Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 10.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brianna M. Jones, MD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Oral tongue cancer has traditionally been a diagnosis associated with older age and habitual tobacco or alcohol use. However, in the past few decades there has been a disproportionate increase in oral tongue cancer in young patients, particularly in those without a prior history of significant alcohol or tobacco use. In the literature, these young patients without traditional risk factors seem to represent a distinct clinical entity with worse oncologic outcomes. The purpose of this study was to compare young patients (age ≤45) to older patients (>45) with oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) without habitual smoking or drinking history. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Radiation Therapy / 10.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jayant S Vaidya MBBS MS DNB FRCS PhD Professor of Surgery and Oncology University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What type of single dose radiation is used? Response: The findings of the large international randomised trial (TARGIT-A trial), published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2020;370:m2836), confirm the long-term effectiveness of Targeted Intraoperative Radiotherapy (TARGIT-IORT): a breast cancer treatment which is increasingly available throughout the world. For most women with early breast cancer, a single dose of targeted radiotherapy during surgery is just as effective as conventional radiotherapy, which requires several visits to hospital after surgery. Conventional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is delivered from outside the body via a radiotherapy machine (linear accelerator), and consists of a daily treatment session (known as fractions) to the whole breast, over a period between three to six weeks. Each of these treatments is given over a few minutes, but requires 15 to 30 hospital visits, which could be a significant distance from where the patient lives. TARGIT-IORT is delivered immediately after lumpectomy (tumour removal), via a small ball-shaped device placed inside the breast, directly where the cancer had been. The single-dose treatment lasts for around 20 to 30 minutes and replaces the need for extra hospital visits, benefiting both patient safety and well-being. The device used is called INTRABEAM. More details are described on the BMJ and UCL webpages: https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/single-dose-radiotherapy-as-good-as-conventional-radiotherapy-for-most-women-with-early-breast-cancer/ https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2020/aug/single-dose-radiotherapy-effective-treating-breast-cancer https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/08/20/targeted-intraoperative-radiotherapy-for-early-breast-cancer-new-evidence/ (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Ophthalmology, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 09.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua Uhr MD Ophthalmologist Philadelphia, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Disparities in American society have been at the forefront of the public consciousness in recent months. As part of the larger discussion about inequality, disparities in health outcomes have received much attention. In light of the renewed recognition that these disparities are stark and widespread, we felt it important to evaluate disparities in our own field, ophthalmology. Previous studies have shown disparate outcomes for individual eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataract, and retinal detachment. Although the common and relevant endpoint of these is visual impairment, few prior studies have examined disparities in visual impairment more broadly. Our aim was to provide an updated analysis of disparity in visual impairment among adults in the United States based on race and socioeconomic status. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Rheumatology, UCSF / 07.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Milena Gianfrancesco, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor. Education Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study utilized data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Provider Survey, which launched on March 25th. To date, it has collected information on over 6,000 patients with rheumatic disease diagnosed with COVID-19 from over 40 countries worldwide. As COVID-19 spread across the world in the spring, and especially within the United States, it became clear that the disease was impacting certain groups more than others. Growing attention and research began to illustrate the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 among racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. We know that racial and ethnic minorities experience a higher burden of rheumatic disease risk and severity; therefore, our group was interested in examining whether the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 also affected this susceptible population. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Hearing Loss / 06.11.2020


MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Eldré Beukes PhD Clinical Scientist in Audiology Clinical Audiologist: Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital Associate lecturer: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by tinnitus? Response: Tinnitus is characterised by hearing unwanted sounds, such as a ringing or buzzing, without a corresponding sound in the environment. It is one of the most frequently occurring chronic conditions, affecting 1 in 8 adults worldwide. People with tinnitus are found to be at higher risk of lower emotional wellbeing, depression and anxiety. This led our team to realise that tinnitus may be more problematic as a result of the added stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic. As such, we initiated an exploratory study to examine changes in tinnitus during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews / 06.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily S. Barrett, PhD Rutgers School of Public Health Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute Piscataway, NJ 08854 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As the covid-19 pandemic hit the us, it became clear that health care workers were potentially at risk and there was great concern for frontline doctors and nurses treating infected patients. With the health and safety of our hospital staff in mind, we offered covid-19 virus and antibody testing to all of the hospital employees. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 05.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marisa N. Spann, PhD, MPH Columbia University Irving Medical Center New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior research has demonstrated that higher maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index is associated with adverse long-term outcomes for offspring including obesity, poorer cognitive and social abilities, and increased risk of psychiatric disorders. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: In this study, we investigated the association of maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index with fetal growth and neonatal functional connectivity and found that maternal pre-pregnancy BMI has a significant positive correlation with fetal weight and with greater thalamic connectivity of the brain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer / 05.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hisham Hussan, MD, FACG The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Early-onset colorectal cancer (i.e., CRC diagnosed before 50 years of age) is predicted to rise to 10.9% of all colon and 22.9% of all rectal cancers by 2030. Some studies identified an association between early-onset CRC and obesity. By contrast, other studies found a similar body mass index (BMI) between adults with and without early-onset CRC. These conflicting findings are possibly due to weight loss from colorectal cancer that may obscure its relation to obesity. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Circadian Rhythm / 05.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kazuomi Kario, MD, PhD, FACP, FACC, FAHA, FESC, FJCS Professor, Chairman Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Jichi Medical University School of Medicine (JMU) JMU Center of Excellence, Cardiovascular Research and Development (JCARD) Hypertension Cardiovascular Outcome Prevention and Evidence in Asia (HOPE Asia) Network Shimotsuke, Tochigi, 329-0498, JAPAN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: To date, it remains unclear whether disrupted blood pressure (BP) circadian rhythm is associated with adverse outcomes independent of nighttime BP. The JAMP study includes 6359 outpatient population who had ambulatory BP monitoring to evaluate the association between both nocturnal hypertension and nighttime BP dipping patterns and the occurrence of cardiovascular events in patients with hypertension. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 05.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Duane Wesemann, MD, PhD Div. of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02115 Wesemann Lab MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a lot of variability in how long antibodies to pathogens are produced in humans. Some infections and vaccinations like measles induce high levels of antibodies that can be produced for a lifetime. Other infections or vaccinations induce only short lived antibody responses. Also, some people make longer lasting antibodies compared to others. We wanted to ask what the antibody durability dynamics looked like after COVID-19 and if we could tease out any insights—both with regard to COVID-19 as well as in general. (more…)
Author Interviews, Surgical Research / 03.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Pravesh S. Gadjradj, MD Department of Neurosurgery, Leiden University Medical Center, University Neurosurgical Center Holland Leiden, Netherlands neurosurgery brain surgery ct scan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many healthcare professionals throughout the world face issues surrounding medical malpractice at some point in their careers. Unfortunately, a number of these cases turn into medical malpractice lawsuits. As a specialty that treats acute pathology and refractory pain, neurosurgery is at risk for high liability. By the means of a survey among members of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), we aimed to illustrate how malpractice lawsuits affect neurosurgeons professionally, emotionally and financially.   MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Some 490 members of the CNS shared their experiences with us. Among these members, 81% faced a medical malpractice lawsuit. The main concerns expressed about being sued included losing confidence and practicing defensive medicine, personal assets being at risk, and being named in the National Practitioner Data Bank. Of the respondents, 40% stated they were frequently or always concerned about being sued, and 77 % stated their fear had led to a change in how they practice medicine. For 58 %, this change led to the practice of defensive medicine, while for others it led to more extensive documentation (14%) and/or to referring or dropping complex cases (12%). Given the medical malpractice environment, 59% of respondents considered referring complex patient cases, whereas 37% considered leaving the practice of medicine. