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Found 12 results

  1. A worldwide, observational study of adults and adolescents with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) found long-term GH replacement was safe. These findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Data for this long-term follow-up study were sourced from the KIMS Pfizer International Metabolic Database cohort. Patients (N=15,809) with confirmed GHD were prescribed GH by their primary care physician. Adverse events were evaluated at up to 18 years (mean, 5.3 years). The median age of study participants was 44.8 (range, 5.6-91.2) years, 50.5% were girls or women, 94.4% were White, 57.6% were true-naive to treatment at baseline, 59.7% had pituitary or hypothalamic tumor, 21.6% had idiopathic or congenital GHD, and 67.8% had at least 2 pituitary deficiencies. Patients were administered a mean GH dosage of 0.30±0.30 mg/d. At year 15, patients (n=593) had a 1.7-kg/m2 increase in body mass index (BMI), a 4.3-kg increase in weight, a 0.4-cm decrease in height, a 6.2-cm increase in waist circumference, a 0.03 increase in waist to hip ratio, a 6.3-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure, a 1.0-mm Hg increase in diastolic blood pressure, and a 0.5-bpm decrease in heart rate. Approximately one-half of the patients (51.2%) experienced at least 1 adverse event, but few patients (18.8%) reported treatment-related adverse events. The most common all-cause adverse events included arthralgia (4.6%), peripheral edema (3.9%), headache (3.6%), influenza (2.8%), depression (2.8%), and recurrence of pituitary tumor (2.7%). The most common treatment-related adverse events were peripheral edema (3.1%) and arthralgia (2.6%). The rate of all-cause (P =.0141) and related (P =.0313) adverse events was significantly related with age at enrollment, with older patients (aged ³45 years) having higher rates than younger patients. The rate of all-cause and related adverse events was higher among patients with pituitary or hypothalamic tumor, adult-onset GHD, and insulin-like growth factor 1 standard deviation score greater than 0; those who had prior pituitary radiation treatment; and those who took a GH dosage of no more than 0.30 mg/d (all P £..014). A total of 1934 patients discontinued treatment, and 869 patients reduced their dose due to adverse events. Study discontinuation was highest among patients with idiopathic or congenital GHD (45.0%). At least 1 serious adverse event occurred among 4.3% of patients. The most common serious events included recurrence of pituitary tumor (n=154; 1.0%) and death (n=21; 0.1%). The highest mortality rate was observed among patients who enrolled at 45 years of age and older (4.7%). In total, 418 patients who had no history of cancer at baseline were diagnosed with cancer after starting GH treatment, which equated to a standardized incidence ratio of 0.92 (95% CI, 0.83-1.01). This study was limited as data were collected during routine clinical practice and no predefined windows or reporting were set. This study found that GH replacement therapy was safe at up to an 18-year follow-up among adolescents and adults. Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures. Reference Johannsson G, Touraine P, Feldt-Rasmussen U, et al. Long-term safety of growth hormone in adults with growth hormone deficiency: overview of 15,809 GH-treated patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Published online April 3, 2022. doi:10.1210/clinem/dgac199 From https://www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/home/topics/general-endocrinology/safety-of-long-term-growth-hormone-treatment-assessed/
  2. Abstract Cushing’s syndrome (CS) secondary to ectopic adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)-producing prostate cancer is rare with less than 50 cases reported. The diagnosis can be challenging due to atypical and variable clinical presentations of this uncommon source of ectopic ACTH secretion. We report a case of Cushing’s syndrome secondary to prostate adenocarcinoma who presented with symptoms of severe hypercortisolism with recurrent hypokalaemia, limb oedema, limb weakness, and sepsis. He presented with severe hypokalaemia and metabolic alkalosis (potassium 2.5 mmol/L and bicarbonate 36 mmol/L), with elevated 8 am cortisol 1229 nmol/L. ACTH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome was diagnosed with inappropriately normal ACTH 57.4 ng/L, significantly elevated 24-hour urine free cortisol and unsuppressed cortisol after 1 mg low-dose, 2-day low-dose, and 8 mg high-dose dexamethasone suppression tests. 68Ga-DOTANOC PET/CT showed an increase in DOTANOC avidity in the prostate gland, and his prostate biopsy specimen was stained positive for ACTH and markers for neuroendocrine differentiation. He was started on ketoconazole, which was switched to IV octreotide in view of liver dysfunction from hepatic metastases. He eventually succumbed to the disease after 3 months of his diagnosis. It is imperative to recognize prostate carcinoma as a source of ectopic ACTH secretion as it is associated with poor clinical outcomes, and the diagnosis can be missed due to atypical clinical presentations. 1. Introduction Ectopic secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is responsible for approximately 10–20% of all causes of Cushing syndrome [1]. The classic sources of ectopic ACTH secretion include bronchial carcinoid tumours, small cell lung carcinoma, thymoma, medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (NET), and phaeochromocytomas [2]. Ectopic adrenocorticotropic syndrome (EAS) is diagnostically challenging due to its variable clinical manifestations; however, prompt recognition and treatment is critical. Ectopic ACTH production from prostate carcinoma is rare, and there are less than 50 cases published to date. Here, we report a case of ectopic Cushing’s syndrome secondary to prostate adenocarcinoma who did not present with the typical physical features of Cushing’s syndrome, but instead with features of severe hypercortisolism such as hypokalaemia, oedema, and sepsis. 2. Case Presentation A 61-year-old male presented to our institution with recurrent hypokalaemia, lower limb weakness, and oedema. He had a history of recently diagnosed metastatic prostate adenocarcinoma, for which he was started on leuprolide and finasteride. Other medical history includes poorly controlled diabetes mellitus and hypertension of 1-year duration. He presented with hypokalaemia of 2.7 mmol/L associated with bilateral lower limb oedema and weakness, initially attributed to the intake of complementary medicine, which resolved with potassium supplementation and cessation of the complementary medicine. One month later, he was readmitted for refractory hypokalaemia of 2.5 mmol/L and progression of the lower limb weakness and oedema. On examination, his blood pressure (BP) was 121/78 mmHg, and body mass index (BMI) was 24 kg/m2. He had no Cushingoid features of rounded and plethoric facies, supraclavicular or dorsocervical fat pad, ecchymoses, and no purple striae on the abdominal examination. He had mild bilateral lower limb proximal weakness and oedema. His initial laboratory findings of severe hypokalaemia with metabolic alkalosis (potassium 2.5 mmol/L and bicarbonate 36 mmol/L), raised 24-hour urine potassium (86 mmol/L), suppressed plasma renin