Author Interviews, Gout, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 06.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Csaba P Kovesdy MD FASN Fred Hatch Professor of Medicine Director, Clinical Outcomes and Clinical Trials Program Division of Nephrology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center Nephrology Section Chief, Memphis VA Medical Center Memphis TN, 38163 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: Hyperuricemia has unfavorable metabolic effects and has been associated with higher risk of progressive kidney disease and mortality. Despite this, earlier clinical trials have failed to prove a beneficial impact on kidney disease progression from uric acid lowering therapy in patients with preexisting CKD. The effect of uric acid lowering therapy on the development of new onset CKD in patients with normal kidney function has not been well studied. In our large observational study we did not find a beneficial association between newly initiated uric acid lowering therapy (the majority of which was in the form of allopurinol). On the contrary, uric acid lowering therapy was associated with a slightly higher risk of new onset low eGFR and new onset albuminuria, especially in patients with less elevated baseline serum acid levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Nature, Pancreatic, University of Michigan / 03.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Imad Shureiqi, MD, MS Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology Department of Internal Medicine Rogel Cancer Center Ann Arbor, MI, 48109 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?   Response: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a highly lethal form of cancer with rising occurrence, and strategies to prevent and treat the disease are urgently needed. Most cases of pancreatic cancer arise from pre-cancerous lesions called pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN); about 55-80% of adults over forty are estimated to have these low-grade pre-cancerous silent pancreatic lesions. But critical factors that promote the progression of pancreatic pre-cancerous lesions to pancreatic cancer remain poorly defined, especially those easy to target. Findings from this publication indicate that people who have silent PanIN pre-cancerous lesions, even those that are low-grade, could increase their risk of PanIN progression into pancreatic cancer by consuming activators of a nuclear lipid receptor called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-delta (PPARδ). PPARδ activators can be natural substances, such certain fatty acids like palmitic and arachidonic acid in high-fat diets, or synthetic ones, like Cardarine (GW501516). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, USPSTF / 02.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katrina Donahue, M.D., M.P.H. Professor and vice chair of research Department of Family Medicine University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Dr. Donohue is a family physician and senior research fellow Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research Dr. Donahue joined the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in January 2020. MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: Impaired vision and glaucoma are serious and common conditions facing millions of people nationwide that can affect a person’s independence and quality of life. These recommendations looked at how primary care clinicians can help people who have not noticed any problems with their vision. Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence available to make a recommendation for or against screening adults for glaucoma or older adults for impaired vision in the primary care setting. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Melatonin, Sleep Disorders / 24.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeanne Duffy, MBA, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Aging is associated with changes in sleep timing, quality and duration, and even older adults without chronic medical problems have shorter and more disrupted sleep than young adults. Many prescription sleep aids increase the risk of nighttime falls, have adverse effects on next‐day cognition, and are associated with increased mortality, and so are not recommended for long-term use in older adults. In previous studies, we and others have shown that melatonin, a hormone secreted at night, increases sleep duration in young adults but only when administered during the day when endogenous melatonin levels are low. We wanted to explore whether melatonin could improve the sleep of healthy adults and whether, like young adults, its impact depends on when during the day the person is trying to sleep. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Fertility, JAMA / 20.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kathryn S. Smith, BS M.D. Candidate, Class of 2023 Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Illinois MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study  Response: There are studies that show women in medicine do not achieve promotion at the same rate as men and that only a minority of women are in the upper levels of leadership such as Department Chairs and Medical School Deans. Since peak fertility coincides with peak career building years, we wanted to explore themes related to career advancement, physician burnout and ultimately whether women were being held back from their potential by the burden of fertility, family building, childcare, and household responsibilities. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Education, Health Care Systems, Sleep Disorders / 20.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Matthew D Weaver M.P.H., Ph.D. Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Departments of Medicine and Neurology Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The name “resident” stems from the historical practice of resident-physicians residing in hospitals as part of their training. Even after that practice abated, it was common for resident physicians to work 36 consecutive hours followed by 12 or fewer hours of rest. In 1989, the state of New York restricted resident physicians to work no more than 24 consecutive hours and no more than 80 hours per week as part of collective intervention to improve patient safety. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) then followed in 2003 by limiting work hours to an average of 80 per week over a month and no more than 30 consecutive hours of work. Evidence accumulated demonstrating an association between shifts lasting ≥24 hours and adverse resident and patient safety. As a result, the Institute of Medicine convened a review and report on the issue, ultimately concluding that no resident should work more than 16 consecutive hours without sleep. This recommendation, combined with evidence following the 2003 rules, led the ACGME to issue new rules in 2011 that limited first-year resident physicians to work no more than 16 consecutive hours. Our study compares resident-reported patient safety outcomes before and after this 2011 policy change. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease / 20.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bashar J. Qumseya, MD, MPH, FASGE Associate Professor of Medicine Chief of Endoscopy University of Florida, Gainesville  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Barrett’s esophagus (BE), is a premalignant condition that can lead to esophageal cancer (called esophageal adenocarcinoma). Both diseases have historically been thought of as diseases of elderly white males. While both diseases have been on the rise in the elderly population, we noted that some cancers are becoming more common at younger ages. We wanted to see if the prevalence of BE and EC are increasing at younger ages.  We aimed to assess the prevalence of BE in and EAC based on age group in a large database of over 5 million patients.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Pharmaceutical Companies / 20.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Wild, Ph.D Chief Scientific Officer Dracen Pharmaceuticals   MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for the development of sirpiglenastat, i.e., would you briefly explain what is meant by glutamine antagonist? Response: Cancer cells consume and use glutamine for both energy generation and as a source of carbon and nitrogen for biomass accumulation. Many oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes drive large-scale metabolic reprogramming of tumors into glutamine addiction. These highly proliferating tumors create a hostile and immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME), which is nutrient- depleted, acidic and hypoxic in nature. Sirpiglenastat (DRP-104), is a novel broad-acting glutamine antagonist that inhibits all 10 known glutamine metabolism enzymes. DRP-104 was designed to preferentially inhibit glutamine metabolism in tumors and associated TME and not in normal tissues, providing a large therapeutic window. DRP-104 demonstrates powerful direct apoptotic (cell death) properties and immune modulatory mechanisms through broad remodeling of the TME to infer DRP-104 impacts immune-metabolism. Inhibition of glutamine metabolism leads to:
  • Induction of apoptosis in glutamine-addicted tumor cells leading to substantial single-agent activity and tumor regressions
  • Rebalance of the TME that enhances immune cell infiltration and function
  • Differentiation and modulation of adaptive and innate immune cells toward a highly proliferative, activated and long-lived phenotype for a long-term durable response.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Transplantation / 19.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karn Wijarnpreecha, MD, MPH Lead researcher of the study Transplant Hepatology Fellow University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can develop in persons who are not overweight or obese (“lean person with NAFLD”) and approximately 10-20% of NAFLD were lean. NAFLD is a multisystem diseases that associated with cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia), or chronic kidney disease. Whether lean persons with NAFLD have lower prevalence of cirrhosis, CVD, CKD than non-lean persons with NAFLD remains inconclusive. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 18.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yujin Hoshida, MD, PhD Director, Liver Tumor Translational Research Program CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor of Internal Medicine Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Liver cancer is the fastest rising cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. with the sharply growing epidemic of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Late diagnosis at advanced stage is the main reason for the poor survival of liver cancer patients. Therefore, professional societies recommend semi-annual liver cancer screening for early diagnosis. However, it's practically infeasible due to the vast size of patient population (estimated to affect one-fourth of population). Thus, we urgently need tools to identify a small subset of patients with elevated liver cancer risk, on which we can concentrate our effort of screening. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JACC, Weight Research / 18.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Amy Kirkham, PhD Assistant Professor of Clinical Cardiovascular Health Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education University of Toronto Affiliate Scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Women who have had a breast cancer diagnosis are at least two-fold and often higher risk of cardiovascular or heart disease compared to women without a history of breast cancer. Older age, higher body mass index, and receipt of chemotherapy treatment that can injure the heart are risk factors for cardiovascular death after a breast cancer diagnosis. Time-restricted eating is a type of intermittent fasting that appears to be easy to follow and to improve some measures of metabolic health but has not been studied in populations with a cancer history. Time-restricted eating simply involves consuming all calorie intake within a specific time window, commonly 8 hours, like between 12 and 8 pm, and then only consuming water or black coffee outside of those hours. We enrolled breast cancer survivors who were aged 60 or older, had an overweight or obese mass index, and were finished chemotherapy treatment in a single-arm trial of time-restricted eating for 8 weeks. We asked participants to restrict their calorie intake between 12 and 8 pm from Monday to Friday with no restrictions on weekend and no further instructions on what to eat. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer / 18.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: AmirAli Talasaz Ph.D. co-CEO, Guardant Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this announcement? Response: On May 2, Guardant Health announced the availability of Shield™, our first blood-based test for the detection of early-stage colorectal cancer (CRC). Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., so this announcement represents a tremendous public health opportunity. Here’s why: This new test will help people identify more CRC at its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. It offers an accurate, easy-to-complete, blood-based approach to CRC screening. It can be completed with a convenient blood draw during any healthcare provider visit.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Statins / 17.