapid progression, suggesting that new methods for extending the effects of temozolomide are needed. The study, “Temozolomide therapy for aggressive pituitary Crooke’s cells corticotropinoma causing Cushing’s Disease: A case report with literature review,” appeared in the journal Endokrynologia Polska. Aggressive pituitary tumors are usually invasive macroadenomas, or benign tumors larger than 10 mm. A very rare subset of pituitary adenoma — particularly corticotropinoma, or tumors with excessive secretion of corticotropin (ACTH) — exhibit Crooke’s cells. These tumors are highly invasive, have a high recurrence rate, and are often resistant to treatment. Information is not widely available about the effectiveness of treating aggressive pituitary tumors, particularly those that cause Cushing’s disease. The management of these tumors usually requires neurosurgery, followed by radiotherapy, and pharmacotherapy. However, the chemotherapy medication temozolomide has been increasingly used as a first-line treatment after initial evidence of its effectiveness in treating glioblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer. In this study, researchers at the Jagiellonian University, in Poland, discussed the case of a 61-year-old man with ACTH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome caused by Crooke’s cell corticotropinoma. The patient first presented with symptoms of severe hypercorticoidism — the excessive secretion of steroid hormones from the adrenal cortex — in December 2011. He also showed advanced heart failure, severe headaches, and impaired vision, which had started two or three years before diagnosis. Examinations revealed osteoporosis and a fracture in the Th5 vertebra. His morning ACTH levels were high. The same was observed for mean cortisol levels even after dexamethasone treatment, which was suggestive of a pituitary tumor secreting ACTH. MRIs showed the existence of a tumor mass, later identified as a macroadenoma with high cell polymorphism, the presence of Crooke’s cells, and ACTH secretion. The patient was referred for transsphenoidal nonradical neurosurgery, performed through the nose and the sphenoid sinus, and bilateral adrenalectomy, or the surgical removal of the adrenal glands, in 2012-2013. However, he developed fast, postoperative recurrence of hypercorticoidism and tumor regrowth. This led to three additional transsphenoidal neurosurgeries and radiotherapy. The patient’s clinical status worsened as he developed severe cardiac insufficiency. Doctors began temozolomide treatment in April 2015, which did not result in adverse effects throughout treatment. The initial standard dose (150–200 mg/m2) was given once daily in the morning for five consecutive days, in a 28-day cycle. The patient also received 600 mg of ketoconazole, an antifungal medication. Ondansetron was administered to prevent nausea and vomiting. Subsequent examinations revealed clinical and biochemical improvements, including a reduction in ACTH and cortisol levels. In addition, the patient also showed reduced cardiac insufficiency, less frequent and less severe headaches, visual field improvements, and better physical fitness and mood. However, clinical symptoms worsened after the eighth temozolomide cycle. The tumor size also suddenly increased after the ninth cycle, reaching the inner ear. Temozolomide was then discontinued and ACTH levels increased by 28 percent one month later. The patient also demonstrated deteriorated vision, hearing loss, and strong headaches. Clinicians then decided to start treatment with the Cushing’s disease therapy Signifor (pasireotide), but a worsening of diabetes was observed, and the patient died in February 2016. “The most probable reason for death was compression of the brainstem, which had been observed in the last MRI of the pituitary,” the researchers wrote, adding that “due to the very short duration of treatment, any conclusions on the treatment with Signifor cannot be drawn.” Overall, “the results of the presented case suggest that [temozolomide] treatment monotherapy could have only partial response in aggressive corticotroph adenoma causing Cushing’s disease, followed by sudden progression,” the investigators wrote. This contrasts with mostly responsive cases reported in research literature, they noted. “Therefore, further research on the factors of responsiveness and on novel methods to extend the duration of the effect of [temozolomide] should be carried out,” they wrote. From https://cushieblog.com/2018/02/10/temozolomide-may-partially-improve-aggressive-pituitary-tumors-causing-cushings-disease/
  9. Today is the anniversary of MaryO's pituitary surgery at NIH in 1987. Read more at https://cushingsbios.com/2016/11/03/29-years-giving-thanks/
  10. Nearly half of adults with Cushing’s disease that persists or recurs after surgical treatment require second and sometimes third therapeutic interventions, including pituitary surgical reintervention, radiotherapy, pharmacotherapy or bilateral adrenalectomy, study data from Mexico show. Moisés Mercado, MD, FRCPC, of the ABC Hospital Neurological and Cancer Centers in Mexico City, and colleagues evaluated 84 adults (median age, 34 years; 77 women) with Cushing’s disease to determine the long-term efficacy of secondary interventions for persistent and recurrent Cushing’s disease. Median follow-up was 6.3 years. Overall, 81 participants were primarily treated with transsphenoidal surgery. More than half experienced long-lasting remission (61.7%); disease remained active in 16%, who were diagnosed with persistent Cushing’s disease; and 