activity and aldosterone, central hypothyroidism, and elevated morning serum cortisol (1229 nmol/L) (Table 1) raised the suspicion for endogenous hypercortisolism. Furthermore, hormonal evaluations confirmed ACTH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome with inappropriately normal ACTH (56 ng/L) and failure of cortisol suppression after 1 mg low-dose, 2-day low-dose, and 8 mg high-dose dexamethasone suppression tests (Table 2). His 24-hour urine free cortisol (UFC) was significantly elevated at 20475 (59–413) nmol/day. Table 1 Investigations done during his 2nd admission. Table 2 Diagnostic workup for hypercortisolism. To identify the source of excessive cortisol secretion, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pituitary fossa and computed tomography (CT) of the thorax, abdomen, and pelvis were performed. Pituitary MRI was unremarkable, and CT scan showed the known prostate lesion with extensive liver, lymph nodes, and bone metastases (Figure 1). To confirm that the prostate cancer was the source of ectopic ACTH production, gallium-68 labelled somatostatin receptor positron emission tomography (PET)/CT (68Ga-DOTANOC) was done, which showed an increased DOTANOC avidity in the inferior aspect of the prostate gland (Figure 2). Immunohistochemical staining of his prostate biopsy specimen was requested, and it stained positive for ACTH and markers of neuroendocrine differentiation (synaptophysin and CD 56) (Figures 3 and 4), establishing the diagnosis of EAS secondary to prostate cancer. Figure 1 CT thorax abdomen and pelvis showing prostate cancer (blue arrow) with liver metastases (red arrow). Figure 2 Ga68-DOTANOC PET/CT demonstrating increased DOTANOC avidity seen in the inferior aspect of the right side of the prostate gland (red arrow). Figure 3 Hematoxylin and eosin staining showing acinar adenocarcinoma of the prostate featuring enlarged, pleomorphic cells infiltrating as solid nests and cords with poorly differentiated glands (Gleason score 5 + 4 = 9). Figure 4 Positive ACTH immunohistochemical staining of prostate tumour (within the circle). The patient was started on potassium chloride 3.6 g 3 times daily and spironolactone 25 mg once daily with normalisation of serum potassium. His BP was controlled with the addition of lisinopril and terazosin to spironolactone and ketoconazole, and his blood glucose was well controlled with metformin and sitagliptin. To manage the hypercortisolism, he was treated with ketoconazole 400 mg twice daily with an initial improvement of serum cortisol from 2048 nmol/L to 849 nmol/L (Figure 5). Systemic platinum and etoposide-based chemotherapy was recommended for the treatment of his prostate cancer after a multidisciplinary discussion, but it was delayed due to severe bacterial and viral infection. With the development of liver dysfunction, ketoconazole was switched to intravenous octreotide 100 mcg three times daily as metyrapone was not readily available in our country. However, the efficacy was suboptimal with marginal reduction of serum cortisol from 3580 nmol/L to 3329 nmol/L (Figure 5). The patient continued to deteriorate and was deemed to be medically unfit for chemotherapy or bilateral adrenalectomy. He was referred to palliative care services, and he eventually demised due to cancer progression within 3 months of his diagnosis. Figure 5 The trend in cortisol levels on pharmacological therapy. 3. Discussion Ectopic ACTH secretion is an uncommon cause of Cushing’s syndrome accounting for approximately 9–18% of the patients with Cushing’s syndrome [3]. Clinical presentation is highly variable depending on the aggressiveness of the underlying malignancy, but patients typically present with symptoms of severe hypercortisolism such as hypokalaemiaa, oedema, and proximal weakness which were the presenting complaints of our patient [4]. The classical symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome are frequently absent due to the rapid clinic onset resulting in diagnostic delay [5]. Prompt diagnosis and localisation of the source of ectopic ACTH secretion are crucial due to the urgent need for treatment initiation. The usual sources include small cell lung carcinoma, bronchial carcinoid, medullary thyroid carcinoma, thymic carcinoid, and pheochromocytoma. CT of the thorax, abdomen, and pelvis should be the first-line imaging modality, and its sensitivity varies with the type of tumour ranging from 77% to 85% [6]. Functional imaging such as 18-fluorodeoxyglucose-PET and gallium-68 labelled somatostatin receptor PET/CT can be useful in localising the source of occult EAS, determining the neuroendocrine nature of the tumour or staging the underlying malignancy [3, 6]. As prostate cancer is an unusual cause of EAS, we proceeded with 68Ga-DOTANOC PET/CT in our patient to localise the source of ectopic ACTH production. The goals of management in EAS include treating the hormonal excess and the underlying neoplasm as well as managing the complications secondary to hypercortisolism [3]. Prompt management of the cortisol excess is paramount as complications such as hyperglycaemia, hypertension, hypokalaemia, pulmonary embolism, sepsis, and psychosis can develop especially when UFC is more than 5 times the upper limit of normal [3]. Ideally, surgical resection is the first-line management, but this may not be feasible in metastatic, advanced, or occult diseases. Pharmacological agents are frequently required with steroidogenesis inhibitors such as ketoconazole and metyrapone, which reduce cortisol production effectively and rapidly [3, 6], the main drawback of ketoconazole being its hepatic toxicity. The efficacy of ketoconazole is reported to be 44%, metyrapone 50–75%, and ketoconazole-metyrapone combination therapy 73% [3, 7]. Mitotane, typically used in adrenocortical carcinoma, is effective in controlling cortisol excess but has a slow onset of action [3, 8]. Etomidate infusion can be used for short-term rapid control of severe symptomatic hypercortisolism and can serve as a bridge to definitive therapy [9]. Mifepristone, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, is indicated mainly in difficult to control hyperglycaemia secondary to hypercortisolism [8]. Somatostatin analogue has been proposed as a possible pharmacological therapy due to the expression of somatostatin receptors by ACTH secreting tumours [8, 10]. Bilateral adrenalectomy should be considered in patients with severe symptomatic hypercortisolism and life-threatening complications who cannot be optimally managed with medical therapies, especially in patients with occult EAS or metastatic disease [3, 8]. Bilateral adrenalectomy results in immediate improvement in cortisol levels and symptoms secondary to hypercortisolism [11]. However, surgical complications, morbidity, and mortality are high in patients with uncontrolled hypercortisolism [8], and our patient was deemed by his oncologist and surgeon to have too high a risk for bilateral adrenalectomy. For the treatment of prostate carcinoma, platinum and etoposide-based chemotherapies have been used, but their efficacy is limited with a median survival of 7.5 months [4, 12]. The side effects of chemotherapy can be severe with an enhanced risk of infection due to both cortisol and chemotherapy-mediated immunosuppression. Prompt control of hypercortisolism prior to chemotherapy and surgical procedure