The PNA Spotlight focuses this month on Tyler Kenning MD, FAANS, director of pituitary and cranial base surgery at the Piedmont Brain Tumor Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. Dr. Kenning studied medicine at Jefferson Medical College and did an internship and residency at Albany Medical Center. He went on to complete a fellowship in neurosurgical oncology and cranial base surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Dr. Kenning was kind enough to answer a series of questions from the PNA; his answers follow.
• What inspired you to choose your career path?
My father was a neurosurgeon. Growing up, I watched him work tirelessly, and I quickly realized that his efforts truly embodied the virtues of Theodore Roosevelt’s sentiment that “...the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” The potential ability to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives led me to similarly pursue a career in medicine and then neurosurgery. During my training, I became greatly interested in the physiology of the pituitary gland and the endocrine system as well as endoscopic ‘minimally invasive’ neurosurgery. The prospect of having a brain tumor and then undergoing a neurosurgical procedure is a very daunting and scary one for patients, and the ability to offer ‘minimally invasive’ but ‘maximally effective’ surgery to treat these problems is important.
This month the PNA Medical Corner focuses on an article coauthored by Drs. Edward Laws and Ursula Kaiser, both members of the PNA. The study, called "Body habitus across the lifespan and risk of pituitary adenoma," concludes that patients’ BMI and the size of their waistline increases the risk for pituitary tumors.
Cote DJ, Smith TR, Kaiser UB, Laws ER, Stampfer MJ.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jan 8:dgaa987. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa987. Online ahead of print. Body habitus across the lifespan and risk of pituitary adenoma.
The French pharmaceutical company Amolyt Pharma and the Japanese company PeptiDream recently announced they will team up to develop therapeutic peptides for the treatment of acromegaly.
Amolyt, based in Lyon and in Boston, has experience in this field. Currently they have a program in development for hypoparathyroidism that has recently received orphan drug status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Amolyt is also working on a second peptide for glucose and fat metabolism, which is in the preclinical stage.
PeptiDream, based in Kanagawa, is a large company with teams of peptide chemists that is partnering Amolyt to move their discovery forward.
The PNA would like to congratulate longtime PNA member Nelson M. Oyesiku, MD, PhD, FACS, on his appointment as Chair of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine Department of Neurosurgery. He has served for many years as co-director of the Emory Pituitary Center and is the editor-in-chief of the journals Neurosurgery, Operative Neurosurgery and Neurosurgery Open. Read more here:
Patient Story: Finishing College Despite a Pituitary Tumor
In an article from the Orange Coast News, 23-year-old food blogger Justine Okajima recounts how she discovered her pituitary tumor, got treatment and even finished college, earning an M.F.A.in Dance with a minor in hospitality management from Cal State University Long Beach. Read more:
Photo courtesy Justine Okajima/Facebook
11-year-old with Craniopharyngioma “Joins” UCLA Volleyball Team
An article in the Daily Bruin tells the story of 11-year-old Matthew Ignacio from Pico Rivera, CA who is battling a craniopharyngioma. Through a program called Team Impact, he has signed a letter of intent to “join” the UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) men’s volleyball team, and has bonded with the athletes through music and video games. Read more:
Photo credit: Daily Bruin
Boy with Craniopharyngioma Raises Money for Charity
An article in the Comet tells the story of a young teenager named Luke Webber from the U-K who is raising money for s children’s brain tumor charity called Anna’s Home, after undergoing surgery for a craniopharyngioma. He has raised more than 7,600 pounds ($6,833) so far. Read more here:
Photo courtesy Hayley Warner
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