This month the PNA Spotlight focuses on Dr. Pouneh Fazeli, a PNA member who serves as Director of the Neuroendocrinology Unit in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also earned a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Fazeli completed her residency training in internal medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, where she served as chief resident. She then completed fellowship training in endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and was an attending physician in the Neuroendocrine Unit at MGH before moving to the University of Pittsburgh in 2019. She was kind enough to answer some questions from the PNA. Her answers follow.
This month the PNA Medical Corner focuses on a study co-authored by PNA members Drs. Maria Fleseriu and Akira Shimatsu entitled “Efficacy and safety of osilodrostat in patients with Cushing's disease (LINC 3): a multicentre phase III study with a doubleblind, randomised withdrawal phase.” The study reports the outcome of three phase three study of osilodrostat in patients with Cushing’s disease. They report that the drug is effective in reducing clinical signs of hypercortisolism. Rosario Pivonello 1, Maria Fleseriu 2, John Newell-Price 3, Xavier Bertagna 4, James Findling 5, Akira Shimatsu 6, Feng Gu 7, Richard Auchus 8, Rattana Leelawattana 9, Eun Jig Lee 10, Jung Hee Kim 11, André Lacroix 12, Audrey Laplanche 13, Paul O'Connell 13, Libuse Tauchmanova 13, Alberto M Pedroncelli 13, Beverly M K Biller 14, LINC 3 investigators PMID: 32730798 Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol
Abstract Background: Cushing's disease is a rare endocrine disorder characterised by cortisol overproduction with severe complications.
James Smith is a retired Software Engineer. He graduated from Revelle College at the University of California at San Diego having earned a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science in 1978. He spent close to four decades working in the Data Communications and embedded systems fields of expertise.
In the recent past, he became very interested in the work of the PNA and wants to help it in any way possible
Noted pituitary neurosurgeon Nelson Oyesiku MD, PhD, FACS, has just been awarded the inaugural Daniel Louis Barrow Endowed Chair at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta. Dr. Oyesiku is a longtime professional member of the PNA and a past recipient of the PNA’s highest honor, the Gentle Giant Award. He is a professor, vice chair and director of the residency program in the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine. The PNA would like to congratulate Dr. Oyesiku on this latest achievement in his long and distinguished career. Read more:
On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MYCAPSSA® (octreotide) delayed-release oral capsules, the first and only oral somatostatin analog (SSA) capsule for the management of appropriate patients with acromegaly. MYCAPSSA may provide the opportunity to comfortably and conveniently manage acromegaly treatment at home, or wherever patients are. MYCAPSSA can cause problems with the gallbladder. The most common side effects are headache, joint pain, nausea, weakness, diarrhea, and sweating a lot.
Chiasma, a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company, is excited to bring this new treatment option to people living with acromegaly. Chiasma hopes this new option will offer people living with acromegaly freedom from the burden of injections and empower them to live their lives without planning around potentially painful treatment.
Chiasma offers a patient assistance program, Chiasma Access & Patient Support (CAPS), that offers dedicated and personalized support to help patients with acromegaly get started on MYCAPSSA and guide them throughout their treatment. Learn more about MYCAPSSA and CAPS at www.MYCAPSSA.com.
INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is MYCAPSSA (octreotide) for? MYCAPSSA is an oral prescription medicine used in the long-term maintenance treatment of acromegaly in people for whom initial treatment with octreotide or lanreotide has been effective and tolerated. If these treatments are effective and your body is tolerating it, you may be eligible to take MYCAPSSA instead of the injections. Ask your doctor if this oral treatment is appropriate for you.
What is the most important safety information I should know? MYCAPSSA can cause problems with the gallbladder. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms: sudden pain in your upper right stomach (abdomen) or right shoulder or between your shoulder blades; yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes; fever with chills; or nausea. MYCAPSSA may affect your blood sugar, thyroid hormone, or vitamin B12 levels. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any problems or conditions related to these. Your healthcare provider may monitor these levels during your treatment with MYCAPSSA. Tell your healthcare provider if you have an irregular heartbeat.
Who should not use MYCAPSSA? MYCAPSSA can cause a serious allergic reaction including anaphylactic shock. Stop taking MYCAPSSA right away and get emergency help if you have any of these symptoms: swelling of your tongue, throat, lips, eyes or face; trouble swallowing or breathing; severe itching of the skin with rash or raised bumps; feeling faint; chest pain; or rapid heartbeat. Do not use MYCAPSSA if you are allergic to octreotide or any other ingredients in MYCAPSSA. If you need to know the ingredients, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. If you have certain other medical conditions, you should use MYCAPSSA with caution. Tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, especially the following: pregnancy or breastfeeding; liver disease; kidney disease; or difficulty in emptying bladder completely. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take. MYCAPSSA may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how MYCAPSSA works.
What are the possible side effects of MYCAPSSA? The most common side effects are headache, joint pain, nausea, weakness, diarrhea, and sweating a lot. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Keep MYCAPSSA and all medicines out of the reach of children.
How should I take MYCAPSSA? Do not take MYCAPSSA with food. MYCAPSSA should be taken with a glass of water on an empty stomach. Take MYCAPSSA at least 1 hour before a meal or at least 2 hours after a meal (for example, you could take your morning dose 1 hour before breakfast and your evening dose at bedtime).
A new 9-episode documentary series about Lenox Hill Hospital in New York premiered on Netflix in June to rave reviews. It traces the work of four physicians, including neurosurgeon Dr. John Boockvar who (along with the hospital as a whole) is a member of the PNA. The series has gotten rave reviews, including a 100% approval rating on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Watch the promo here:
Smart Contact Lens Can Measure Cortisol Level in Tears
An article in Cushing’s Disease News looks at research out of South Korea, where scientists have developed a soft contact lense that can detect even small levels of cortisol in a person’s tears, which could be very helpful for patients with Cushing’s and Addison’s disease. The lenses, which send data to a cell phone, have been tested in rabbits and in one human subject. More research will be needed before the novel technology can be brought to market. Read more: Or here:
Actress Lena Dunham Suffered Pituitary Issues While Dealing with COVID
Actress Lena Dunham, of the “Girls” series, says during her battle with COVID 19, one of her many symptoms was clinical adrenal insufficiency. Read more here:
Photo by David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons
Pituitary Journey: Addison’s Disease During Pregnancy
An article in the Irish Mirror tells the story of a young mother who discovered a tumor on her pituitary gland had grown into her optic chiasm during her second pregnancy. She has battled secondary Addison’s Disease ever since. She has turned to music to help her recover. Read more:
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Disclaimer: PNA does not engage in the practice of medicine. It is not a medical authority, nor does it claim to have medical expertise. In all cases, PNA recommends that you consult your own physician regarding any course of treatment or medication.
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The Pituitary Patient Resource Guide Sixth Edition is now available! Be one of the first to have the most up-to-date information. The Pituitary Patient Resource Guide a one of a kind publication intended as an invaluable source of information not only for patients but also their families, physicians, and all health care providers. It contains information on symptoms, proper testing, how to get a diagnosis, and the treatment options that are available. It also includes Pituitary Network Association's patient resource listings for expert medical care.