Highlighting Clinical Trials in July

Mark 2012This month, we are devoting a considerable amount of space to the topic of clinical trials. This idea was suggested to me last year by Mila Becker, the senior director of Advocacy & Policy Programs for the Endocrine Society. It sounded like a great idea, and it wassomething Endocrine News had never done in the past.Also, this further illustrates how well the Society staffwork together in getting the most relevant informationinto the members’ hands whether it’s via email or aneducational session at ENDO or a monthly magazinearticle. So, I’d like to include a special thanks to Mila forher very timely and interesting suggestion as well as to Joe Laakso,the Society’s associate director of science policy, who reviewed thearticles thoroughly before publication.

The first of the clinical trials articles by Eric Seaborg is “Great Expectations” and concerns the basic question: Why should a clinician consider a clinical trial for one of his or her patients? First and foremost, it is a chance to off er the patient hope when all other means have been exhausted. Second, regardless of the individual patient’s outcome, the trial is doing its part to further the science of medicine. “I think patients benefit from being in clinical trials because the questions that we study arise when we really don’t know whether one treatment is better than the other,” Judith Fradkin, MD, director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, tells Eric. “So people who are in clinical trials are really getting state-of-the-art treatment. The trials are comparing what we think is the best treatment or two diff erent strategies when we aren’t sure which is the best treatment, so people in clinical trials get very good care.” Eric’s second piece, “Coming Attractions: Top Endocrinology Clinical Trials at NIH,” hones in on those trials being conducted by the National Institutes of Health that relate specifically to endocrine disorders. Not only did Eric work closely with NIH staff , but he also consulted with the Society’s Research Aff airs Core Committee. A special thanks to those experts as well.

Since endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a major threat to the hormone health of people around the world, we’re including an article that focuses on the link between EDCs and women’s reproductive issues, “Indecent Exposures: EDCs and Women’s Health” by Kelly Horvath. “We need to be aware that these EDCs are in our everyday life, even if banned in the past, and they may be having an untoward eff ect on our ovaries, reproductive health, and overall wellbeing,” says Amber R. Cooper, MD, with the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

As always, I welcome your comments about what’s in this issue as well as suggestions for topics you would like to see included in future issues. Feel free to contact me at mnewman@endocgrine.org.

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