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Thank you for your support!
to the family of Sue Koziol (SuziQ)|
from the first Cushing's
Awareness Day Forum, Oklahoma City, OK April 2006.
Cushing's Awareness Day Resolution from the Senate
Cushings Awareness Day Holds Special Meaning for Local Woman (AutumnOMA
on the boards)
syndrome alert: Listen to your body
Attend a meeting
of the NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives
weight gain while taking steroids
scientist Ron Evans wins 2006 Gairdner Award for his discovery of hormone
US Postage Stamps for Cushing's Awareness
Order Cushing's Awareness Silicone Bands for yourself, a family member or donate to a Cushing's patient at NIH
the CUSH Cookbook
Upcoming Meetings in the Washington, DC metro area.
ENDO 2006, Boston Convention & Exhibit Center.
Read all about them below.
April 6, 2006
INHOFE DESIGNATES ‘NATIONAL
CUSHING’S SYNDROME AWARENESS DAY’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S.
Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) is proud to announce the
designation of April 8, 2006 as “National Cushing’s Syndrome
Awareness Day.” Inhofe’s resolution (S. Res. 423) creating the
designation passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Inhofe
introduced this resolution to broaden public awareness and show
his continued support for those suffering from this disease.
“My desire is to see my Oklahoma
constituents and all Americans receive the best possible health
care,” Inhofe stated.
“Cushing’s syndrome often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, many
times leading to death, because the initial symptoms are shared
with a number of milder ailments. Since awareness of the
syndrome is low, doctors do not always run the tests necessary
for diagnosis, and patients do not know to ask for them.
It is my hope that ‘National Cushing’s Syndrome Awareness
Day’ will help Okies and everyone suffering with this disease to
receive better health care.”
Cushing’s Syndrome is an
endocrine or hormonal disorder. It is caused by over-exposure
of the body’s tissue to high levels of hormone cortisol. An
estimated 10 to 15 people per million suffer from this
debilitating disease. Common symptoms include abnormal weight
gain, skin changes, fatigue, diabetes, high blood pressure, and
Over production of cortisol
is commonly associated with the treatment of asthma, rheumatoid
arthritis, and lupus. Additionally, delayed treatment of
Cushing’s Syndrome significantly reduces treatment options, such
as radiation therapy. Thus, it is imperative that both doctors
and patients heighten their awareness of Cushing’s Syndrome.
From the message board post at
presented a Cushing's Awareness Day Forum in Oklahoma City, OK on April 6-8,
Where to begin.....
Wed night we went to eat Mexican food, it was really fun to see everyone
that came in, and missed those who didn't make it.
Thursday-We met at the mall, of course it started to sprinkle right as I was
taking stuff in. But everyone helped set up. Julia/Jane, TBerry (Terri),
MaryO, Christy Smith, Tanya from Tulsa OK (was just diagnosed) and Sandy
Jones-who is panhypopit and involved with a group about growth hormone were
We just introduced ourselves, explained our stories, talked a tad about the
cookbooks, ate, and had a short sweet memorial for SuziQ. My daughter-in-law
had made a tape with "How Great Thou Art", so I played that, I read "The
Dash" poem, and then MaryO asked me to read a short paragraph about how she
felt. I apologize, I ran out of ink on my computer and then forgot to get
the info of things said on the boards...but we've all read those lovely
tributes, I'm just so sorry I forgot to get them printed before I left.
That night we went to eat BBQ-it was really good I thought.
Let's see...that brings us to Friday.
We had, myself, Christy, MaryO, TBerry, Christy's husband Robert, a
wonderful OSU nursing student, mothers of two patients, two nurses, some
Cushing's patients and a newly diagnosed young lady, and one lady who I
wasn't sure why she was there :)
I introduced myself, then Sen. Inhofe's staff member -Sabrina, who talked
about Sen. Inhofe's commitment to health issues and the Resolution.
Dr. Pelofsky spoke first-the neurosurgeon. he talked alot about Dr. Cushing-
(they all gave a bit of a background on Dr. Cushing-excellent info) and how
the numbers should be much higher than the estimated 10-15 per million, but
many are misdiagnosed.
