The research involvement and interests of Irina Bancos, M.D., include development and validation of diagnostic biomarkers in adrenal disorders, understanding the effect of steroids on health, and improvement of patient outcomes in a variety of adrenal disorders, including adrenal tumors, cortisol excess, adrenal insufficiency and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
- Diagnosis of adrenal tumors. Dr. Bancos led the Transform the Adrenal Practice initiative between 2015 and 2018 at Mayo Clinic and continues to lead a multidisciplinary team of researchers in refining and validating a variety of diagnostic biomarkers that noninvasively distinguish malignant and benign adrenal tumors.
- Impact of endogenous and exogenous glucocorticoid (cortisol) excess on health outcomes. Dr. Bancos investigates the impact of cortisol excess on body composition, metabolism, bone health, cognition, sleep, quality of life and cardiovascular morbidity in Cushing syndrome, mild autonomous cortisol secretion and exogenous glucocorticoid use.
- Diagnosis, management and outcomes of adrenal insufficiency and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Dr. Bancos leads and collaborates with a multidisciplinary team of researchers to improve care for patients with adrenal insufficiency. Areas of focus include diagnosis of partial forms of secondary adrenal insufficiency, improving the optimal care of patients with adrenal insufficiency, and collaboration on novel investigational therapies for patients with adrenal insufficiency and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
Significance to patient care
Accurate noninvasive diagnosis of adrenal tumors is critical to providing optimal treatment to patients. Appropriate diagnosis of a malignant tumor assures earlier surgery, with improvement in long-term prognosis, and may help avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful adrenal biopsy. In contrast, a confident diagnosis of a benign adrenal mass avoids unnecessary procedures and patient anxiety associated with an indeterminate diagnosis.
Both endogenous and exogenous glucocorticoid excess are common; however, management of these patients lacks sufficient evidence and represents a challenge. Understanding the effect of glucocorticoid excess on patients' health and quality of life will identify potential interventions that will positively affect long-term health.
- Editor, European Journal of Endocrinology, 2021-present
- Member, A5 Adrenal Alliance, 2016-present
- Member, European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours, 2013-present
- Chair and vice chair, Pituitary-gonadal-adrenal-neuroendocrine taskforce, American Association for Clinical Endocrinology, 2018-2021