22% experienced relapse after remission and were diagnosed with recurrent Cushing’s disease. After the initial procedure, 18 participants required pituitary surgical reintervention, including 10 with recurrent and eight with persistent disease. Radiation therapy was administered to 14 participants, including two as primary therapy and 12 after failed pituitary surgery. Pharmacologic treatment with ketoconazole was prescribed for 15 participants at one point during the course of disease. Bilateral adrenalectomy was performed in 12 participants. Pituitary surgical reintervention was the most commonly used secondary treatment (22.2%), followed by pharmacologic therapy with ketoconazole (16%), radiotherapy (14.8%) and bilateral adrenalectomy (14.8%). More than half of participants experienced early remissions after a second operation (66.6%) and radiotherapy (58.3%), whereas long-lasting remission was reached in only 33.3% of participants who underwent a second surgery and 41.6% of participants who underwent radiotherapy. Half of participants who underwent bilateral adrenalectomy were diagnosed with Nelson’s syndrome. Overall, 88% of participants achieved remission, and disease was biochemically controlled with pharmacologic treatment in 9.5% of participants after their initial, secondary and third-line treatments. “The efficacy of treatment alternatives for recurrent or persistent [Cushing’s disease] vary among patients, and often, more than one of these interventions is required in order to achieve a long-lasting remission,” the researchers wrote. – by Amber Cox Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures. From http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/adrenal/news/in-the-journals/%7B5519b312-5912-4c65-b2ed-2ece3f68e83f%7D/postsurgical-treatment-often-necessary-in-persistent-recurrent-cushings-disease
  11. Early and midterm nonremission after transsphenoidal surgery in people with Cushing’s disease may be predicted by normalized early postoperative values for adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol, study data show. Prashant Chittiboina, MD, MPH, assistant clinical investigator in the neurosurgery unit for pituitary and inheritable diseases at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke at the NIH, and colleagues evaluated 250 patients with Cushing’s disease who received 291 transsphenoidal surgery procedures during the study period to determine remission after the procedure. Patients were treated between December 2003 and July 2016. Early remission was assessed at 10 days and medium-term remission was assessed at 11 months. Early nonremission was predicted by normalized early postoperative values for cortisol (P = .016) and by normalized early postoperative values for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH; P = .048). Early nonremission was further predicted with 100% sensitivity, 39% specificity, 100% negative predictive value and 18% positive predictive value for a cutoff of –12 µg/mL in normalized early postoperative values for cortisol and with 88% sensitivity, 41% specificity, 96% negative predictive value and 16% positive predictive value for a cutoff of –40 pg/mL in normalized early postoperative values for ACTH. Medium-term nonremission was also predicted by normalized early postoperative values for cortisol (P = .023) and ACTH (P = .025). “We evaluated the utility of early postoperative cortisol and ACTH levels for predicting nonremission after transsphenoidal adenomectomy for Cushing’s disease,” the researchers wrote. “Postoperative operative day 1 values at 6 a.m. performed best at predicting early nonremission, albeit with a lower [area under the receiver operating characteristic curve]. Normalizing early cortisol and ACTH values to post-[corticotropin-releasing hormone] values improved their prognostic value. Further prospective studies will explore the utility of normalized very early postoperative day 0 cortisol and ACTH levels in identifying patients at risk for nonremission following [transsphenoidal surgery] in patients with [Cushing’s disease].” – by Amber Cox Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures. From http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/adrenal/news/in-the-journals/%7B7de200ed-c667-4b48-ab19-256d90a7bbc5%7D/postoperative-acth-cortisol-levels-may-predict-cushings-disease-remission-rate
  12. Fabiana had transsphenoidal surgery (pituitary) July 30th 2004. She had a recurrence after seven years of being Cushing's free. A second pituitary surgery on 10/26/2011 was unsuccessful. Another Golden Oldie, this bio was last updated 9/12/2015 Fabiana will be our guest in an interview on BlogTalk Radio Wednesday, October 21 at 6:00 PM eastern. The Call-In number for questions or comments is (657) 383-0416. The archived interview will be available after 7:00 PM Eastern through iTunes Podcasts (Cushie Chats) or BlogTalkRadio. While you're waiting, there are currently 88 other past interviews to listen to! ~~~ Well it has taken me a year to write this bio...and just to give some hope to those of you just going thru this process...I have to say that after surgery I have not felt better! I am back to who i always knew I was....the depression and anxiety is gone and I am living life like a 24 year old should! I guess it all started when i was sixteen (hindsight is 20-20 i guess). My periods stopped i was tired all the time and the depression started. We all kind of just chalked it up to being sixteen. But my mom insisted something was not right. we talked with my gyno...who said nothing was wrong, I had a fungus on