He talked about how many people have hypertension and diabetes, but yet they aren't tested for Cushings (I did invite the
diabetes unit at the hospital to come but they didn't). He also showed a pit
surgery-very interesting... Dr P uses a tissue glue & then gel instead of
packing (I was so happy with it!). He said there is a 74-84% success rate
with surgery. He has done about 1000 pit tumor surgeries (not sure how many
of those are Cushings)
He also said that sometimes, even if the pit tumor is removed, that a person
could still have cells in the veins, or walls of the arteries around that
area and still have Cushings. They could be in places that are not
accessible, or impossible to remove (like the carotid arteries) for
instance. He talked about he had met a man in a restaurant who described
this way to do CT scans, while Dr. P was writing it all down on his napkin.
The guy worked for the Beatles, he used his talents to work with "EMI",
something like that for the Beatles anyway, he went on to get a Noble prize
for his development of the CT scans...At one time, Dr P was President of the Harvey Cushing Society.
Dr. Rose-with the hospital liver unit, spoke next he talked about certain
medications that Cushing's patients might take that could affect the liver.
Also about how obesity affects the liver, about liver biopsies. It was also a
very interesting talk.
Dr. Cannon-adrenal surgeon then spoke about adrenal surgery, and showed an
adrenal surgery. It was really interesting too...he said that sometimes a petscan, or octreatide scan would be better ways of looking for an unknown
tumor. He mentioned that sometimes, that the IPSS tests are not done right,
because they aren't labeled right, listed names wrong...all sorts of things.
He said it would be good to have the Dr call and ask for the sample to be "shephered"
on it's way to the lab, to be sure everything is done correctly. And to let
the lab know that it is not a routine blood cortisol level.
A Dr Schlessinger-from the Pathology lab also came during Dr. Cannon's talk.
So he was able to answer a few questions from the patients. He just stopped
in for a bit, I had asked him about cortisol tests and things like that
earlier. We really appreciated the info from both Dr. Cannon & Schlessinger,
they were very informative. Dr Cannon had worked so hard on his
presentation, and was so happy to be able to speak to us. Julia especially
thought Dr. Cannon was great, he seemed to understand many of our issues.
Dr. Gude spoke last. He is the Endo. One very interesting thing he said was
they have changed the lab values for the dex test just this year. The endo I
used during surgery said I didn't have Cushings because my dex test was
normal. However, my number was 4.1. Dr. Gude said they lowered the level to
He felt that residual symptoms could be helped by growth hormone. He made it
plain that one normal level in testing did not mean a patient did not have
Cushings. 40%of MRI's are negative,. a tumor over 6 mm is considered
significant. The open MRI is less effective because it has less resolution.
He said you need an experienced surgeon. I think he said the best index of
cure after surgery is a level of less than 1.8 cortisol about 14 days after
That night we went to eat at Macaroni grill, they have delicious bread and
the best chocolate cake and waiters....Christy-what happens in Vegas stays
in Vegas...that applies to Oklahoma too! lol
Let's just say we had the cutest and best smelling waiter ever. He gave us
Brenda M from TX, Christy, MaryO, Julia/Jane, Robert, me, TBerry, and I
think someone is missing from there, but we went to eat at Macaroni Grill.
Saturday we were still exhausted, so we went on a water taxi boat ride and
to the botanical gardens. Missed the "Monet" exhibit at the art
museum...bummer. Drove by the Bombing Memorial then went back to eat...yes,
that is mostly what we did. It sure was good tho.
I took lots of pics, as did MaryO & Christy...Julia was frustrated with us
because we all had our cameras out...but gosh she was such a good sport
about it. The weather was beautiful, coolish and just nice....except for the
one day it sprinkled before the Thurs conference.
One gal at the Friday conference had just been diagnosed with Cushings, she
was very sweet and gave us 6 door prize gifts to give away.
The nursing student was so excited about being there! She wants me to talk
to her nursing class as well.
All in all, I enjoyed the talks, getting to meet everyone, and trying to get
the Awareness Message out.
Wish you could have all been there....love, cheryl f
Then we all went home to sleep.
A special 'thank you' to
Cheryl for putting this forum together for us.
More info here:
Drs. Zerhouni and Kington
would like to invite you to attend the 15th Meeting of the NIH
Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR).
It is a public meeting and anyone
interested in improving health through medical research is invited to attend
this important meeting. Detailed information is provided below:
Title: Attend a meeting
of the NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives
Date: Friday, April
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30
Location: Building 31C,
Conference Room 6 on the NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
The meeting agenda is available
on the COPR Web site at
NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives (COPR) is a federal advisory
committee, made up of members of the public, who advise the NIH Director on
issues related to:
Public input and participation in NIH activities
Public input and participation in the NIH research priority setting process
NIH outreach programs and efforts
COPR is made up of 21 people from across the country who have been chosen to
represent the public through an open application process. They are patients,
family members of patients, health care professionals, scientists, health and
science communicators, and educators. To learn more visit
Public comment will also be
included during a portion of the program; see below for important information
about how to register.