is strongly suggested to attenuate life-threatening complications such as infection, thrombosis, and bleeding with chemotherapy or surgery as well as to improve prognosis [3, 13]. There are rare reports of ectopic ACTH secretion from prostate carcinoma. These tumours were predominantly of small cell or mixed cell type, and pure adenocarcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation are less common [4, 5]. There is a strong correlation between the prognosis and the types of malignancy in patients with EAS, and patients with prostate carcinoma have a poor prognosis [4]. These patients had metastatic disease at presentation, and the median survival was weeks to months despite medical treatment, chemotherapy, and even bilateral adrenalectomy [4], as seen with our patient who passed away within 3 months of his diagnosis. In conclusion, adenocarcinoma of the prostate is a rare cause of EAS. The diagnosis and management are complex and challenging requiring specialised expertise with multidisciplinary involvement. The presentation can be atypical, and it is imperative to suspect and recognise prostate carcinoma as a source of ectopic ACTH secretion. Prompt initiation of treatment is important, as it is a rapidly progressive and aggressive disease associated with intense hypercortisolism resulting in high rates of mortality and morbidity. Data Availability The data used to support the findings of this study are included within the article. Conflicts of Interest The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank the Pathology Department of Changi General Hospital for their contribution to this case. References I. Ilias, D. J. Torpy, K. Pacak, N. Mullen, R. A. Wesley, and L. K. Nieman, “Cushing’s syndrome due to ectopic corticotropin secretion: twenty years’ experience at the national institutes of health,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol. 90, no. 8, pp. 4955–4962, 2005.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar J. Newell-Price, P. Trainer, M. Besser, and A. Grossman, “The diagnosis and differential diagnosis of cushing’s syndrome and pseudo-cushing’s states,” Endocrine Reviews, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 647–672, 1998.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar J. Young, M. Haissaguerre, O. Viera-Pinto, O. Chabre, E. Baudin, and A. Tabarin, “Management of endocrine disease: cushing’s syndrome due to ectopic ACTH secretion: an expert operational opinion,” European Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 182, no. 4, pp. R29–R58, 2020.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar M. S. Elston, V. B. Crawford, M. Swarbrick, M. S. Dray, M. Head, and J. V. Conaglen, “Severe Cushing’s syndrome due to small cell prostate carcinoma: a case and review of literature,” Endocrine Connections, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. R80–R86, 2017.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar O. M. Alshaikh, A. A. Al-Mahfouz, H. Al-Hindi, A. B. Mahfouz, and A. S. Alzahrani, “Unusual cause of ectopic secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone: cushing syndrome attributable to small cell prostate cancer,” Endocrine Practice, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 249–254, 2010.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar A. Sundin, R. Arnold, E. Baudin et al., “ENETS consensus guidelines for the standards of care in neuroendocrine tumors: radiological, nuclear medicine and hybrid imaging,” Neuroendocrinology, vol. 105, no. 3, pp. 212–244, 2017.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar J.-B. Corcuff, J. Young, P. Masquefa-Giraud, P. Chanson, E. Baudin, and A. Tabarin, “Rapid control of severe neoplastic hypercortisolism with metyrapone and ketoconazole,” European Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 172, no. 4, pp. 473–481, 2015.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar L. K. Nieman, B. M. K. Biller, J. W. Findling et al., “Treatment of cushing's syndrome: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol. 100, no. 8, pp. 2807–2831, 2015.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar T. B. Carroll, W. J. Peppard, D. J. Herrmann et al., “Continuous etomidate infusion for the management of severe cushing syndrome: validation of a standard protocol,” Journal of the Endocrine Society, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1–12, 2019.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar K. Von Werder, O. A. Muller, and G. K. Stalla, “Somatostatin analogs in ectopic corticotropin production,” Metabolism, vol. 45, pp. 129–131, 1996.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar N. Klomjit, D. J. Rowan, A. G. Kattah, I. Bancos, and S. J. Taler, “New-onset resistant hypertension in a newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient,” American Journal of Hypertension, vol. 32, no. 12, pp. 1214–1217, 2019.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar R. Nadal, M. Schweizer, O. N. Kryvenko, J. I. Epstein, and M. A. Eisenberger, “Small cell carcinoma of the prostate,” Nature Reviews Urology, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 213–219, 2014.View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar F. A. Collichio, P. D. Woolf, and M. Brower, “Management of patients with small cell carcinoma and the syndrome of ectopic corticotropin secretion,” Cancer, vol. 73, no. 5, pp. 1361–1367, 1994.View at: Google Scholar Copyright Copyright © 2022 Wanling Zeng and Joan Khoo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. From https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crie/2022/3739957/
  3. And today, we talk about pink jeeps and ziplines… How in the world did we get here in a Cushing’s Challenge? I’m sliding these in because earlier I linked (possibly!) my growth hormone use as a cause of my cancer – and I took the GH due to Cushing’s issues. Clear? LOL http://cushieblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/pink-jeep.jpg?w=300&h=225&resize=300%2C225 I had found out that I had my kidney cancer on Friday, April 28, 2006 and my surgery on May 9, 2006. I was supposed to go on a Cushie Cruise to Bermuda on May 14, 2006. My surgeon said that there was no way I could go on that cruise and I could not postpone my surgery until after that cruise. I got out of the hospital on the day that the other Cushies left for the cruise and realized that I wouldn’t have been much (ANY!) fun and I wouldn’t have had any. An especially amusing thread from that cruise is The Adventures of Penelopee Cruise (on the Cushing’s Help message boards). Someone had brought a UFC jug and decorated her and had her pose around the ship. The beginning text reads: Although I missed this trip, I was feeling well enough to go to Sedona, Arizona in August, 2006. I convinced everyone that I was well enough to go off-road in a pink jeep, DH wanted to report me to my surgeon but I survived without to much pain and posed for the header image. In 2009, I figured I have “extra years” since I survived the cancer and I wanted to do something kinda scary, yet fun. So, somehow, I decided on ziplining. Tom wouldn’t go with me but Michael would so I set this up almost as soon as we booked a Caribbean cruise to replace the Cushie Cruise to Bermuda. Enough of adventures – fun ones like these, and scary ones like transsphenoidal surgery and radical nephrectomy!
