Discussion – 


Discussion – 


Mass Spectrometer: TDM and Hormone Therapy

Mass Spectrometers are used in modern testing which benefits human life. This is evident in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring for Hormone Therapy. Both in hormone health and development of therapeutic drugs, Mass Spectrometers help to develop medicines that change lives.


According to NCBI, Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is “the clinical practice of measuring specific drugs at designated intervals to maintain a constant concentration in a patient’s bloodstream, thereby optimizing individual dosage regimens.” Emerging in the 1960’s, this method became the backdrop for our modern pharmaceutical practices. The study of specific doses of medicine has been cultivated since that time; leading us to what is now, at least in the case of hormone therapy, a precise dosing science.

Therapeutic Drug Monitoring with Mass Spec is applied in a variety of areas but one where it is especially helpful, is hormone therapy. This is because it helps detect and develop dosage. The ability to control dosage allows for proper treatment, and more importantly, proper results.  And in the case of hormone therapy, both the consequences for not getting the dosage right and the benefits of getting it right are heavily weighted because they change peoples daily lives.

Although the application for this concept and the use of mass spectrometers within hormone therapy is vast, one area of use that most would recognize is the medical procedure, hysterectomy. Every year, approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the United States. About 20 million American women have had hysterectomies, which means there are about 20 million women who may have benefited from  TDM carried out on a mass spectrometer. 


The symptoms that follow a hysterectomy are often challenging and painful. By developing specialized doses of hormones, for individual women, doctors are able to relieve symptoms such as: hot flashes; sleep disturbances; mood issues and depression; and joint aches. These  may sound small but mood, sleep, depression, and body temperature are integral parts of daily life. These things need to be in balance to have quality of life. Having hormone therapy, and the correct hormone dosage is often what allows women to get back to their normal lives. Without intervention, patients have the possibility of developing more severe issues after an operation that disrupts the bodies natural ability to regulate it’s own hormones. 

Following a hysterectomy there is the possibility for developing Endometrial Hyperplasia. This is a condition in which the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) becomes abnormally thick. This can lead to uterine cancer in some women. Endometrial hyperplasia is usually caused by an excess of estrogen and absence of progesterone, both of which are female hormones that are disrupted by the removal of the woman’s reproductive system via hysterectomy. To learn more about this condition, click here.

Mass Spectrometers, like those seen at Arc Scientific, are evolving along with the scientific uses for them. New models and old are used in TDM and hormone therapy and hysterectomies are just one area of study. More to come on further applications of Mass Spec in hormone dosing and therapy.



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