You can attend the spring COPR
meeting at no cost. Visitors to the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, should
bring a photo ID and allow additional time for security procedures. Call
301-594-6677 for more information, or visit the Web site at
http://www.nih.gov/about/visitor/index.htm to find the best way to travel
and where to get your visitor badge.
If you wish to speak during the
public comment portion of the meeting, please contact Jennifer Gorman by e-mail
at email@example.com to learn about the sign-up and submission process. Approval to present
comments at the COPR meeting will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you’re interested in representing your community on the 2007 NIH
Director’s Council please see the application online at
Jennifer E. Gorman
NIH Public Liaison
Director's Council (COPR) Coordinator
Office of the NIH Director
CUSH Cookbooks are here!
The CUSH Cookbooks are only $10.00 each including shipping and
Any profits will go to help bring awareness for Cushings.
The cookbooks have about 169 recipes, so it isn't going to be a huge cookbook,
but one that includes contributions from many Cushing's message board members..
To purchase a cookbook send a check to:
PO Box 1843
please indicate on your check "Cookbook" or include a note with payment.
You can also purchase cookbooks through Paypal. Please indicate that the
payment is for "cookbook."
Be sure that your correct mailing address is included with payment along with a
contact phone number in case we have questions concerning your order.
If anyone has any questions concerning cookbook payments please contact CUSH
Treasurer Cathy Gifford at
Cruises mentioned here are not sponsored by CUSH
but a fun time with others met on the boards and in the chatroom.
The ship is Explorer of the Seas and this is a 5 night
cruise out of NY/NJ). All meals are included. 2 days at dock
The ship has a rock climbing wall, ice rink, mini golf, you name it, it's
Must be prepared to have fun, relax and chill!
More info here »
|We welcome your articles, letters to the editor, bios and Cushing's information. |
Submit a Story or Article to either the snailmail CUSH Newsletter or to an upcoming email newsletter at http://www.cushings-help.com/newsletter_story.htm
Note: These articles are provided in furtherance of the mission of Cushing's Help and Support to help people with Cushing's or other endocrine problems, their friends and families through research, education, support, and advocacy. These news items are intended to serve as background concerning its subject for patient-physician discussions and discussions among Cushing's Help and Support Message Board Members.
These articles contain information by authors and publishers that is subject to the Copyright Act of 1976, and "fair use doctrine" therein, effective on January 1, 1978 (17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.). Cushing's Help and Support makes no representation that the information and any of the views or comments contained in these articles are completely accurate or current. Cushing's Help and Support takes no responsibility for any of the content.
Cushing's Awareness Day||
April 8, 2006,
Understanding, Support & Help Organization (CUSH)
petitioned in the USA to have April 8 be declared as Cushing's
Awareness Day. This date was chosen because it was Dr. Harvey
The Cushing's Awareness Day
Designating April 8, 2006, as `National Cushing's
Syndrome Awareness Day'. (Agreed to by Senate)
SRES 423 ATS
S. RES. 423
Designating April 8, 2006, as `National Cushing's
Syndrome Awareness Day'.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 4, 2006
Mr. INHOFE (for himself and Mr. COBURN) submitted the
following resolution; which was considered and agreed to
RESOLUTION Designating April 8, 2006, as `National Cushing's Syndrome
Whereas Cushing's Syndrome annually affects an
estimated 10 to 15 people per million, most of whom are currently
between the ages of 20 and 50;
Whereas Cushing's Syndrome is an endocrine or hormonal disorder caused
by prolonged exposure of the body's tissue to high levels of the hormone
Whereas exposure to cortisol can occur by
overproduction in the body or by taking glucocorticoid hormones, which
are routinely prescribed for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or as
an immunosuppressant following transplantation;
Whereas the syndrome may also result from pituitary
adenomas, ectopic ACTH syndrome, adrenal tumors, and Familial Cushing's
Syndrome; Whereas Cushing's Syndrome can cause abnormal weight gain,
skin changes, and fatigue and ultimately lead to diabetes, high blood
pressure, depression, osteoporosis, and death;
Whereas Cushing's Syndrome is diagnosed through a
series of tests, often requiring x-ray examinations of adrenal or
pituitary glands to locate tumors;
Whereas many people who suffer from Cushing's Syndrome
are misdiagnosed or go undiagnosed for years because many of the
symptoms are mirrored in milder diseases, thereby delaying important
treatment options; Whereas treatments for Cushing's Syndrome include
surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, cortisol-inhibiting drugs, and
reducing the dosage of glucocorticoid hormones;
Whereas Cushing's Syndrome was discovered by Dr.
