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Glaser R.,Millennium Wellness Center | Dimitrakakis C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Maturitas | Year: 2015

Testosterone (T) is the most abundant biologically active hormone in women. Androgen receptors (AR) are located throughout the body including the breast where T decreases tissue proliferation. However, T can be aromatized to estradiol (E2), which increases proliferation and hence, breast cancer (BCA) risk. Increased aromatase expression and an imbalance in the ratio of stimulatory estrogens to protective androgens impacts breast homeostasis. Recent clinical data supports a role for T in BCA prevention. Women with symptoms of hormone deficiency treated with pharmacological doses of T alone or in combination with anastrozole (A), delivered by subcutaneous implants, had a reduced incidence of BCA. In addition, T combined with A effectively treated symptoms of hormone deficiency in BCA survivors and was not associated with recurrent disease. Most notably, T+A implants placed in breast tissue surrounding malignant tumors significantly reduced BCA tumor size, further supporting T direct antiproliferative, protective and therapeutic effect. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.


Glaser R.L.,Millennium Wellness Center | Glaser R.L.,Wright State University | Dimitrakakis C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dimitrakakis C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Messenger A.G.,Royal Hallamshire Hospital
British Journal of Dermatology | Year: 2012

Summary Background Androgens are thought to have an adverse effect on female scalp hair growth. However, our clinical experience of androgen replacement therapy in women with androgen deficiency, in which hair loss was seldom reported, led us to question this concept. Objectives To evaluate the effect of subcutaneous testosterone therapy on scalp hair growth in female patients. Methods A total of 285 women, treated for a minimum of 1 year with subcutaneous testosterone implants for symptoms of androgen deficiency, were asked to complete a survey that included questions on scalp and facial hair. Age, body mass index (BMI) and serum testosterone levels were examined. Results Out of the 285 patients, 76 (27%) reported hair thinning prior to treatment; 48 of these patients (63%) reported hair regrowth on testosterone therapy (responders). Nonresponders (i.e. no reported hair regrowth on therapy) had significantly higher BMIs than responders (P = 0·05). Baseline serum testosterone levels were significantly lower in women reporting hair loss prior to therapy than in those who did not (P = 0·0001). There was no significant difference in serum testosterone levels, measured 4 weeks after testosterone implantation, between responders and nonresponders. No patient in this cohort reported scalp hair loss on testosterone therapy. A total of 262 women (92%) reported some increase in facial hair growth. Conclusions Subcutaneous testosterone therapy was found to have a beneficial effect on scalp hair growth in female patients treated for symptoms of androgen deficiency. We propose this is due to an anabolic effect of testosterone on hair growth. The fact that no subject complained of hair loss as a result of treatment casts doubt on the presumed role of testosterone in driving female scalp hair loss. These results need to be confirmed by formal measurements of hair growth. © 2011 British Association of Dermatologists.


Glaser R.L.,Millennium Wellness Center | Glaser R.L.,Wright State University | Dimitrakakis C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dimitrakakis C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health
Maturitas | Year: 2013

Objectives There is evidence that androgens are breast protective and that testosterone therapy treats many symptoms of hormone deficiency in both pre and postmenopausal patients. However, unlike estrogen and progestins, there is a paucity of data regarding the incidence of breast cancer in women treated with testosterone therapy. This study was designed to investigate the incidence of breast cancer in women treated with subcutaneous testosterone therapy in the absence of systemic estrogen therapy. Study design This is a 5-year interim analysis of a 10-year, prospective, observational, IRB approved study investigating the incidence of breast cancer in women presenting with symptoms of hormone deficiency treated with subcutaneous testosterone (T) implants or, T combined with the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole (A), i.e., T + A implants. Breast cancer incidence was compared with that of historical controls reported in the literature, age specific Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) incidence rates, and a representative, similar age group of our patients used as a 'control' group. The effect of adherence to T therapy was also evaluated. Results Since March 2008, 1268 pre and post menopausal women have been enrolled in the study and eligible for analysis. As of March 2013, there have been 8 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in 5642 person-years of follow up for an incidence of 142 cases per 100 000 person-years, substantially less than the age-specific SEER incidence rates (293/100 000), placebo arm of Women's Health Initiative Study (300/100 000), never users of hormone therapy from the Million Women Study (325/100 000) and our control group (390/100 000). Unlike adherence to estrogen therapy, adherence to T therapy further decreased the incidence of breast cancer (73/100 000). Conclusion T and/or T + A, delivered subcutaneously as a pellet implant, reduced the incidence of breast cancer in pre and postmenopausal women. Evidence supports that breast cancer is preventable by maintaining a T to estrogen ratio in favor of T and, in particular, by the use of continuous T or, when indicated, T + A. This hormone therapy should be further investigated for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Glaser R.,Millennium Wellness Center | Glaser R.,Wright State University | Dimitrakakis C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dimitrakakis C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health
Maturitas | Year: 2013

Although testosterone therapy is being increasingly prescribed for men, there remain many questions and concerns about testosterone (T) and in particular, T therapy in women. A literature search was performed to elucidate the origin of, and scientific basis behind many of the concerns and assumptions about T and T therapy in women. This paper refutes 10 common myths and misconceptions, and provides evidence to support what is physiologically plausible and scientifically evident: T is the most abundant biologically active female hormone, T is essential for physical and mental health in women, T is not masculinizing, T does not cause hoarseness, T increases scalp hair growth, T is cardiac protective, parenteral T does not adversely affect the liver or increase clotting factors, T is mood stabilizing and does not increase aggression, T is breast protective, and the safety of T therapy in women is under research and being established. Abandoning myths, misconceptions and unfounded concerns about T and T therapy in women will enable physicians to provide evidenced based recommendations and appropriate therapy. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Glaser R.,Millennium Wellness Center | Glaser R.,Wright State University | Dimitrakakis C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dimitrakakis C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 2 more authors.
Maturitas | Year: 2012

The purpose of this prospective pilot study was to determine the therapeutic effect of continuous testosterone, delivered as a subcutaneous implant, on the severity of migraine headaches in pre- and post-menopausal patients. Twenty-seven women with a history of documented migraine headache were asked to rate their headache severity using a five-point scale at baseline (prior to therapy); and again, 3 months following treatment with testosterone implants. Improvement in headache severity was noted by 92% of patients and the mean level of improvement was statistically significant (3.3 on a 5 point scale). In addition, there was no difference in the level of improvement between pre- and post-menopausal cohorts. Seventy-four percent of patients reported a headache severity score of '0' (none) on testosterone implant therapy for the 3-month treatment period. Continuous testosterone was effective therapy in reducing the severity of migraine headaches in both pre- and post-menopausal women. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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