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health / 03.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fan-Yun Lan, MD, MS PhD candidate in Population Health Sciences | Environmental Health Graduate School of Arts and Sciences & T.H. Chan School of Public Health Harvard University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Existing evidence has indicated that essential workers are heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they are not able to benefit from mitigation policies. Their occupational exposures increase their own risk to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and increase the risk of secondary transmissions to their colleagues, families and communities. Research, however, has largely focused on healthcare workers with relatively limited literature investigating non-healthcare essential workers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Journal Clinical Oncology, University of Pittsburgh / 03.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristine Gade, MD Hematology/Oncology Fellow UPMC Hillman Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe the “surprise question”? Response: Via Oncology Pathways, a cancer care platform used by UPMC and other institutions across the country, asks physicians to answer the surprise question – “Would I be surprised if this patient died in the next 12 months?” – whenever a new treatment plan is implemented. This question has been widely adopted by many oncology and palliative care frameworks and has been shown to be modestly predictive of mortality in multiple studies. We know that advanced cancer patients have a high utilization of the emergency department, even near end of life. Our group wanted to see if we could use the results of the surprise question to easily and quickly communicate to emergency department providers the expected prognosis for our advanced cancer patients. First, we set out to assess the surprise question’s ability to predict survival among our UPMC Hillman Cancer Center patients with select stage IV cancer diagnoses. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews / 03.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/home/ Beth Hahn, PhD, Director U.S. Value Evidence and Outcomes, GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Biologic therapies are increasing as a treatment for patients with severe asthma, with multiple therapies approved by the FDA. There is also an increasing understanding of the factors influencing preference for and adherence to biologic therapies for patients with severe asthma; however, little is known about why patients discontinue biologic therapy. In patients who have access to biologic treatment, understanding the circumstances and asthma characteristics associated with discontinuation of biologic therapy may allow for the identification of barriers to treatment success . The objective of this study of cross-sectional physician and patient survey data was to assess the patient characteristics and the given reasons for treatment discontinuation in a US patient cohort with severe asthma treated with biologic therapy. A total of 117 physicians and 285 patients completed surveys with 70% of patients continuing biologic therapy (N=200). This study included a number of different FDA approved biologics. From the perspectives of the physicians included in the current study (85 providing a rationale for discontinuation), the majority reported a lack of symptom control, particularly shortness of breath (46%), exacerbations (26%) and other chronic symptoms (29%), as a key reason for discontinuing biologic therapy in severe asthma. Symptom control was also key for patients, with these three symptom categories among their top six reasons for biologic discontinuation. The cost of biologic treatment was also an important factor, cited as the 5th most common reason for discontinuation among physicians and the 3rd among patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 02.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Darpun D. Sachdev, M.D. Case investigation and Contact tracing Branch Chief SFDPH Covid Command Center San Francisco Department of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The ultimate goal of contact tracing is to rapidly identify and isolate contacts who are COVID-19 positive before they have time to transmit to others. As mentioned in the published research letter by SFDPH, through JAMA, during early shelter-in-place (from April to June 2020), our contact tracing program successfully reached greater than 80% of cases and contacts within a median timeframe of 6 days from the onset of their case’s symptoms. Approximately 10% of named contacts were newly diagnosed with COVID-19 (compared to 2% positivity during this time period). Household contacts made up approximately 80% of all identified contacts, but 90% of contacts who tested positive lived in the same household as the case. Secondary cases (contacts who were found to be newly diagnosed with COVID-19) were traced and quarantined within 6 days of the case’s symptom onset. With that said, the 6-day time difference between symptom onset and contact notification raises concern regarding the overall effectiveness of tracing in preventing onward transmission by infected contacts. We are working with community-based organizations to scale up access to testing and culturally competent tracing and wraparound services. Currently, we have now decreased the time difference to 5 days. Moreover, given that the majority of contacts resided in the same household, transmission could have occurred presymptomatically such that by the time infected contacts were identified, they might have already transmitted the virus. Hence, why SFDPH, on May 5, 2020, implemented the recommendation of universal testing for COVID-19 contacts, regardless of symptoms. We recommend that testing should be offered to all contacts regardless of symptoms and encourage local health departments to adopt novel ways of increasing testing access for contacts. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gastrointestinal Disease / 01.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Darbaz Adna​n, MBChB Lab Research Assistant Department of Internal Medicine - Section of Gastroenterology Rush University Medical Center Chicago, Illinois 60612 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: - We have conducted a large study of over 1000 patients at a major COVID-19 response center in Chicago at Rush University Medical Center, to assess for the frequency of initial GI symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain) and evaluate whether these symptoms in adult COVID-19 positive could predict the disease course. Overall, 22.4% of our patients reported at least one GI symptom at the onset of their infection, with nausea/vomiting being the most common complaint. GI symptoms in COVID-19 patients were associated with worse outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Infections / 31.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Curtis J. Donskey, MD Professor of Medicine Case Western Reserve University Staff Physician, Infectious Diseases Section, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The goal of the study was to obtain a better understanding of how healthcare-associated pathogens are transmitted. Infection control efforts tend to emphasize hand hygiene and cleaning of high-touch surfaces in patient rooms. However, there is evidence that portable equipment and floors could be underappreciated sources of transmission. We previously found that a nonpathogenic virus inoculated onto floors in patient rooms spread rapidly to the hands of patients and to surfaces in the room and throughout the ward. This raised concern that pathogens could spread by the same route. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA / 30.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Selin Tokez, PhD Student Department of Dermatology Erasmus MC, Rotterdam MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the second most common skin cancer worldwide with still increasing incidence rates. Given these high incidence rates together with the associated health costs and possibility of fatal progression, it is extremely important to have accurate and complete data on the epidemiology of this disease. Nevertheless, national cancer registries in many countries do not routinely record cSCC cases and therefore currently known numbers are mainly based on incomplete data sources. Additionally, if cSCC cases are registered, this usually only concerns the first cSCC per patient while we know that, contrary to many other malignant neoplasms, patients may develop numerous cSCCs over time. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: In the present study, we analyzed Dutch nationwide data comprising about 145,000 patients with a first invasive cSCC diagnosis between the years 1989 and 2017. We found that the incidence rates of a first cSCC per patient almost tripled in male patients and increased about fivefold in female patients in this 30-year time period. Also, we had data on all cSCCs per patient for the year 2017 and could therefore compare this with the data on only the first cSCC per patient: incidence rates increased by 58% for men and 35% for women when multiple cSCCs were considered. In absolute numbers, this resulted in an increase of 45% in cSCC diagnoses in 2017. Lastly, we extended our analyses by predicting future cSCC incidence rates up to 2027. Given that no substantially effective measures are undertaken in the near future, current cSCC incidence rates will increase with 23% in males and 29% in females in the next decade. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Surgical Research / 30.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stavros G. Drakos, MD, PhD, FACC Professor of Cardiology Univ. of Utah Healthcare & Medical School and the Salt Lake VA Medical Center. Dr. Drakos is Medical Director of the University's Cardiac Mechanical Support/Artificial Heart Program Co-Director Heart Failure & Transplant and Director of Research for the Division of Cardiology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Heart transplantation and LVADs are first line therapies for advanced chronic heart failure. There were some earlier anecdotal observations and single center small studies from several programs in the US and overseas that left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) significantly reduce the strain on failing hearts and in some cases, using LVADs for limited periods of time has allowed hearts to “rest” and remodel their damaged structures. As a result of these repairs, described as “reverse remodeling,” heart function can improve to the point that the LVAD can be removed. The new study sought to broaden the reach of the research with a multicenter trial involving physicians and scientists at the University of Utah Health, the University of Louisville, University of Pennsylvania, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 30.