  4. This is one of the suggestions from the Cushing’s Awareness Challenge post: Our “Official mascot” is the zebra. Our mascot In med school, student doctors are told “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras“. According to Wikipedia: “Zebra is a medical slang term for a surprising diagnosis. Although rare diseases are, in general, surprising when they are encountered, other diseases can be surprising in a particular person and time, and so “zebra” is the broader concept. The term derives from the aphorism ‘When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra’, which was coined in a slightly modified form in the late 1940s by Dr. Theodore Woodward, a former professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Since horses are the most commonly encountered hoofed animal and zebras are very rare, logically you could confidently guess that the animal making the hoofbeats is probably a horse. A zebra cup my DH bought me 🙂 By 1960, the aphorism was widely known in medical circles.” Why? Because those of us who DO have a rare disorder know from personal experience what it feels like to be dismissed by a doctor or in many cases, multiple doctors. Many physicians have completely lost the ability to even imagine that zebras may exist! Cushing’s is too rare – you couldn’t possible have that. Well… rare means some people get it. Why couldn’t it be me? Although one of my signature images has a zebra, many have rainbows or butterflies in them so I guess that I consider those my own personal mascots. I posted this in 2010 in 40 Days of Thankfulness: Days Twenty-Two through Thirty Butterflies are something else again. I like them because I would like to think that my life has evolved like a butterfly’s, from something ugly and unattractive to something a big easier on the eye. My Cushie self was the caterpillar, post-op is more butterfly-ish, if not in looks, in good deeds. From July, 2008
  5. I just signed up for this because it may be helpful for researchers at the NIH and elsewhere to learn more about Cushing's, cancer, whatever else they can learn from my history. Over 35 years ago, I agreed to be a part of a study at NIH so they could learn more about Cushing's. I consider this to be a larger, easier part of what I did back then. From my bio: https://cushingsbios.com/2018/10/28/maryo-pituitary-bio/ As luck would have it, NIH (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland) was doing a clinical trial of Cushing’s. I live in the same area as NIH so it was not too inconvenient but very scary at first to think of being tested there. At that time I only had a choice of NIH, Mayo Clinic and a place in Quebec to do this then-rare pituitary surgery called a Transsphenoidal Resection. I chose NIH – closest and free. After I was interviewed by the Doctors there, I got a letter that I had been accepted into the clinical trial. The first time I was there was for 6 weeks as an inpatient. More of the same tests. There were about 12 of us there and it was nice not to be alone with this mystery disease. Many of these Cushies (mostly women) were getting bald, couldn’t walk, having strokes, had diabetes. One was blind, one had a heart attack while I was there. Towards the end of my testing period, I was looking forward to the surgery just to get this whole mess over with. While I was at NIH, I was gaining about a pound a day! The MRI still showed nothing, so they did a Petrosal Sinus Sampling Test. That scared me more than the prospect of surgery. (This test carries the risk of stroke and uncontrollable bleeding from the incision points.) Catheters were fed from my groin area to my pituitary gland and dye was injected. I could watch the whole procedure on monitors. I could not move during this test or for several hours afterwards to prevent uncontrollable bleeding from a major artery. The test did show where the tumor probably was located. Also done were more sophisticated dexamethasone suppression tests where drugs were administered by IV and blood was drawn every hour (they put a heplock in my arm so they don’t have to keep sticking me). I got to go home for a weekend and then went back for the surgery – the Transsphenoidal Resection. I fully expected to die during surgery (and didn’t care if I did) so I signed my will and wrote last letters to those I wanted to say goodbye to. During the time I was home just before surgery, a college classmate of mine (I didn’t know her) did die at NIH of a Cushing’s-related problem. I’m so glad I didn’t find out until a couple months later! November 3, 1987, the surgeon, Dr. Ed Oldfield, cut the gum above my front teeth under my upper lip so there is no scar. He used tiny tools and microscopes. My tumor was removed successfully. In some cases (not mine) the surgeon uses a plug of fat from the abdomen to help seal the cut. Afterwards, I was in intensive care overnight and went to a neurology ward for a few days until I could walk without being dizzy. I had some major headaches for a day or two but they gave me drugs (morphine) for those. Also, I had cotton plugs in my nostrils. It was a big day when they came out. I had diabetes insipidus (DI) for a little while, but that went away by itself – thank goodness! I had to use a foam product called “Toothies” to brush my teeth without hitting the incision. Before they let me go home, I had to learn to give myself an injection in my thigh. They sent me home with a supply of injectable cortisone in case my level ever fell too low (it didn’t). I was weaned gradually off cortisone pills (scary). I now take no medications. I had to get a Medic Alert bracelet. I will always need to tell medical staff when I have any kind of procedure – the effects of my excess cortisone will remain forever. I went back to the NIH for several follow-up visits of a week each where they did all the blood and urine testing again. After a few years NIH set me free. Now I go to my “outside” endocrinologist every year for the dexamethasone suppression test, 24-hour urine and regular blood testing. Health discoveries come from research. Research starts with you. Join the largest and most inclusive health research initiative of its kind. You could help researchers find answers to the most pressing health questions. The All of Us WEAR Study has begun! As a part of this optional study, you could receive a new Fitbit® to wear. All of Us will be able to get the data the Fitbit collects to help researchers understand how behavior impacts health. Want to help others, too? Sign up at https://go.joinallofus.org/
