(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Cushing's disease is a hormone disorder that causes many symptoms, such as high blood pressure, fat accumulation, osteoporosis and ultimately ending in death. It is caused by a tumor in the anterior pituitary gland that secretes excess amounts of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). The only treatment is removal of the tumor, however, researchers have found a new treatment for these reoccurring tumors.
Researchers, led by Shlomo Melmed, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, have now identified a potential new therapeutic target -- the protein EGFR, which is the target of a drug used to treat some patients with non–small cell lung cancer (gefitinib). As discussed by Melmed and colleagues in their paper, as well as Frederic Wondisford, at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, in an accompanying commentary, the data generated in human, canine, and mouse models provide strong support to investigate the clinical effects of gefitinib in patients with Cushing disease.
SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Investigation, published online November 21, 2011