Harvey Williams Cushing, who was born on April 8, 1869;
Whereas the Dr. Harvey Cushing stamp was part of the
United States Postal Service's `Great American' series, initiated in
1980 to recognize individuals for making significant contributions to
the heritage and culture of the United States;
Whereas President Ronald Reagan spoke on April 8,
1987, in the Rose Garden at a White House ceremony to unveil the
commemorative stamp honoring Dr. Harvey Cushing;
Whereas following the ceremony, President Reagan
hosted a reception in the State Dining Room for Mrs. John Hay Whitney,
Dr. Cushing's daughter, and representatives of the American Association
of Neurological Surgeons; and
Whereas the Senate is an institution that can raise
awareness in the general public and the medical community of Cushing's
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate--
(1) designates April 8, 2006, as `National Cushing's Syndrome
(2) recognizes that all Americans should become more informed and
aware of Cushing's Syndrome;
(3) calls upon the people of the United States to observe the
date with appropriate ceremonies and activities; and
(4) directs the Secretary of the Senate to transmit a copy of
this resolution to the
Cushing's Understanding, Support & Help Organization
Awareness Day Holds Special Meaning for Local Woman
National Cushings Awareness Day Holds Special Meaning for
Local Woman (AutumnOMA
on the boards)
April 8th is National Cushing's Awareness Day, a day designed to shed
light on a rare disease.
One local woman fought to have this day recognized.
Autumn Stinton describes the disease as “a life-altering, frightening
disease,” and has had a major impact on her life.
“You wake up one morning and you look in the mirror and you don't even
know who you are,” Autumn said.
Weight gain, brittle bones, psychological problems are just some of the
symptoms, but because the disease only affects about ten out of every
one million people, its difficult for doctors to recognize.
Stinton and others shared their concerns with leaders in Washington, DC
and their efforts are paying off.
Just this week, Congress passed a resolution declaring April 8th as
National Cushing's Awareness Day.
In particular, Stinton hopes the day catches the eye of doctors across
“Their knowledge will prevent a lot of people from suffering,” she said.
For more information on cushing's disease, log on to
Cushing’s syndrome alert: Listen to your body ||
Cushing’s syndrome alert: Listen to your body
face, upper-body obesity and redness of cheeks and neck are all
tell-tale external symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome.
something goes wrong, the typical response is “Why me?” So when I
learned I had Cushing’s syndrome and asked the “Why me?” question, I
sensed the answer is that I can share my experience with others about
this highly debilitating but reversible disease.
Cushing’s syndrome, or hypercortisolism, is a hormonal disorder caused
by the body’s abnormal production of the hormone cortisol. The problem
lies in either a malfunctioning adrenal or pituitary gland. It is
relatively rare, affecting 15 out of 1 million people (most often
adults 20 to 50 years old). Children can also get it.
Over the past year I felt major shifts in my body. I expressed concern
to my family internist about my sudden weight gain, particularly in my
upper body and face, puffy pockets of fat ringing my neck; muscle
weakness; and a buffalo-like hump that appeared at the top of my
Other symptoms included thin, easily bruised skin; the onset of
osteoporosis; high blood pressure; shortness of breath; redness of my
chest and face; and thinning of my legs and arms. Yet my doctor was
unable to connect the dots.
Frustrated, I changed internists, and during a routine physical, my
shrewd new doctor, Loren Kendis, familiar with the work of Cleveland
native Dr. Harvey Cushings, gave my condition a name. He consulted
with endocrinologist Dr. Robert Brenner and sent me for a simple
series of blood and urine tests to measure my cortisol level. Within a
week his initial diagnosis was confirmed.
had a CT scan of the adrenal gland, located at the top of the kidney,
and an MRI of the pituitary gland. My problem turned out to be an
adrenal adenoma, a benign tumor of the adrenal gland. The cause of
adrenal adenomas is unknown, but the current theory is that they arise
because of mutations in certain genes.