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Raffaele Bugiardini, UNIBO Professor & MD Clinical cardiologist Full Professor of Cardiology at the University of Bologna MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Questions about the evidence base for primary prevention with statins continue to emerge from many quarters. It has been argued that prior estimates of statin effects were mainly based on information from both individuals with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease, which may overestimate the true benefits of statins. Some investigators attempted to quantify the impact of statins on outcomes of women versus men and reported significantly different effect estimates. Others have questioned the benefits of statins in adults 76 years and older as this age group was poorly represented in the randomized trials for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. There is little or no information on concomitant preventive medications in prior work. Thus, how large is the incremental benefit of statin, added to other standard preventive interventions? and is cholesterol a reliable surrogate endpoint to guide prevention of cardiovascular disease? (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 16.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susannah G. Rowe, MD, MPH Office of Equity, Vitality and Inclusion Boston University Medical Group Boston Medical Center Boston University School of Medicine Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: We wanted to learn how frequently mistreatment occurs for clinicians at work and how it impacts their occupational well-being. We began to see more anecdotal reports of workplace mistreatment of clinicians even before the pandemic. In the extraordinarily stressful environment we are currently experiencing, with people feeling exhausted and emotionally threadbare on some level, the problem appears to be growing. We also predicted that the burden of mistreatment would not borne be equally. It has often been said that we are all in the same storm but in different boats – some of us are riding out the storm in comfortable ocean liners, while others are paddling in canoes without life jackets. What we are learning, though, is that we are not in fact experiencing the same storm. For example, the increasing intolerance and erosion of public civility we have seen in recent years might show up as minor annoyances for some of us, and actual threats of violence for others depending in large part on our gender and racialized identities. Our relationship to privilege and oppression affects our experiences, creating protections or additional burdens, so when studying clinician occupational well-being, it seemed important to consider how these disparities play out in the workplace.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Boehringer Ingelheim, NEJM, Pulmonary Disease / 15.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Luca Richeldi MD PhD Chair and Head, Division of Pulmonary Medicine Gemelli University Hospital - IRCCS Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Rome MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Would you briefly explain the condition of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis? Response: As you may know, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, irreversible lung disease with high mortality. IPF is one of the more common forms of progressive fibrosing interstitial lung diseases and its symptoms of IPF include breathlessness during activity, a dry and persistent cough, chest discomfort, fatigue and weakness. IPF is considered a “rare” disease, but it affects more than 3 million people worldwide. Currently, there are two approved antifibrotic drugs that slow, but do not stop, the progression of fibrosis. Therefore, there is a need for additional treatments that can be used alone or with existing antifibrotic therapies. Pre-clinical research indicated that phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibition is associated with anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects that may be beneficial in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In this Phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we investigated the efficacy and safety of BI 1015550, an oral preferential inhibitor of the PDE4B subtype, in patients with IPF. Patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive BI 1015550 at a dose of 18 mg twice daily or placebo. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology / 14.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naeem Bhojani, MD, FRCSC Division of Urology, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), University of Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada David-Dan Nguyen MPH Division of Urological Surgery and Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MassachusettsFaculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: In a recent study by our group published in JAMA Dermatology (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/2772818), finasteride use was found to be associated with increased reporting of suicidality and depression in young patients with androgenetic alopecia. This previous analysis suggested that the association between finasteride and depression might be mediated by sexual dysfunction. Building on this work, we conducted this second analysis to examine the association between finasteride use and reports of sexual dysfunction. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Genetic Research, Herpes Viruses / 12.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Annette Peters PhD Chair of Epidemiology Institute of Medical Information Sciences, Biometry and Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München-Neuherberg, Germany MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: A large number of genetic, behavioural and environmental risk factors have been identified as contributing to the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, little is known about a potential link between virus infections and type 2 diabetes developments. We had the unique opportunity to use a multiplex assay to measure antibodies for herpes viruses by the Waterboer laboratory at the German Cancer Center in Heidelberg and set out to investigate the potential associations in the prospective KORA cohort. First of all, we detected that herpes virus antibodies were highly prevalent in the study population at baseline and increased with age. We found an association between Herpes simplex virus 2 and cytomegalovirus and type 2 diabetes during a seven year follow-up. These associations were robust against controlling for other known risk factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 05.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan Clarke, Ph.D., M.H.S., Earl Stadtman Investigator Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? 
  • Through our prior work, we have demonstrated that uterine cancer incidence rates have been significantly increasing in the U.S. from 2003 to 2015 and that these increases were primarily driven by rising rates of aggressive (non-endometrioid) subtypes of this cancer. We observed that rates of these aggressive cancers increased among all women and were more than twice as high among Non-Hispanic Black women compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Factors explaining these trends, as well as the disproportionately higher rates of these aggressive subtypes among non-Hispanic Black women, remain unclear, in part because risk factors are poorly understood.