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Suvi Ravi Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences University of Jyväskylä Jyväskylä, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The results of studies comparing the prevalence of menstrual dysfunction in athletes and non-athletes have been inconsistent. Menstrual dysfunction can have many different causes but one of the most common in athletes is low energy availability (i.e., inadequate energy intake relative to energy expenditure). Disordered eating/eating disorder as a result of e.g. body weight dissatisfaction, which is the discrepancy between actual and desired weight, can be a risk factor for inadequate energy intake and thus could play a role in menstrual dysfunction. We studied a cohort of athletes and non-athletes, in adolescence (14-16 years) and subsequently in young adulthood (18-20 years) to determine the prevalence of menstrual dysfunction and body weight dissatisfaction. Menstrual dysfunction in our study was defined as primary amenorrhea, which is the absence of menses by the age of 15, prolonged menstrual cycle (>35 days), or secondary amenorrhea i.e., absence of menses for at least three consecutive months. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Inflammation / 30.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Douglas Maslin, MPhil, MB BCHir Dermatologist and Pharmacologist Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge, UK   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I’d like to answer this question in three parts: EVELO BIOSCIENCES Firstly, the background to Evelo and the therapeutic EDP1815: Evelo is developing orally administered biologic medicines based on a new understanding of how systemic inflammation is controlled. Evelo’s medicines are selected for their ability to modulate the small intestinal axis, or SINTAX, a network of anatomical and functional connections that has evolved to connect the small intestine with the rest of the body. SINTAX links small intestinal mucosal immunology with systemic inflammation and is now accessible with oral medicines. This inflammatory control pathway may enable a new class of products which are effective, safe, and can be manufactured affordably at large scale. EDP1815 is a non-live pharmaceutical preparation of a strain of the bacterium Prevotella histicola isolated from the duodenum of a human donor. Its pharmacodynamic effect is through interactions with the immune cells within the small intestine and it has no systemic absorption. These local interactions in the small intestine then downregulate systemic inflammation. In fact, the inflammatory control afforded by targeting the small intestinal axis appears to result in the coordinated downregulation of multiple inflammatory pathways without immunosuppression, mimicking the body’s normal physiological processes of inflammation resolution. Secondly, there is the key and exciting background pre-clinical data on EDP1815 – the details of which have been published today at the EADV conference. For example, oral administration of EDP1815 to mice has been shown to lead to striking therapeutic effects in in vivo models of delayed-type hypersensitivity, imiquimod-induced skin inflammation, fluorescein isothiocyanate cutaneous hypersensitivity, collagen-induced arthritis, and experimental acute encephalomyelitis (EAE). The consistency of effect and dose shows that EDP1815 can coordinately resolve systemic inflammation across TH1, TH2 and TH17 pathways. This suggests the potential for clinical benefit across multiple diseases. And, thirdly, there is the clinical unmet need for an oral, safe, effective treatment specifically for mild and moderate psoriasis patients, who have very limited treatment options outside of the poorly tolerated topical therapies, and these patients are reported to be dissatisfied with treatment options and therefore are often under-treated. These three points explain the background to EDP1815 and the reason for progressing forward into the phase 1b in psoriasis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Insomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders / 29.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Salma Batool-Anwar, MBBS, MPH Instructor, Harvard Medical School Pulmonary and Critical Care, Sleep Medicine Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A well functioning sleep-wake cycle is vital to our health and prevention of chronic diseases. During previous disaters sleep disturbances have been reported. When Massachusetts governor declared a state of emergency in March’20, we hypothesized that sleep duration would be adversely affected by covid-19 related lockdown and stress. The study was approved by the institutional review board and information was collected retrospectively using the electronic medical records. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Genetic Research, OBGYNE, Technology / 29.