His wife Nancy couldn’t take the snoring anymore, so after a couple of months Dan Nagridge went to ask his doctor if he had sleep apnea.
He ended up at the University of Michigan Health System, with a surprise diagnosis: cancer at the base of his skull. It was chordoma, a slow-growing cancer that’s extremely rare, pushing on the back of Dan’s throat that made him start snoring.
“The cancer starts from tissue that was left when he was forming as an embryo in his mother’s womb,” says Erin McKean, M.D., MBA, a U-M otolaryngologist, or ear, nose and throat doctor, and Dan’s surgeon. “We don’t know why people develop this cancer, so we’re very invested in advancing the research.” Continue reading →
Neuroendocrine cells are part of the endocrine system; examples of the glands that are found in this system include the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands and pancreatic islet cells.
If your doctor told you that you had a neuroendocrine tumor, or NET for short, what would you think? Many possible questions may come to mind. Do I have cancer? How is this treated? What type of doctors treat these types of tumors?
To understand a diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors, it helps to understand the basic biology of the neuroendocrine system. These cells are part of the endocrine system which includes the pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands, pancreatic islet cells, the ovaries and testicles. Neuroendocrine cells are found throughout the body, but mainly in the digestive and respiratory systems. Continue reading →
James Shayman, M.D., one of two U-M scientists who led the development of the drug eliglustat tartrate, now sold as Cerdelga
It took more than 40 years, and a lot of dedication. But an idea born and nurtured in University of Michigan laboratories is now making a difference in the lives of patients with a rare disease.
For one of the first times, a drug developed first at U-M, and then further by a company, made it through all the steps it takes to reach patients around the world.
And even though the disease it treats only affects about 10,000 people worldwide, it’s become a product that a company can sell and doctors can prescribe to their patients. In this case, it’s patients with the debilitating and potentially fatal rare condition called Gaucher disease.
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