Following laparoscopic removal of the diseased adrenal gland at The
Cleveland Clinic, I’ll require steroid replacement for a few months,
as normal adrenal tissue does not recover immediately.
I’m going to be fine, I’ve been told, but only because I took control
of my own health and at last received expert medical advice.
Gone untreated, Cushing’s syndrome is fatal.
They say architects plant vines to hide their mistakes; doctors bury
them. The moral of this cautionary tale? Listen to your body. The life
you save may be your own.
Avoiding weight gain while taking steroids||
I have been put on long-term steroids because of a
pituitary condition. Is there any way of avoiding weight
gain with steroids? My appetite has increased and I am
craving certain foods (especially ice-cream).
Karen Hannah, London
The side-effects of long-term steroid use — particularly
weight gain — can cause real angst. It sounds bizarre, but
try a sniff of vanilla essence every time you crave
something sweet. Cravings often disappear if you can
Avoid sweet foods such as honey, chocolate, squash and
fizzy drinks, or any of the other high-GI foods, such as
bananas, mashed potatoes, wheat breads, popcorn, etc. While
your initial craving might be satisfied, you’ll experience a
rapid sugar high, and your sugar levels can come crashing
down, making you want to eat more. The cycle just repeats
itself and the weight piles on.
Choose instead mainly low-GI foods, and stick to a
regular eating pattern: three meals a day and maybe fruit
snacks in between. Great low-GI foods include porridge and
oatmeal; whole-grain rye bread; brown and white rice; white
and whole-grain pasta; dried apricots, apples, cherries,
fresh dates, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi fruit, mangoes,
oranges, peaches, pears and plums; avocados, raw carrots,
green, leafy vegetables, peas, potatoes (not mashed) and
sweet corn; lentils and beans; organic soya (to avoid GMs)
Low-GI foods take longer to digest and keep the
blood-sugar level constant so that cravings for sweet stuff
are less likely. It is a mistake to skip meals to keep
weight down: although the decrease in calories should lead
to weight loss, the opposite usually happens because, as
blood-sugar levels drop, you get tired and cravings
Also, if you haven’t eaten for a while, you often end up
bingeing on quick-fix, high-fat, high-sugar convenience
stuff, so that your total calorie intake is higher than if
you’d had a proper meal. This is the logic behind including
regular healthy snacks in your diet: fresh fruit
mid-afternoon will keep blood-sugar levels constant and stop
you reaching the “I’m-starving” stage in the evening.
Some steroids (usually those taken orally as opposed to
inhalers, but check with your doctor if you’re a long-term
inhaler user) may increase the risk of osteoporosis. This is
a real downside — discuss your bone status with your doctor,
who may want to arrange a bone-density scan. To help to
prevent this, take as much exercise as possible.
After the age of about 20, when bones stop growing,
keeping active reduces the likelihood of fractures: not only
does it stimulate the body to continue laying down strong
new bone, but people who take regular exercise are less
likely to fall badly (and so reduce the risk of fractures).
I would try to boost your intake of bone-friendly calcium.
Many people think that dairy products — milk, cheese,
yoghurt — are fattening, lead to high cholesterol levels,
cause catarrh, they upset the bowels, etc, and so cut down
on their intake. However, dairy products provide some of our
best sources of bone-building calcium, so that it’s
important to include these in your diet.
Rather than choosing full-fat varieties, save calories by
buying skimmed or semi-skimmed milk (calcium is held in the
non-fat part of milk) and lower-fat cheeses such as Edam,
Gouda and cottage cheese. It’s advisable to stick to
lower-fat dairy products anyway to limit your intake of
saturated animal fats, which reduce your body’s ability to
make the bone-protecting hormone progesterone.
In the UK the reference nutrient intake (RNI) for adults
aged 19 to 50 is 700mg calcium daily, but many
nutritionists, myself included, think the US recommended
1,000mg is more like it. This equates to roughly 200ml of
milk, a pot of yoghurt, or a matchbox-sized piece of cheese.
Non-dairy sources of calcium include leafy green vegetables,
small-boned fish such as sardines, fortified soya milk,
orange juice, cereals, seeds, nuts and dried fruits.
Unfortunately, calcium from non-dairy foods isn’t as easily
absorbed by the body, so non-dairy-eating people taking
steroids should ask their doctor about supplements.
Bones also need magnesium, found in chickpeas, beans,
tofu, almonds, cashews, lentils, potatoes and oatmeal. The
recommended intake is 270mg for women and 300mg for men,
which equates to 66g of Brazil nuts or 100g of pine nuts. In
addition, the body needs vitamin D to make strong bones.