  • In addition to differences in incidence rates by race and ethnicity, we have also observed strong disparities in our prior studies, with Non-Hispanic Black women having substantially lower 5-year survival, regardless of subtype or stage at diagnosis, compared to other racial and ethnic populations.
  • The next logical step, and the focus of the current study, was to evaluate how increases in the incidence of aggressive, non-endometrioid uterine cancer affects racial disparities and rates of death from uterine cancer.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Nature, Neurology / 05.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Juan Piantino, M.D., MCR Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Division of Neurology, School of Medicine Director, Inpatient Child Neurology Oregon Health Sciences University  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Astronauts are exposed to several stressors during spaceflight, including radiation, lack of gravity, and sleep deprivation. The effects of those stressors on the brain remain unknown. Is it safe to travel to space? For how long can humans survive in space? What are the effects of spending months under zero gravity? With more extended missions, and an increased number of civilians traveling to space, there is increased interest in understanding what happens to our brains when we leave earth. (more…)
Author Interviews / 04.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Louis Aronne, MD Co-Founder and Chief Medical Advisor at Intellihealth The Sanford I. Weill Professor of Metabolic Research Weill Cornell Medicine Medical Director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center MedicalResearch.com:  What is the mission of Intellihealth Response: The mission of Intellihealth is transforming healthcare to help millions of people live healthier, happier lives through the medical treatment of obesity. Almost half of the US population has obesity but less than 2% are able to get treatment. The lack of available treatment and the stigmatized perception of obesity is what we aim to eliminate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 04.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health Director, Division of Health & Behavior Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change Department of Population Health NYU Langone Health NYU School of Medicine Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of mortality in the United States, accounting for more than one in four deaths. Taking a daily aspirin may help prevent a first heart attack or stroke in some people, but it can also cause some harm, like internal bleeding. The decision on whether or not to start taking a daily aspirin should be based primarily on age, but cardiovascular disease risk, a person’s chances of bleeding, and other factors should also be taken into account. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA, OBGYNE / 04.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard McManus MA PhD MBBS FRCGP FRCP Professor of Primary Care Dr. McManus chairs the Blood Pressure Monitoring Working Party of the British Hypertension Society Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: About one in ten people who are pregnant develop high blood pressure and almost half of these go onto to have pre-eclampsia. Many pregnant women and individuals are already measuring their own blood pressure – well over half of those with high blood pressure in a recent large survey in the UK but until recently there were no data to support this. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 04.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Archelle Georgiou, MD Chief Health Officer for Starkey Starkey Hearing Technologies Eden Prairie, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: In August 2021, Starkey introduced a vaccination incentive program for employees in the U.S. to provide education on COVID-19 and encourage vaccinations. The program encouraged employees to watch and acknowledge online educational information and report their vaccination status. Those fully vaccinated and who submitted proof of vaccination by September 2021, including employees who were vaccinated prior to the incentive announcement, received $1,000.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 28.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Neelam Vashi MD Director of the Boston University Center for Ethnic Skin Dermatologist at Boston Medical Center, and Dr. Henriette De La Garza MD Research fellow Boston University School of Medicine   MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly shifted many of our daily activities to an online world, dramatically increasing the use of electronic devices. Although visible light exposure from screens is small compared with the amount of exposure from the sun, there is concern about the long-term effects of excessive screen time. Recent studies have demonstrated that exposure to light emitted from electronic devices, even for as little as 1 hour, may cause reactive oxygen species generation, apoptosis, collagen degradation, and necrosis of skin cells. Visible light increases tyrosinase activity and induces immediate erythema in light-skinned individuals and long-lasting pigmentation in dark-skinned individuals. In recent years, tinted sunscreens have been rising in popularity because they are an effective and convenient way to protect against high-energy visible light while providing cosmetic benefits. The purpose of this analysis was to study current available options and product factors that may influence consumer preference when choosing a tinted sunscreen so dermatologists can improve their familiarity with available products and tailor their recommendations to patients with all skin tones. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 27.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Rock, MPH PhD student, Department of Population and Public Health Sciences Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are persistent, man-made chemicals widely used in industry and consumer products. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to multiple disease outcomes including cancer, glucose dysregulation, and as reported in the current study, liver injury. We compiled results from more than 100PFAS studies in humans and rodents and found consistent evidence that PFAS are related to liver injury. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Radiology / 27.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leticia NogueiraPhDMPH Senior Principal Scientist, Health Services Research American Cancer Society, Inc. Kennesaw, GA 30144 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) can deliver higher dose of radiation to the tumor with less damage to surrounding healthy cells. Therefore, PBT is potentially superior to photon-based radiation therapy to treat tumors with complex anatomy, surrounded by sensitive tissues, or for treating childhood cancer (where long-term side effects of radiation therapy are a main concern). However, PBT can cost twice as much as photon-based radiation therapy.  (more…)