New Recommendations for Standardizing Studies of Thyroid Hormone and Disease from ATA Taskforce

New Rochelle, NY, September 4, 2013 —Despite tens of thousands of studies in the literature on the thyroid gland, thyroid hormone, and thyroid disease, lack of standardization in study design makes it difficult to compare the results and apply them to the development of improved diagnostic and treatment approaches. A new report from the American Thyroid Association’s Taskforce on Approaches and Strategies to Investigate Thyroid Hormone Economy includes 70 specific recommendations and accompanying commentaries on a range of topics. The report is available free on the Thyroid website. Thyroid, the peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, is the official journal of the American Thyroid Association (ATA).

Understanding the physiology of the thyroid gland and the activity of thyroid hormone in healthy individuals and in patients with disorders such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancer is essential for developing new, more effective clinical practice and therapeutic strategies. Much knowledge is gained from studying thyroid tissue and thyroid hormone in animal and cell models.

Antonio C. Bianco, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Chair of the ATA Taskforce, led a team of specialists in basic thyroid research in a review of the literature to identify which experimental practices would benefit from standardization. The panel of experts then defined consensus recommendations for how best to standardize study design and experimental approaches to achieve more reproducible results, in the American Thyroid Association Guide to Investigating Thyroid Hormone Economy and Action in Rodent and Cell Models.

“This is an outstanding and comprehensive guide for translational and basic research scientists that has filled an important gap in our thyroid research field,” says Bryan R. Haugen, MD, President of the ATA and Professor of Medicine and Pathology, Head, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes, Mary Rossick Kern and Jerome H. Kern Chair in Endocrine Neoplasms Research, University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Dr. Bianco and the entire Taskforce are to be commended for developing this authoritative and extremely useful reference.”

“This is a unique compilation of detailed recommendations for performing experiments focusing on the pathophysiology of the thyroid using cell and animal models. It will guide numerous researchers how to best conduct these experiments and will lead to more standardized approaches in many laboratories worldwide,” says Peter A. Kopp, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Thyroid and Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine, and Interim Director of the Center for Genetic Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago.

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