Fifteen minutes in the sunshine every day will do the trick,
but if this isn’t possible some scientists recommend taking
200 to 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily if
you are under 70, and 600 IU if you are over.
Some fizzy diet drinks contain phosphoric acid, which
increases loss of calcium from bones; salt also increases
calcium loss, so try to keep your intake low. Oily fish,
walnuts, walnut oils and hemp oil boost the essential fatty
acids that build and maintain healthy bones, but, as with
full-fat dairy products, the quantities shouldn’t be
excessive, as they can pile on the weight. You can get
enough beneficial omegas from a couple of 140g portions of
oily fish (fresh tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc) a
week, or by using seeds and oils on your salads. You could
also consider taking the omega oil supplement MorEPA, or any
of the others I mentioned last week, that are available
AllMed Healthcare: Deciding the Medical Necessity of
AllMed Healthcare Management Medical Specialist Lewis Chase
has recently authored a feature article “Diagnosing Adult Growth
Hormone Deficiency” that is featured on the AllMed Healthcare
(PRWEB) April 11, 2006 -- AllMed Healthcare Management Medical
Specialist Lewis Chase has recently authored a feature article
“Diagnosing Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency” that is featured on
the AllMed Healthcare website. The article may be viewed by
clicking the following link:
Growth hormone deficiency in adults causes a variety of metabolic
abnormalities and treatment with recombinant human growth hormone
can result in improvement of these abnormalities. Frequently
however, it’s difficult to isolate adult growth hormone deficiency
when the patient is being treated for other pituitary
abnormalities. But, it is easier to establish the deficiency in
patients having hypothalamic or pituitary disease and multiple
other hormonal deficiencies (TSH, ACTH, gonadotropins,
Treating a patient with recombinant human growth hormone is
expensive and can cause serious side. Most of the symptoms of
adult growth hormone deficiency can be treated successfully with
weight loss and medications directed at specific. Treatment with
recombinant human growth hormone should be considered only in
adults with well established growth hormone deficiency. A doctor
can establish growth hormone deficiency with high sensitivity and
specificity when there are 3 or 4 additional pituitary hormonal
deficiencies or an IGF-1 less than 84 mcg/liter.
More information on AllMed and the company’s peer review & medical
review services can be found on AllMed’s web site at
About AllMed Healthcare Management
Founded in 1995, AllMed (http://www.allmedmd.com/)
is a URAC-accredited Independent Review Organization (IRO) serving
insurance payers, providers, TPAs and claims managers nationwide.
Reviews are conducted by board-certified physicians in active
practice. AllMed’s growing customer base includes premier
organizations, such as Educator’s Mutual Life, IMS Managed Care,
Tenet Healthcare Corporation, HealthGuard, several Blue Cross Blue
Shield organizations, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Allianz and
many other leading health care payers.
Salk scientist Ron Evans wins 2006
Gairdner Award for his discovery of hormone sensors||
Public release date: 5-Apr-2006
Contact: Gina Kirchweger
Salk scientist Ron Evans wins 2006
Gairdner Award for his discovery of hormone sensors
La Jolla, CA - Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., professor and
head of the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for
Biological Studies, has been named a 2006 winner of the prestigious
Gairdner Award for his pioneering research into nuclear hormone
The Gairdner, Canada's highest scientific honor,
recognizes medical science leaders whose accomplishments have advanced
the frontiers of knowledge. The Gairdner Award in Canada is comparable
to the Lasker Award in the United States, both being the highest
scientific honors in their respective countries and often the
precursors to the Nobel Prize" said Dr. Richard Murphy, President and
CEO of the Salk Institute. Dr. Evans received the Lasker Award for
Basic Medical Research in 2004 and, in 2005, the Grande
d'Or, France's highest scientific honor.
Dr. Evans' work brought to light the common
mechanism by which a diverse group of hormones and vitamins - steroid
hormones, thyroid hormones, and fat-soluble molecules such as vitamins
A and D - control the body's metabolism, development and reproduction.
Scientists had known since the early 1900s that hormones directed
organ physiology, but, until Dr. Evans' discovery, they had no idea
how the minute amounts of hormones produced by the body actually
triggered the changes.