  6. First published: 06 November 2021 https://doi.org/10.1111/cen.14617 Abstract Objective Ectopic Cushing′s syndrome (ECS) induced by medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is rare, and data on clinical characteristics, treatment and outcome are limited. Design Retrospective cohort study in three German and one Swiss referral centres. Patients Eleven patients with MTC and occurrence of ECS and 22 matched MTC patients without ECS were included. Measurements The primary endpoint of this study was the overall survival (OS) in MTC patients with ECS versus 1:2 matched MTC patients without ECS. Results The median age at diagnosis of ECS was 59 years (range: 35–81) and the median time between initial diagnosis of MTC and diagnosis of ECS was 29 months (range: 0–193). Median serum morning cortisol was 49 µg/dl (range: 17–141, normal range: 6.2–18). Eight (73%) patients received treatment for ECS. Treatment of ECS consisted of bilateral adrenalectomy (BADX) in four (36%) patients and adrenostatic treatment in eight (73%) patients. One patient received treatment with multityrosine kinase inhibitor (MKI) to control hypercortisolism. All patients experienced complete resolution of symptoms of Cushing's syndrome and biochemical control of hypercortisolism. Patients with ECS showed a shorter median OS of 87 months (95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 64–111) than matched controls (190 months, 95% CI: 95–285). Of the nine deaths, four were related to progressive disease (PD). Four patients showed PD as well as complications and comorbidities of hypercortisolism before death. Conclusion This study shows that ECS occurs in advanced stage MTC and is associated with a poor prognosis. Adrenostatic treatment and BADX were effective systemic treatment options in patients with MTC and ECS to control their hypercortisolism. MKI treatment achieved complete remission of hypercortisolism and sustained tumour control in one treated case. 1 INTRODUCTION Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) arises from calcitonin-producing parafollicular C-cells of the thyroid gland and accounts for 2%–5% of all thyroid malignancies.1 In about 25% of cases, MTC occurs in a hereditary manner as a part of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2) caused by oncogenic germline REarranged during Transfection (RET)-mutations. Up to 65% of patients with the sporadic disease have somatic RET-mutations, among which RETM918T is the most common and associated with adverse outcome.2-5 At diagnosis, cervical lymph node metastases are present in about half of patients and distant metastases in around 10% of MTC patients.6 While the localized disease has a 10-year disease-specific survival (DSS) of 96%, 10-year DSS is only 44% in cases with distant metastases.7-9 Besides calcitonin and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), C-cells may also ectopically secrete corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) or adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Cushing's syndrome (CS) due to ectopic CRH or ACTH secretion induced by MTC is rare and data on clinical characteristics, treatment and outcome are limited and mostly from case studies. In a retrospective study of 1640 adult patients with MTC, ectopic Cushing's syndrome (ECS) due to ACTH secretion was reported in only 0.6% of patients, whereas previous studies reported a higher prevalence, possibly due to selection bias.10-12 ECS mostly occurs in metastatic cases and significantly impairs prognosis: around 50% of the mortality in patients with ECS has been attributed to complications of hypercortisolism.12 Diagnosis of ECS is difficult and includes a combination of clinical assessment, dynamic biochemical tests (e.g., 24 h urinary-free cortisol, midnight salivary cortisol, 1 and 8 mg dexamethasone suppression test), inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS) and multimodal imaging.13 This retrospective study aims at describing clinical characteristics, treatment and prognosis of 11 patients with MTC and ECS at 3 German and 1 Swiss tertiary care centres and to illustrate effective treatment in this ultrarare condition. 2 PATIENTS AND METHODS 2.1 Setting This registry study was conducted as part of the German Study Group for Rare Malignant Tumours of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands. Data were obtained from records of patients diagnosed with MTC between 1990 and 2020 and concomitant ECS diagnosed between 1995 and 2020 in three German and one Swiss tertiary care centres. All patients provided written informed consent and the study was approved by the ethics committee of the University of Würzburg (96/13) and subsequently by the ethics committees of all participating centres. 2.2 Data acquisition Eligible patients were 11 adults with histopathological evidence of MTC and the diagnosis of ECS at initial diagnosis (synchronous CS) or during the course of disease (metachronous CS). This group was matched with 22 patients with histologically confirmed MTC without evidence of ECS by sex, age at MTC diagnosis (±5 years), tumour stage and calcitonin doubling time (CDT). The diagnosis of ECS was established by standard endocrine testing according to international guideline recommendations,14 local good clinical practice procedures and laboratory assays in participating centres. The primary endpoint of this study was the assessment of overall survival (OS) in MTC patients with ECS from the date of MTC-diagnosis and the date of ECS-diagnosis versus matched MTC patients without ECS (1:2 ratio). The secondary endpoints were assessment of progression-free survival (PFS) and efficacy of multityrosine kinase inhibitors (MKIs) treatment (based on routine clinical imaging in analogy to RECIST 1.0 and 1.1). Treatment and follow-up of patients were performed according to the local practice of participating centres. Efficacy was assessed locally by imaging (positron emission tomography/computed tomography [PET/CT], CT, magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] of the liver and bone scintigraphy) and measurement of serum calcitonin and CEA levels every 3–6 months. Clinical data were recorded by trained personnel at all sites. Tumour stage was defined according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM classification, seventh edition,15 based on clinical and histopathological assessments. 2.3 Statistical analysis PFS and OS probabilities were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. The log-rank test was not used to test the difference between the study group and the control group due to the paired sample design. For the comparison of nonnormally distributed data, we used the Mann–Whitney U test. p Values less than .05 were considered statistically significant. Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS Version 26 (IBM). 3 RESULTS 3.1 Clinical characteristics of patients with ECS Eleven patients (five male and six female) with histopathological evidence of MTC with ECS in three German and one Swiss tertiary care centres were included. Twenty-two controls with histologically confirmed MTC without the diagnosis of ECS matched by sex, age at MTC diagnosis (±5 years), tumour stage and CDT were enroled. Baseline clinical characteristics of the study population and the control group are shown in Table 1. In patients with ECS, median follow-up from initial MTC diagnosis was 6.3 years (range: 0–17) and median follow-up from diagnosis of ECS 7 months (range: 0–110). Median age at initial diagnosis of sporadic MTC was 45 (range: 31–67, n = 7) and 52 years (range: 35–55, n = 3) for patients with germline RET mutant MTC. Read more at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cen.14617