my head (my hair was getting really thin) and sometimes girls who had normal periods (in my case three years of normal periods) just go awry. My mom wasnt hearing that and demanded a script for an endo. I went....he did blood work...and metioned cushings. But nothing came back definitive...so they put me on birthcontol and gave me some hormones and the chushings was never mentioned again because that all seemed to work. As time went on my depression got worse, the shape of my body started to change-my face and stomach was the most noticeable- and my energy level kept going down. I kept going back to the doctors asking to be tested for mono..or something. I went to a psycologist....but i knew there was no reason for my depression. Two of them told me "i had very good insight" and that I didnt need them. I started getting more anxiety..especially about going out socially. High school ended and my typical optimistic personality started to decline. I put on a good act to my friends but my family was seeing me break down all the time. I went away for college (all the while gaining weight). My sophmore year I had a break down..I called my family crying that i needed help. I couldnt beat my depression. I didnt drink in college because i knew that would mean instant weight gain, i barely went out...i exercised everyday..hard....i joined weight watchers...i stuck with it. I was at 103 lbs....that crept up to 110...that crept up to 117...each time my weight goal would be "ohh if i could just get back to 108..112...115" with each weight gain my original weight goal would get higher and higher. Internally i felt like I was constantly under a black cloud..i knew there was no reason why i shoudl feel this way..i was doing great in school, i had a supportive family, an amazing boyfriend and great friends...why was i depressed? I was becoming emotionally draining to the people closest to me...I would go home a lot on the weekends...i was diagnosed with PMDS....like severe PMS..and was given an antidepresant...i hated it it made me feel like a zombie...i stopped taking it and just made it apoint to work on fighting the depression....and the weight gain. When i was done college i was about 120 lbs. My face was getting rounder and rounder..i was noticing more hair on my face and arms...and a hump between my shoulder blades and the bottom of my neck. My mom saw a tv show about Polycystic ovarian syndrome and felt that maybe that was what was going on with me...i went to my PCP with this and she said it was possible and that i should to talk to my gyno....I am 4'8 and at the time weighing close to 125..i talked to my gyno and she said I was not heavy..that i was just "itailan" ..i told her my periods were getting abnormal again even w/the birthcontrol and that i was so tired all the time and my arms and legs ached. I also told her that i was bruising very easily...and that the weight gain would not stop despite my exercising and following the atikins diet very strickly for over 6 weeks. My boyfriend and I decided to try the diet together..he lost 35 llbs in 6 weeks..i lost NOTHING! I went back to my PCP who ordered an ultra sound of my ovaries.....NOTHING.(i kept thinking i was going crazy and that it was all in my head)....she also decided to do some blood work...and as i was walking out the door she said.."you know what..i am going to give you this 24hr urine test too. Just so that we cover everything". I just kept thinking please let something come back ....please dont let this be all my fault...please dont let this be all in my head.....please dont let me be crazy. When i got the test results back it turned out that the 24hr urine test was the one test i needed to get on the right track to finding what was wrong. My cortisol level was 3x's the normal. I went to an endo...by the time i got to the endocronoligist i was up to 130...i could not work a full day without needing a full day of sleep and my body was aching beyond description. I was crying all the time...in my room...and was becoming more and more of a recluse...i would only hang out with my boyfriend in our houses. I looked my symptoms up on the internet and saw cushings...that was it! I went to the endo and told him..i think it is cushings....he said he had only saw it one other time and that he wanted to do more tests. I got CAT scans, x-rays, MRI's....my adrenals my pituitary my lungs....he did a CRH stimulation test which was getting blood work done every fifteen minutes for 90minutes....it took weeks to get that test scheduled..no one had ever heard of it and therefore did not know how to do it.....finally after 3 months of tests my dr. felt he had enough evidence to diagnos me with cushings disease (tumor on my pituitary) I was diagnosed in March of 2004. By this time i was about 137 lbs i had to work part time (i am an occupational therapist for children..i do home visits....i could not make it thru a whole day) In April i had to change to office work...i could not lift the children and i could barely get up off the floor. I have to say i was one of the lucky people who worked for people who were very supportive and accomidating...my boss was very willing to work with me and willing to hold my job for me. July 30th 2004 i finally had transphenodial surgery to remove my tumor (they went thru my lip and nose because they felt my nose was too small). It is now over 1 year later....i am down to 108 lbs, i have so much energy...no depression....and i dont mind looking at myself in the mirror...i am enjoying my friends and my boyfriend...