Because nuclear receptors wield such physiological
power, their discovery provided a multitude of targets for clinical
scientists to develop new, more effective, and safer drugs. As a
result, Dr. Evans' technology has been used to discover more than half
a dozen drugs for cancer, diabetes and heart disease, with many more
on the way.
In 1985, Dr. Evans discovered how cortisol, a
steroid hormone that regulates glucose metabolism, accomplishes its
mission. Like a messenger carrying an urgent message, cortisol sweeps
into a cell's nucleus where it is met by molecules called nuclear
receptors. They grab the cortisol molecules and together they clamp
down in specific places on the chromosomes, where they tweak the
activity of genes.
The discovery of the receptor for cortisol provided
the much-needed code to hormones' puzzling mode of action and opened
the door to future discoveries. Following his discovery, Evans, and
others in his field began hunting for more hormone sensors by using
the cortisol receptor gene as a blueprint.
To date, researchers have turned up nearly 50
related nuclear receptors that function as on/off switches for genes
as soon as they bind to messenger molecules. Prior to Dr. Evans'
research it was not known that fat-soluble vitamins, steroid hormones
and dietary fats use a common strategy to communicate with genes
inside a cell's nucleus.
Two of the receptors that Dr. Evans discovered, PPAR
gamma and PPAR delta, play key roles in regulating the storage and
burning of fat. Mice that are genetically engineered to produce an
overactive version of PPAR delta burn dietary fat at very high rates
and have stronger slow-twitch muscle mass. When placed on a
rodent-sized treadmill, these genetically engineered "marathon mice"
run twice as far as their normal counterparts.
Dr. Evans' lab's research on vitamin A signaling has
been key to defining the vitamin's role as a gene regulator and its
central role in orchestrating embryonic development and adult
physiology. Following these discoveries, vitamin A therapy became a
"magic bullet" for treating people with acute promyelocytic leukemia.
Evans also discovered that the anti-diabetic drugs
Actos and Avandia, the only approved drugs known to make body cells
more sensitive to insulin, work by activating another nuclear
receptor, namely PPAR gamma. Many, more potent, members of this drug
class are currently under development.
One particular nuclear receptor, also known as SXR
(short for steroid and xenobiotic receptor) is responsible for the
majority of harmful drug - drug interactions. Since this crucial
finding emerged from Dr. Evans' lab in 1993, pharmaceutical companies
increasingly rely SXR screens to improve the safety of new drugs.
Dr. Evans' current research focuses on deepening our
understanding of the molecular basis of obesity-related diseases such
as diabetes and syndrome X, a disorder characterized by high blood
pressure, heart disease and insulin resistance.
About Dr. Evans:
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Evans earned his
bachelor's degree in bacteriology and his doctorate in microbiology
and immunology from the University of California, Los Angeles. After
completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at Rockefeller
University in New York, he was recruited to the Salk Institute in La
Jolla. A faculty member at Salk since 1978, Dr. Evans is a Howard
Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and holds the Salk Institute's
March of Dimes Chair in Developmental and Molecular Biology.
Dr. Evans has received many honors in addition to
the Gairdner Award. Last year, he received the Grande Médaille
d'Or (Grand Gold Medal), France's highest scientific honor. In the
fall of 2004, he shared the Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
with two other scientists. He has been elected to the National Academy
of Science, Institute of Medicine as well as the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences. He is also the past recipient of the California
Scientist of the Year Award; General Motors Sloan Award for Cancer
Research; March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology; Bristol-Myers
Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Metabolic Research; and
the Keio Prize in Medicine. Dr. Evans' published studies are among the
most frequently cited by the scientific community worldwide, according
to the nonprofit Institute for Scientific Information.
About the Gairdner Foundation International
The Gairdner is one of the most prestigious awards
in all of science. Founded by the late Toronto businessman James
Gairdner and now in its 47th year, the Gairdner Award recognizes
medical scientists "whose seminal discoveries and major scientific
contributions constitute tangible and significant achievement in
biomedical sciences." Since its inception in 1959, 279 scientists have
received the Gairdner, 65 of whom have gone on to win a Nobel Prize.
The 2006 awardees were announced in Toronto today and will receive
their awards at a gala dinner in October. For more information, go to:
About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:
Internationally renowned for its groundbreaking basic research in the
biological sciences, the Salk Institute was founded in 1960 by Dr.