  7. The cancer medicine bexarotene may hold promise for treating Cushing’s disease, a study suggests. The study, “Targeting the TR4 nuclear receptor with antagonist bexarotene can suppress the proopiomelanocortin signalling in AtT‐20 cells,” was published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Cushing’s disease is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland, leading this gland to produce too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Excess ACTH causes the adrenal glands to release too much of the stress hormone cortisol; abnormally high cortisol levels are primarily responsible for the symptoms of Cushing’s. Typically, first-line treatment is surgical removal of the pituitary tumor. But surgery, while effective in the majority of cases, does not help all. Additional treatment with medications or radiation therapy (radiotherapy) works for some, but not others, and these treatments often have substantial side effects. “Thus, the development of new drugs for CD [Cushing’s disease] treatment is extremely urgent especially for patients who have low tolerance for surgery and radiotherapy,” the researchers wrote. Recent research has shown that a protein called testicular receptor 4 (TR4) helps to drive ACTH production in pituitary cancers. Thus, blocking the activity of TR4 could be therapeutic in Cushing’s disease. Researchers conducted computer simulations to screen for compounds that could block TR4. This revealed bexarotene as a potential inhibitor. Further biochemical tests confirmed that bexarotene could bind to, and block the activity of, TR4. Bexarotene is a type of medication called a retinoid. It is approved to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer that affects the skin, and available under the brand name Targretin. When pituitary cancer cells in dishes were treated with bexarotene, the cells’ growth was impaired, and apoptosis (a type of programmed cell death) was triggered. Bexarotene treatment also reduced the secretion of ACTH from these cells. In mice with ACTH-secreting pituitary tumors, bexarotene’s use significantly reduced tumor size, and lowered levels of ACTH and cortisol. Cushing’s-like symptoms also eased; for example, bexarotene treatment reduced the accumulation of fat around the abdomen in these mice. Additional cellular experiments suggested that bexarotene specifically works on TR4 by changing the location of the protein. Normally, TR4 is present in the nucleus — the cellular compartment that houses DNA — where it helps to control the production of ACTH. But with bexarotene treatment, TR4 tended to go outside of the nucleus, leading to lower ACTH production. The researchers noted that other mechanisms may also be involved in the observed effects of bexarotene. “In summary, our work demonstrates that bexarotene is a potential inhibitor for TR4. Importantly, bexarotene may represent a new drug candidate to treat CD,” the researchers concluded. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2021/02/05/bexarotene-cancer-drug-t-cell-lymphoma-acth-production/?preview_id=39289
  8. Thyroid cancer survival rates are 84 percent for 10 years or more if diagnosed early. Early diagnosis is crucial therefore and spotting the unusual signs could be a matter of life and death. A sign your thyroid cancer has advanced includes Cushing syndrome. What is it? What is Cushing syndrome? Cushing syndrome occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for a long time, said the Mayo Clinic. The health site continued: “Cushing syndrome, sometimes called hypercortisolism, may be caused by the use of oral corticosteroid medication. “The condition can also occur when your body makes too much cortisol on its own. “Too much cortisol can produce some of the hallmark signs of Cushing syndrome — a fatty hump between your shoulders, a rounded face, and pink or purple stretch marks on your skin.” In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, thyroid carcinoma and Cushing’s syndrome was further investigated. The study noted: “Two cases of thyroid carcinoma and Cushing's syndrome are reported. “Both of our own cases were medullary carcinomas of the thyroid, and on reviewing the histology of five of the other cases all proved to be medullary carcinoma with identifiable amyloid in the stroma. “A consideration of the temporal relationships of the development of the carcinoma and of Cushing's syndrome suggested that in the two cases with papillary carcinoma these conditions could have been unrelated, but that in eight of the nine cases with medullary carcinoma there was evidence that thyroid carcinoma was present at the time of diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome. “Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid is also probably related to this group of tumours. It is suggested that the great majority of the tumours associated with Cushing's syndrome are derived from cells of foregut origin which are endocrine in nature.” In rare cases, adrenal tumours can cause Cushing syndrome a condition arising when a tumour secretes hormones the thyroid wouldn’t normally create. Cushing syndrome associated with medullary thyroid cancer is uncommon. The syndrome is more commonly caused by the pituitary gland overproducing adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), or by taking oral corticosteroid medication. See a GP if you have symptoms of thyroid cancer, warns the NHS. The national health body added: “The symptoms may be caused by less serious conditions, such as an enlarged thyroid, so it's important to get them checked. “A GP will examine your neck and can organise a blood test to check how well your thyroid is working. “If they think you could have cancer or they're not sure what's causing your symptoms, you'll be referred to a hospital specialist for more tests.” Adapted from https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1351753/thyroid-cancer-signs-symptoms-cushing-syndrome
  9. January 19, 2020 Adrenococortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare cancer, occurring at the rate of one case in two million person years. Cushing syndrome or a mixed picture of excess androgen and glucocorticoid production are the most common presentations of ACC. Other uncommon presentations include abdominal pain and adrenal incidentalomas. In the present report, a 71-year-old male presented with abdominal pain and was eventually diagnosed with ACC. He was found to have pulmonary thromboembolism following an investigation for hypoxemia, with the tumor thrombus extending upto the right atrium. This interesting case represents the unique presentation of a rare tumor, which if detected late or left untreated is associated with poor outcomes, highlighting the need for a low index of suspicion for ACC when similar presentations are encountered in clinical practice. ACC is a rare but aggressive tumor. ACC commonly presents with rapid onset of hypercortisolism, combined hyperandrogenism and hypercortisolism, or uncommonly with compressive symptoms. Clinicians should have a low index of suspicion for ACC in patients presenting with rapid onset of symptoms related to hypercortisolism and/or hyperandrogenism. Venous thromboembolism and extension of the tumor thrombus to the right side of the heart is a very rare but serious complication of ACC that clinicans should be wary of. The increased risk of venous thromboembolism in ACC could be explained by direct tumor invasion, tumor thrombi or hypercoagulability secondary to hypercortisolism. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can improve the long-term survival of patients with ACC. Endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism case reports. 2019 Nov 25 [Epub ahead of print] Skand Shekhar, Sriram Gubbi, Georgios Z Papadakis, Naris Nilubol, Fady Hannah-Shmouni Section on Endocrinology & Genetics, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA., Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, National Institute of Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA., Department of Medical Imaging, Heraklion University Hospital, Medical School, University of Crete, Crete, Greece., Surgical Oncology Program, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31765326 From https://www.urotoday.com/recent-abstracts/urologic-oncology/adrenal-diseases/118539-adrenocortical-carcinoma-and-pulmonary-embolism-from-tumoral-extension.html