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: PGT-A & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IMPROVES PREGNANCY OUTCOMES FOR PATIENTS UNDERGOING IVF MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Large, PhD Senior Director, Research at CooperGenomics CooperSurgical MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Large: Independent study results, presented at the recent the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Virtual Scientific Congress, demonstrated a 13 percent relative increase in ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates associated with the use of CooperSurgical’s PGTaiSM 2.0 technology to screen embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The single-center study was conducted by NYU Langone Fertility Center (NYULFC), part of The Prelude Network. Preimplantation Genetic Testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is performed on embryos produced through IVF; it provides genetic information to help identify embryos that are more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. PGTai 2.0 technology is an advancement in PGT-A testing platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to increase objectivity of this screening process. The study compared results from three next generation sequencing (NGS) genetic tests: Standard NGS, NGS with first generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 1.0 Technology Platform) and NGS with second generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 2.0 Technology Platform). The ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates significantly increased by a relative 13 percent in the PGTai 2.0 group as compared to subjective and prior methodologies. Study results also suggest that the increase in ongoing pregnancy and live births may be linked to improvements in several preceding IVF outcomes (implantation rates, clinical pregnancy rates and pregnancy loss.) MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Dr. Large: This research moves us an important step closer to our goal of increased live births, improved pregnancy outcomes and further reduction of multiples in pregnancy through greater confidence in single embryo transfer. An estimated 48.5 million couples – approximately 15% of couples -- are affected by infertility worldwide. 80,000 babies were born with IVF in 2017 in the United States and more than one million babies were born in the period 1987 to 2015 in the United States as a result of IVF. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research this study? Dr. Large: The goal of PGT-A is to decrease risk and maximize the chances of IFV success by screening for embryos with the highest potential. This was precisely what NYULFC have observed so far with PGTai 2.0 compared to older technologies. To fully appreciate the impact that these improvements are having for patients, we’re excited to hear from additional IVF centers across the world as they utilize this technology. MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures? Dr. Large: The study demonstrates CooperSurgical’s commitment to developing the most advanced technology in the field of genetic testing to advance reproductive medicine and help families. By applying artificial intelligence in the PGTaism2.0 technology, we leverage mathematical algorithms derived from real-world data to achieve objective embryo assessment. I am the Senior Director of Genomics Research and Development at CooperSurgical. Michael Large, PhD, is the Senior Director, Genomics Research and Development at CooperSurgical. His team recently led and continues to develop state-of-the-art analytical methods for interrogating Reproductive Genetics. Dr. Large earned his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Baylor College of Medicine and his Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Michael Large, PhD Senior Director, Research at CooperGenomics CooperSurgical   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Large: Independent study results, presented at the recent the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Virtual Scientific Congress, demonstrated a 13 percent relative increase in ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates associated with the use of CooperSurgical’s PGTaiSM 2.0 technology to screen embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF).[1] The single-center study was conducted by NYU Langone Fertility Center (NYULFC), part of The Prelude Network. Preimplantation Genetic Testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is performed on embryos produced through IVF; it provides genetic information to help identify embryos that are more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. PGTai 2.0 technology is an advancement in PGT-A testing platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to increase objectivity of this screening process. The study compared results from three next generation sequencing (NGS) genetic tests: Standard NGS, NGS with first generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 1.0 Technology Platform) and NGS with second generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 2.0 Technology Platform). The ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates significantly increased by a relative 13 percent in the PGTai 2.0 group as compared to subjective and prior methodologies. Study results also suggest that the increase in ongoing pregnancy and live births may be linked to improvements in several preceding IVF outcomes (implantation rates, clinical pregnancy rates and pregnancy loss.) (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology / 28.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Linda Stein Gold MD Director of Dermatology Clinical Research at Henry Ford Health System Detroit, Michigan Division Head of Dermatology Henry Ford Health System in West Bloomfield, Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Halobetasol and Tazarotene work by complimentary mechanisms of action in treating psoriasis and also have been shown to counteract the side effects associated with the other medications. In prior studies using tazarotene as monotherapy, there was a maintenance of effect even after the drug was discontinued. We investigated to see if there was a maintenance of treatment effect in patients who achieved clear skin after using the fixed combination of halobetasol propionate 0.01%/tazarotene 0.045% lotion for 8 weeks of daily treatment.