Jonas Salk, five years after he developed the first safe and effective
vaccine against polio. The Institute's 59 faculty members are
scientific leaders in the fields of molecular biology, neurosciences
and plant biology.
|To add or edit your bio, http://www.cushings-help.com/add_your_bio.htm|
Angela has been free from adrenal Cushing's for two and a
Esther has small lesions in each |
Stacie has been diagnosed with many illnesses. She had
adrenal surgery March 23, 2006||
Sioux City, Iowa
| Not Yet Diagnosed Patients|
Sue C is not yet diagnosed.||
West Mifflin, PA|
Summer is not yet diagnosed but has many
Susan P believes that her young son might
have Cushing's although he has not yet been diagnosed.||
Trisha is from Texas. She isn't yet diagnosed but has
tested positive on several tests so far.||
| Pituitary Patients|
Ana had her first pituitary surgery in May of 2005 and her
second in August of 2005.||
Joanne had pituitary surgery in July 2005 and it's
thought that she may have a recurrence.||
Robert diagnosed himself with Cushing's.
He has had pituitary surgery January 9, 2006.||
Samantha is not yet diagnosed. She has a low
attenuation enlargement of left adrenal||
Sue's sister has been diagnosed with Cushing's. She had a
a rare reaction to the Petrosal Sinus Sampling test and is in Intensive
Care at a NY hospital.||
TracyS had pituitary surgery in March, 2006.||
|To add or edit your bio, http://www.cushings-help.com/add_your_bio.htm|
If you've been diagnosed with Cushing's, please participate in the Cushing's Register »
The information you provide will be used to create a register and will be shared with the medical world. It would not be used for other purposes without your expressed permission. Note: This information will not be sold or shared with other companies.
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CUSH can always use funds to help us all, by spreading the word and helping others. What can *you* do to help CUSH?
|Upcoming Conventions, Meetings and Seminars:|
28, Washington DC Metro Area, Saturday lunch,
More info here »
14-19, Fun'n'Sun Cushie Cruise to Bermuda,
More info here »
June 24-27, 2006, ENDO 2006, Boston Convention & Exhibit Center.
Plenary Lectures Announced for ENDO 2006, Boston, Massachusetts,
ENDO 2006 not only delivers four full days of the latest advances in
endocrine research and clinical practice, but also plenary lectures by
sixteen of the world's foremost leaders of endocrinology. For up-to-date
information on ENDO 2006, from the scientific program to registration, visit
The 2006 plenary topics and speakers are:
* The WHI Hormone Therapy Trial: Timing is Everything
JoAnn Manson MD, DrPH, Brigham & Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical
* Estrogen & Cardiovascular Disease
Michael Mendelsohn, MD, FACP, Tufts University/New England Medical
* Diabetes, Obesity & the Brain
Michael Schwartz, MD, University of Washington-Seattle/Harborview
* Neuroendocrinology of Critical Illness
Greet Van den Berghe, MD, PhD, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,
* Prolactin & its Receptor: More than Just the Lactation Mediator
Paul Kelly, PhD, Faculté de Médecine Necker, INSERM, France
(Gerald D. Aurbach Award Lecture)
* Thyroid Hormone & Brain Development
Juan Bernal, MD, PhD, Instituto Investigaciones Biomedicas, Madrid,
* Steroidogenesis: General Lessons from Rare Diseases
Walter Miller, MD, University of California-San Francisco
(Clinical Investigator Award Lecture)
* Genetic Pathways of Cell Death
Tak Mak, PhD, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
* Metabolic Syndrome
Richard Bergman, PhD, University of Southern California
* Nuclear Receptors & Endocrinology
Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of
(Edwin B. Astwood Award Lecture)
Benita Katzenellenbogen, PhD & John Katzenellenbogen, PhD, University
(Roy O. Greep Award Lecture)
* Fetal Basis of Adult Disease
Susan Ozanne, PhD, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
* Embryonic & Neural Stem Cells: Potential for Spinal Cord Repair & Other
John Kessler, MD, Northwestern University
* Applications of Biomaterials to Regenerative Medicine
Robert Langer, ScD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gerald Schatten, PhD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
* Sex Determination
David Page, MD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For up-to-date information on ENDO 2006, from the scientific program to
June 2-5, 2007, ENDO 2007, Toronto, Canada, Metro Toronto Center. More info as it becomes available.
More upcoming local meetings are listed here »
Sign up for notification of local meetings. You need not be a CUSH member to participate.
|Please join us in the Chat Room TONIGHT at 9 PM Eastern. |
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This room is always open, and has convenient links so that you can get needed information while you're chatting.
I hope to see you tonight!
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