  10. A patient with depression developed Cushing’s syndrome (CS) because of a rare ACTH-secreting small cell cancer of the prostate, a case study reports. The case report, “An unusual cause of depression in an older man: Cushing’s syndrome resulting from metastatic small cell cancer of the prostate,” was published in the “Lesson of the Month” section of Clinical Medicine. Ectopic CS is a condition caused by an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting tumor outside the pituitary or adrenal glands. The excess ACTH then acts on the adrenal glands, causing them to produce too much cortisol. Small cell cancer is more common in older men, those in their 60s or 70s. Sources of ectopic ACTH synthesis arising in the pelvis are rare; nonetheless, ACTH overproduction has been linked to tumors in the gonads and genitourinary organs, including the prostate. Still, evidence suggests there are less than 30 published cases reporting ectopic CS caused by prostate cancer. Researchers from the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network and the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia described the case of an 84-year-old man who complained of fatigue, back pain, and lack of appetite. Blood tests revealed mildly elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and creatinine levels, which could indicate the presence of prostate cancer and impaired kidney function, respectively. The patient had a history of locally invasive prostate cancer even though he didn’t experience any symptoms of this disease. Ultrasound examination showed an enlarged prostate plus obstructed ureters — the tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder. To remove the obstruction, doctors inserted a thin tube into both ureters and restored urine flow. After the procedure, the man had low levels of calcium, a depressed mood, and back pain, all of which compromised his recovery. Imaging of his back showed no obvious reason for his complaints, and he was discharged. Eight days later, the patient went to the emergency room of a large public hospital because of back pain radiating to his left buttock. The man also had mild proximal weakness on both sides. He was thinner, and had low levels of calcium, high blood pressure and serum bicarbonate levels, plus elevated blood sugar. In addition, his depression was much worse. A psychiatrist prescribed him an antidepressant called mirtazapine, and regular follow-up showed that his mood did improve with therapy. A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a 10.5 cm tumor on the prostate and metastasis on the lungs and liver. Further testing showed high serum cortisol and ACTH levels, consistent with a diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome. But researchers could not identify the ACTH source, and three weeks later, the patient died of a generalized bacterial infection, despite treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics. An autopsy revealed that the cancer had spread to the pelvic sidewalls and to one of the adrenal glands. Tissue analysis revealed that the patient had two types of cancer: acinar adenocarcinoma and small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma — which could explain the excess ACTH. Cause of death was bronchopneumonia, a severe inflammation of the lungs, triggered by an invasive fungal infection. Investigators believe there are things to be learned from this case, saying, “Neither the visceral metastases nor aggressive growth of the pelvic mass noted on imaging were typical of prostatic adenocarcinoma. [Plus], an incomplete diagnosis at death was the precipitant for a post-mortem examination. The autopsy findings were beneficial to the patient’s family and treating team. The case was discussed at a regular teaching meeting at a large tertiary hospital and, thus, was beneficial to a wide medical audience.” Although a rare cause of ectopic ACTH synthesis, small cell prostate cancer should be considered in men presenting with Cushing’s syndrome, especially in those with a “mystery” source of ACTH overproduction. “This case highlights the importance of multidisciplinary evaluation of clinical cases both [before and after death], and is a fine example of how autopsy findings can be used to benefit a wide audience,” the researchers concluded. https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/10/16/rare-prostate-cancer-prostate-associated-cushings-syndrome-case-report/
  11. Abstract Objective Cushing's disease (CD) is a rare endocrine disorder characterized by excess secretion of ACTH due to a pituitary adenoma. Current treatment options are limited and may pose additional risks. A literature review was conducted to assess the holistic burden of CD. Design Studies published in English were evaluated to address questions regarding the epidemiology of CD, time to diagnosis, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), treatment outcomes, mortality, prevalence of comorbidities at diagnosis, and reversibility of comorbidities following the treatment. Methods A two-stage literature search was performed in Medline, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index, using keywords related to the epidemiology, treatment, and outcomes of CD: i) articles published from 2000 to 2012 were identified and ii) an additional hand search (all years) was conducted on the basis of bibliography of identified articles. Results At the time of diagnosis, 58–85% of patients have hypertension, 32–41% are obese, 20–47% have diabetes mellitus, 50–81% have major depression, 31–50% have osteoporosis, and 38–71% have dyslipidemia. Remission rates following transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) are high when performed by expert pituitary surgeons (rates of 65–90%), but the potential for relapse remains (rates of 5–36%). Although some complications can be partially reversed, time to reversal can take years. The HRQoL of patients with CD also remains severely compromised after remission. Conclusions These findings highlight the significant burden associated with CD. As current treatment options may not fully reverse the burden of chronic hypercortisolism, there is a need for both improved diagnostic tools to reduce the time to diagnosis and effective therapy, particularly a targeted medical therapy. Introduction Cushing's disease (CD) is a rare condition caused by a pituitary adenoma that secretes excess ACTH (1), which promotes excess cortisol production from the adrenal glands. Excess cortisol induces a clinical phenotype that harbors all components of the metabolic syndrome, such as central obesity, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and hypertension, as well as muscle weakness, hirsutism, increased bruisability, psychological dysfunction, and osteoporosis (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11). Patients with CD experience a significant clinical burden due to comorbidities, increased mortality, and impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL) due to prolonged exposure to elevated cortisol levels (3, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20). In particular, patients with CD often experience severe fatigue and weakness, physical changes, emotional instability, depression, and cognitive impairments, which have a profound impact on daily life (13, 21). Although there have been several consensus statements published recently on the definition of remission, diagnosis, and the management of CD, the severity and diversity of the clinical scenario and associated morbidities continue to present a management challenge (1, 22, 23). Additionally, there is recent evidence of persistent deleterious effects after remission, most notably persistent elevated cardiovascular risk (3, 22). The main objective of the current literature review is to describe the current burden of the disease and to summarize data on specific aspects of this burden, which underscores the need for improved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Materials and methods Available literature were evaluated to address questions regarding the epidemiology