I served as lead author on the study, which was presented Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference this weekend in a poster titled, “Long-term management of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis: maintenance of treatment success following cessation of halobetasol propionate 0.01%/tazarotene 0.045% lotion.”

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Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Technology / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shira H. Fischer, MD, PhD RAND Corporation Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Before the COVID-19 outbreak, telehealth was talked about a lot, but it wasn’t widely available and wasn’t used that often. We wanted to know who was using telehealth, what the barriers to use were, and whether people would be willing to do so if it were available to them. We conducted a survey of over 2,500 Americans across the country and asked them about these topics. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Health Care Systems / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steve Olin Chief Product Officer Rally Health, Inc., part of the Optum business of UnitedHealth Grou MedicalResearch.com: Can you please elaborate on Rally Health’s mission? Mr. Olin: Our founding mission 10 years ago and still to this day is to put health in the hands of the individual. As a digital health company, we live this mission through our focus in three key areas: 1) Providing digital-first access to care by giving individuals easy-to-use digital tools and support to navigate their health care and take full advantage of their health benefits; 2) Engaging people in their daily health by creating experiences that people enjoy and that inspire them to perform healthy actions, and by giving them access to resources that help them achieve their health goals; 3) Saving people time and money by providing digital tools that help them understand health care costs and guide them to lower-cost, high-quality care options. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Antoni Bayes-Genis, MD, PhD, FESC, FHFA Head, Heart Institute. Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol Full Professor, Autonomous University Barcelona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Omega-3 fatty acids are incorporated into the phospholipids of cellular membranes, including cardiac contractile cells, and have a wide range of demonstrated physiological effects. Several potential mechanisms have been investigated, including antiarrhythmic, anti-inflammatory, and endothelial. Omega-3 fatty acids lower heart rate and improve heart rate variability, both associated with lower sudden cardiac death risk, one of the complications that may occur after a myocardial infarction. Increased omega-3 fatty acids also enhance arterial elasticity by increasing endothelium-derived vasodilators, which is associated with blood pressure–lowering effects. They also have a cardioprotective effect on platelet-monocyte aggregation, and lower triglyceride levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Emory, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henry Mahncke, PhD Chief Executive Officer Posit Science https://www.brainhq.com/?v4=true&fr=y Dr. Mahncke earned his PhD at UCSF in the lab where lifelong brain plasticity was discovered. At the request of his academic mentor, he currently leads a global team of more than 400 brain scientists engaged in designing, testing, refining, and validating the computerized brain exercises found in the BrainHQ app from Posit Science, where he serves as CEO. MedicalResearch.com Tell us what’s important about this new study in people with heart failure? Response: Heart failure is a common condition that even when properly treated can have adverse long-term health outcomes and high medical costs. Heart failure commonly causes cognitive impairment, which can have devastating effect on patient abilities to engage in self-care, and which contributes to poor clinical outcomes, increased rehospitalizations, and higher mortality rates. What makes these results exciting is that the Emory University researchers discovered that a simple intervention – a fairly modest amount of walking and brain exercise – not only significantly improved a standard measure of cognition, but also significantly improved multiple measures that drive better health outcomes and lower costs. MedicalResearch.com: What is heart failure? Response: Heart failure – sometimes called congestive heart failure or congestive cardiac failure – is when the heart cannot pump sufficient blood flow to maintain the body’s needs. Common symptoms include excessive tiredness, shortness of breath and swelling particularly in legs. It’s treated with a combination of lifestyle changes, drugs, and devices. An estimated 6.5 million Americans are diagnosed with heart failure, with 960,000 new cases each year, leading some to describe it as reaching epidemic proportions. In older adults, it’s the most common cause of hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge and among the most costly areas of Medicare expenditures. (more…)