Hypothalamic obesity (HO) is a devastating condition that can come from treatment of a tumor in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis of the brain. So many struggle with varying degrees of this issue from dramatic weight gains after initial treatment to ongoing uncontrollable weight gain with or without hyperphagia, which is a term for insatiable hunger.
These issues occur because the injury to the hypothalamus throws off the metabolic processes that send the correct hunger and satiety cues between the brain and the stomach. It can severely effect the quality of life of survivors and caregivers and families as they struggle to protect their loved one faced with this condition. Locked refrigerators and cabinets, inability to attend social or family gatherings, food stealing and subsequent medical conditions like type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can result and to-date there are no proven treatments for HO.
There is hope on the horizon, however, as rare disease pharmaceutical companies and researchers are trialing various potential treatments that may alleviate some of the issues of this condition and even cause weight loss. In the Hypothalamic Clinical Trials Panel, scheduled as a Pituitary Brain Tumor Virtual Family Conference pre-conference workshop, on October 28th, is focused on the latest developments and possible treatments. Speakers include Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, M.D., DMSc, principal investigator of Saniona’s Tesomet which will begin clinical trials in the U.S. possibly in early 2021, Roman Dvorak, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of ConSynance who is soon to initiate phase one clinical trials of CSTI-500 and Blandine Gatta Cherifi, MD, PhD, of Université de Bordeaux who will speak on GLP-1 Analogs as a potential treatment option for hypothalamic obesity.
The panel will be led by Shana McCormack, MD, MTR, of CHOP who is currently leading a research study on intranasal oxytocin and its impact on the symptoms of HO.
To register for this and other educational sessions around issues on brain tumors that affect this area of the brain, visit pbtconference.org.