City of Hope has promoted an aggressive program of pioneering research in all aspects of endocrine diseases, from decoding their genetic and molecular underpinnings to developing pharmaceutical and biological-based therapies for their management. Management of these diseases encompasses a myriad of considerations. Leading-edge techniques such as islet cell transplantation may one day result in a cure for type 1 diabetes. But until a cure is found, optimal therapies must be found to keep the disease in check. Type 2 diabetes is prevalent in the United States, and islet cell transplantation is not a solution because type 2 diabetes is not insulin dependent. Therefore, research centers on drug therapies to both control diabetes itself and prevent its attendant complications such as heart disease, stroke, limb amputations and blindness.
Promising research is also taking place in non-diabetic endocrine disorders. Thyroid cancer rates continue to rise, perhaps due to environmental factors. While most types of thyroid cancer are treatable surgically, diligent follow-up is necessary to prevent recurrence. New methods of destroying residual thyroid tissue after surgery such as Thyrogen (thyrotropin) are thus being tested. Neuroendocrine tumors such as carcinoids and pheochromocytoma are also being treated with new investigational therapies.
City of Hope’s multidisciplinary team of basic science and clinical researchers consistently strives to develop novel and effective therapies to better the lives of patients with diabetes and other endocrine disorders.