(who stayed with me thru it all) And my family. I feel healthy mentally, emptionally, and physically. And i just got back into my size 2 jeans!!! It was a crappy time...(as i am sure you all can atest to) but i learned a lot.....most importantly i was bombarded by good wishes and prayers....friends requested masses for me...a nun in brazil prayed for me...people who i never thought i touched their lives...took the time to wish me well...send an email..or call....I got to experience the wonderful loving nature of human beings and i was lucky to be supported by my family (my mom, dad, and two younger brothers) and my boyfriend throughout this entire tough journey. This experience taught me to realize the strength i have as well as to appreciate the good and the bad in life. I was on hydrocortizone for about 8 months...i was lucky that my tumor was in its own little sack so my pituitary gland was not touched. In the end in took about 7 years to diagnose me..i think that if the dr. at 16 would have pursued the cushings idea nothing would have been found because it took so long for my symptoms to really peak...needless to say i love my PCP and my endo ..and that i changed gyno's... I just want to let anyone out there going thru this disease to know..you are not alone....and to take each day is stride...when you need help ask for it....and that this road can lead to a happy ending. God Bless! ps- it is ok to feel bad about what you are going thru...it is a tough thing to endure...and when the docotors tell you there is noting wrong.....follow your gut...and you keep searching for the doctor that will listen... If there is anyone in the philadelphis of south jersey area who needs someone to talk to please feel free to email me... .i will help you out the best i can! Update November 6, 2011 Well- here is an update, after seven years of being Cushings free it has returned. With in those seven years I married my college boyfriend and we now have a son- Nicholas who will be 2 in Decemeber. It has been a blessed and wonderful seven years. However right around when my son was turning 1 I started to notice symptoms again. Increase facial hair, the whole "roundness" of my body, buffalo hump. I decided I was going to work out hard, eat right, and see - I didnt just want to jump to any conclusions. I stuck to it- and nothing.....my hair started thinning again and the acne was coming back and then the missed periods.....so I went to my PCP- told them i needed the 24hr urine and wouldnt you know.....427 cortisol level (on that 0-50 scale)......here we go again. So back to endo- now at Penn Pituitary Center.....it was another journey b/c the tumor wasnt definative on MRI, and it seems to be cycling.....but I was diagnosed with Cushings again- with the option of 2nd pit surgery or BLA.......after some months of trying to make a decision I went with the 50/50 chance of the second pituitary surgery on 10/26/2011. It didnt work- my levels never came down in the hospital and I went home w/ out of range cortisol levels and no need for medication......BLURG......Sooooo on to the next step.....after I recover from this surgery I will most likely have the BLA- with the hopes of not having to deal with Cushings ever again. This time around has been a little more difficult just with being a mom and feeling sick- but I still continue to be amazingly blessed with a supportive family and husband and we are surrounded by love and support and for that I am beyond greatful. I keep all of you in my prayers for relief and health- as I ( we all) know this no easy journey. Many Blessings! Fabiana Update September 12, 2015 So to bring this up to date. My second pituitary surgery in 2011 was unsuccessful. January of 2012 I had both of my adrenal glands removed. Going to adrenal insufficiency was a very difficult transition for me. It took me nearly 2 years before I felt functional. As time went on I felt more human, but I haven't felt healthy since that day. I can and do function, but at a lower expectation of what I used to be capable of....my "new normal". My husband and I decided to try for a second child...my pituitary was damaged from the second surgery and we needed fertility...after 8 months of fertility I got pregnant and we had our second son January of 2015. In April of 2015 we discovered that my ACTH was increasing exponentially. MRI revealed a macroadenoma invading my cavernous sinus. The tumor is sitting on my carotid artery and milimeterrs away from my optic chasim. I was not a candidate for another surgery due to the tumors proximity to.both of those vital structures. So September 1st of this year I started daily radiation treatments. I spent my 34th birthday getting my brain zapped. I am receiving proton beam therapy at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. I am so lucky to live so close to an institute that has some of the rarest treatment options. Again Cushing's is disrupting our life, my husband goes with me every night to radiation while family takes turns watching the kids....I am now on my 18th year of fighting this disease. I never imagined it would get to this point. But here we all are making the best of each day, fighting each day and trying to keep things as "normal" as possible. Blessings to all of you fighting this disease...my new go to saying is" 'effing Cushing's"! For you newbies...Fight, Advocate for yourselves, and find a doc who doesn't dismiss you and hang on to them for dear life. HOME | Sitemap | Adrenal Crisis! | Abbreviations | Glossary | Forums | Donate | Bios | Add Your Bio | Add Your Doctor | CushieWiki
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