of CD, time to diagnosis, mortality, prevalence of comorbidities at diagnosis, reversibility of comorbidities after treatment (in particular, after disease remission), outcomes and complications of current treatment options, and HRQoL associated with CD and interventions. The literature search was performed in Medline, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index, using keywords related to the epidemiology, treatment, and outcomes of CD. It was conducted in two stages: i) articles published between 2000 and 2012 were identified through a PubMed search using the following keywords: CD, incidence, prevalence, mortality, treatment, remission, cure, excess cortisol, outcomes, cost, QoL, morbidities, transsphenoidal surgery (TSS), adrenalectomy, radiotherapy, steroidogenesis inhibitors, ketoconazole, mitotane, aminoglutethimide, etomidate, metyrapone, pasireotide, and cortisol receptor antagonists; and ii) an additional hand search was conducted on the basis of the bibliographies of identified articles. All studies that provided data (regardless of publication year) related to these research questions were retained. Definitions Different criteria for defining the remission of hypercortisolism have been proposed, ranging from the occurrence of definitive or transient postoperative hypocortisolemia to the adequate suppression of cortisol after dexamethasone administration. According to a recent consensus statement (23), persistent postoperative morning serum cortisol levels of <2 μg/dl (∼50 nmol/l) are associated with remission and a low recurrence rate of ∼10% at 10 years. Persistent serum cortisol levels above 5 μg/dl (∼140 nmol/l) for up to 6 weeks following surgery require further evaluation. When serum cortisol levels are between 2 and 5 μg/dl, the patient can be considered in remission and can be observed without additional treatment for CD. A subset of patients can even develop complete adrenal insufficiency (serum cortisol levels below 2 μg/dl (∼50 nmol/l)) up to 12 weeks postsurgery (24, 25). Therefore, repeated evaluation in the early postoperative period is recommended. However, long-term follow-up is necessary for all patients because no single cortisol cutoff value excludes those who later experience disease recurrence, and up to 25% of patients develop a recurrent adenoma within 10 years after surgery (26, 27, 28). Results Incidence and prevalence of CD Although epidemiologic data on CD are limited, several population-based studies indicate an incidence of 1.2–2.4 per million (14, 19) and the prevalence of diagnosed cases to be ∼39 per million population (14). Lindholm et al. (19) used the case definition as either the presence of a corticotroph adenoma or remission after neurosurgery, which yielded an estimated incidence rate of 1.2–1.7 per million per year. Etxabe & Vazquez (14) reported an incidence of 2.4 per million in Vizcaya, Spain. A large-scale retrospective survey carried out in New Zealand by Bolland et al. (29) found the approximate prevalence of all forms of Cushing's syndrome (CS) (the majority of these cases were of pituitary origin) to be 79 per million and the incidence to be 1.8 per million per year. Differences in epidemiologic estimates may be attributable to varying case definitions (for instance, the study by Lindholm excluded cases in which the adenoma could not be localized or those that could not achieve remission from surgery), geographical differences, and temporal effects. The prevalence of CD may be underestimated due to unrecognized patients with mild symptoms and patients with a cyclic form of CD (30). Time to diagnosis Data on the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis are also limited. In a prospective study by Flitsch et al. (31) of 48 patients with pituitary adenomas, including 19 who had ACTH-secreting adenomas causing CD, the reported time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was 4.3 years. A study by Martinez Ruiz et al. (32), which was based on only four pediatric CD patients, reported the time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis as ranging from 2.5 to 5 years. Etxabe & Vazquez (14) estimated that the average time from onset of clinical symptoms to diagnosis in 49 CD patients was 45.8±2.7 months (6–144 months), thus 3.8 years. This is corroborated by the findings from a Belgian cross-sectional study on pituitary adenomas including CD, which estimated that patients experienced symptoms for an average of 45 months before diagnosis (33). However, the reliability and generalizability of these data are limited by small sample sizes and the retrospective nature of the studies. Indeed, the New Zealand data from Bolland et al. (29) report that on presentation, patients experienced symptoms for a median of 2.0 years (but ranging up to 20 years) before diagnosis. On the basis of data from the prospective European Registry on Cushing's syndrome (ERCUSYN) (total number of patients=481, of whom 66% of patients had CD), median delay in diagnosis was 2 years (34). Mortality in patients with CD Mortality in patients with CD has been analyzed in several small studies, with overall rates reported as standardized mortality ratio (SMR) ranging from 1.7 to 4.8 (Table 1) (14, 15, 17, 19). In studies in which mortality was assessed among those in remission and those with persistent disease separately, patients with persistent hypercortisolemia consistently had the highest mortality risk (15, 19, 35, 36). In addition, TSS as a first-line treatment has been an important advance as high remission rates after initial surgery have been accompanied by mortality rates that mirror those observed in the general population (17, 35, 37). In a case series from the UK, it was found that the majority of deaths occurred before 1985, which was before TSS was employed as the routine first-line treatment at the center (36). In a recent retrospective study, 80 patients undergoing TSS for CD between 1988 and 2009 were evaluated, and long-term cure (defined as ongoing absence of hypercortisolism at last follow-up) was reported in 72% of patients. However, overall elevated mortality persisted in patients (SMR 3.17 (95% CI: 1.70–5.43)), including those who achieved ‘cure’ (SMR 2.47 (95% CI: 0.80–5.77)), although even higher mortality was seen in those with postoperative recurrence/persistent disease (SMR 4.12 (95% CI: 1.12–10.54) (38). Additionally, a nationwide, retrospective study in New Zealand reported significant persistently increased mortality both in macro- and microadenomas (SMR 3.5 (1.3–7.8) and 3.2 (2.0–4.8) respectively), despite long-term biochemical remission rates of 93 and 91% of patients, respectively (29). Read more at http://m.eje-online.org/content/167/3/311.full
  12. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 04/24/2013   Reed ML et al. – Deficiency of growth hormone (GH) in adults results in a syndrome characterized by decreased muscle mass and exercise capacity, increased visceral fat, impaired quality of life, unfavorable alterations in lipid profile and markers of cardiovascular risk, decrease in bone mass and integrity and increased mortality. The potential of GH to act as a mitogen has resulted in concern over the possibility of increased de novo tumors or recurrence of pre–existing malignancies in individuals treated with GH. Though studies of adults who received GHRT in childhood have produced conflicting reports in this regard, long term surveillance of adult GHRT has not demonstrated increased cancer risk or mortality. Read more: http://www.mdlinx.com/endocrinology/news-article.cfm/4588746/growth-hormone-adult-growth-hormone-deficiency#ixzz2RODfAgDb
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