NEW ORLEANS — Technological advancements in the field of endocrinology will take center stage at this year’s annual meeting of The Endocrine Society.
ENDO 2019 kicks off here on Saturday and will run through Tuesday, with over 7,500 expected in attendance. The meeting will commence with the presidential plenary lecture given by Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health, who will discuss the future of genomics through the scope of endocrinology.
Although no one theme can summarize this year’s meeting, annual meeting chair Gregory Brent, MD, of UCLA, told MedPage Today that endocrinologists and other healthcare professionals attending the meeting can expect a spotlight on the latest tools and technology being used in research, diagnosis, and treatment of endocrine disorders.
“This will include genetic and molecular tools, as well as the use of ‘Big Data’ and artificial intelligence in research and clinical care,” he explained.
Instead, the meeting will feature three different basic scientific pathways every day of the conference — reproductive endocrinology, nuclear receptors and gene regulation, and neuroendocrinology — all with their own reception to follow each evening.
In addition to basic science, thousands of abstracts covering the spectrum of clinical practice-focused endocrinology will be presented in oral and poster sessions throughout the meeting. Data to be presented will range from the expected — like diabetes and obesity — to more granular topics like endocrine-disrupting chemicals and emerging issues in reproductive health.
As for one topic in reproductive health, last year’s abstract that had people buzzing was the promise of the first male birth control pill. This year, another late-breaking abstract will unveil results from another potential oral male hormonal contraceptive.
Transgender reproductive health is another popular topic to be covered in depth, with one abstract in particular looking at the preservation of ovary functioning in transgender men a year after testosterone therapy, while another analysis will focus on changes in brain connections in transgender women following hormonal therapy.
As always, diabetes will be a popular topic among the emerging research, with one study focusing on technical challenges related to the hybrid closed loop insulin pump, while another study will assess the accuracy of HbA1c testing on identifying (or missing) cases of diabetes.
Other highlighted studies from the program will assess the affect of levothyroxine treatment in women with thyroid antibodies on live birth rate and the role of oxytocin on the brain’s food signals.
Beyond the science, ENDO 2019 will also host a slew of other sessions, including two debates: for or against screening for thyroid disease in pregnancy and whether an HbA1c goal under 7% is reasonable for non-pregnant adults.
“There will be outstanding plenary talks,” Brent said.
Among the sessions he recommended that attendees should especially look out for are gene editing in embryos, senescent cells as targets for chronic diseases and aging, “Big Data” in healthcare, and novel therapeutic targets in cancer and metabolic disease.
Two other highlights from the meeting will include new clinical practice guidelines issued by the Society. These will include new guidance on managing diabetes in older adults, as well as managing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.