January: Thyroid Health and Thyroid Cancer

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featuring Leonard Wartofsky, MD, Chairman Emeritus, Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Kristen Vella, PhD, Instructor in Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Our investment in research and pursuit of life-saving discoveries never stops, and our commitment to clinical care remains unsurpassed.

The thyroid gland has a huge impact on a person’s health and our collective mission is to fuel the development of promising new treatments and improve the lives of patients. The science has come a long way. In the past few years researchers have discovered new ways to diagnose and treat thyroid cancer without surgery, have reduced the negative effects of thyroid disorders in pregnant women including gestational diabetes and higher rates of C-Sections, and have employed radical research methods to help develop new models for treating Graves’ disease.

Our members are focused on enhancing the quality of life for patients and there is so much more to do to help relieve them of symptoms that include weight loss and weight gain, depression, weakness, high-blood pressure, heart palpitations, and many more.

The Endocrine Society supports the National Thyroid Awareness Month because it highlights the progress we have made in the past 100 years and reinforces our commitment to breakthrough discoveries in Thyroid science leading to new and evolving clinical care techniques for Thyroid disorders.

Quick Links: Featured ArticlesFor PatientsResearchClinicalScientific MeetingsFrom the Experts

Twitter Chat

The Endocrine Society and the American Thyroid Association held a Twitter chat on thyroid function and disorder on Thursday, January 28th at 1 PM EST to celebrate Thyroid Awareness Month. Our resident thyroid expert and Society member, Dr. Alan Farwell, moderated the conversation. A transcript will be available soon. Be sure to follow @TheEndoSociety and @thyroidfriends.

The Endocrine SocietyFeatured Articles

On the Occasion of the 2016 Centennial of the Endocrine Society (Leonard Wartofsky, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Endocrine Reviews)

Patient ResourcesFor Patients

The Society is dedicated to providing patients helpful information about endocrine diseases and conditions. Founded in 1998, the Hormone Health Network offers a breadth of fact sheets and patients guides to help the public be informed about thyroid disorders.


Endocrinology, established in 1917, is the Society's premier research journal. In our January issue, we will highlight three research articles as part of our Special Series: Endocrine Society Centennial Celebration. If you do not already receive Endocrinology, subscribe through our online store.


The Society offers a wealth of educational tools for clinicians, in particular our Endocrine Self Assessment Program (ESAP). For our centennial we will publish a Centennial ESAP edition, featuring 24 historical cases with a historical context of the past Society president involved with it. This month we feature a case involving Dr. Rulon W. Rawson (Endocrine Society president, 1966-1967), who spent much of his career studying the regulation of thyroid function. ESAP and other education products are available through our online Center for Learning.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), established in 1941, is the world’s leading peer-reviewed journal for endocrine clinical research and clinical practice information. This month we offer three articles that focus on thyroid health and cancer. If you do not already receive JCEM, subscribe through our online store.

Other Resources

Stay up to date with clinical education resources on endosessions.org. In recognition of thyroid awareness month, the Society highlights the following thyroid sessions.

Congenital Hypothyroidism PIM

MeetingsScientific Meetings

The Society will hold its annual meeting from April 1 - 4 in Boston. With an extensive program covering a broad array of topics, attendance at ENDO is a must for enhancing professional development. We will also celebrate our centennial this year. If you have not already registered, come join over 9,000 colleagues from across the field of endocrinology. Register now.
This year's program will feature several thyroid related sessions, including our respected Hands-on Thyroid Ultasound Workshops. They provide the latest advancements in thyroid imaging with a practical, hands-on approach. We offer either an introductory or advanced track on various diagnostic ultrasound techniques. Get more information about attending this essential preconference program to ENDO 2016.
The American Thyroid Association will hold its 86th annual meeting September 21 - 25, 2016 in Denver.

The Endocrine SocietyFrom the Experts

What do you think is the most important recent development in thyroid research or clinical care?


The identification, characterization and clinical application of molecular abnormalities in thyroid nodule and thyroid cancer patients: these molecular abnormalities include the utility of molecular tests applied to thyroid fine needle aspirations helping the decision whether to monitor or recommend surgery for thyroid nodule patients with an indeterminate aspirate. These molecular tests also apply to the identification of germline mutations (e.g. RET oncogene) to help identify patients with early or nascent medullary thyroid cancer. Identification of somatic mutations in thyroid cancer tissue also are helpful in determining the likelihood a thyroid cancer will be more aggressive, and, also in helping to determine which oral chemotherapeutic agent(s) will be beneficial in a patient with metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer.
~ Kenneth Burman, Director, Endocrine Section, Washington Hospital Center, Professor of Medicine and Director, Georgetown University Hospital/Washington Hospital Center Endocrinology Fellowship Program, Deputy Editor, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Among the many rapid advances being made in Thyroidology, the increasing trend towards individualized treatment of thyroid patients stands out, a relatively new and very promising concept that is particularly emphasized by our Associations. Another major achievement this year has been the release in September of the Guidelines for Management of Thyroid Cancer in Children and Adolescents. This was followed by the November online release of the New Guidelines for Managing Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer issued by an international task-force chaired by Bryan Haugen. These new, strictly evidence-based Guidelines not only advance our knowledge regarding adequate treatment modalities but also better systematize our treatment of patients with thyroid cancer. Combined with genetic studies, implementation of the Guidelines will considerably promote the application of the personalized approach to thyroid cancer therapy. Other highlights of the year have been studies further clarifying the use of thyrostatics during pregnancy and the encouraging studies on the use of multiple tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as vandetanib and levantinib, in the treatment of advanced myeloid thyroid cancer and differentiated thyroid cancer refractory to radioiodine, respectively. Over the past few decades, Thyroidologists have proven themselves highly innovative and always ready to experiment based on both traditional and modern scientific methods.
~ Leonidas H. Duntas, MD, PhD, Professor of Endocrinology, Evgenidion Hospital, University of Athens (Greece), Associate Editor of Thyroid

What should we expect to discover in the immediate future?


I believe we will see widespread use of genomic analysis to learn on molecular mechanisms as well as to understand why the individual body systems behave differently towards the disease.  We should expect the development of new molecular diagnostic tools and new target drugs to specific molecular events. At the end, this will allow a more individualized therapeutic approach for patients with thyroid diseases. The field of molecular diagnostics will be more and more incorporated into our clinical practice and probably will soon become the most important way to tackle the challenges of disease management.
~ Ana Luiza Maia, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Thyroid Section, Endocrinology Division, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Associate Professor of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

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