Author Interviews, JAMA, NYU, STD, USPSTF / 30.09.2022

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? Response: Syphilis has become more common over the past 20 years, after reaching a record low in 2000. The Task Force found that screening people who are at increased risk for syphilis can identify the infection early so it can be treated before problems develop. For that reason, the Task Force recommends screening people who are at increased risk for syphilis infection. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU / 08.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katherine Garcia MD NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Studies on cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown a decrease in new diagnoses, delays in care, and a shift to later stage disease presentations. Considering that NY has been an epicenter for COVID-19 in the U.S., we investigated its impact on new cancer diagnoses at the two campuses of NYU’s Perlmutter Cancer Center and hypothesized that there would be a decrease in presentations during the peak outbreaks in NY. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, NYU, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 10.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Scott Thomas, PhD Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Molecular Pathobiology and Fangxi Xu, Junior Research Scientist & Clinical Research Coordinator Department of Molecular Pathobiology NYU College of Dentistry  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  vaping-e-cig-smoking-tobaccoResponse: Cigarette smoking is one of the well-established causes of periodontitis, but the effect of using electronic cigarettes (e-cig), especially its long-term impact on periodontal health, is not yet clearly understood. Considering the increased popularity of e-cig use, especially among teenagers and young adults, and the known effect of high nicotine concentration in e-cigarette products, we conducted this clinical research to see if there were differences in periodontal health between e-cig users, traditional smokers, and nonsmokers. The study consisted of two visits, 6 months apart, where measures of oral and periodontal health were obtained. Our data showed significantly greater clinical attachment loss in the e-cigarette users and cigarette smokers than in the non-smokers at both study visits. In only e-cigarette users, we observed an over 0.2 mm average increase in the clinical attachment loss after 6 months.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, NYU / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea B. Troxel, ScD (she/her/hers) Professor and Director, Division of Biostatistics Department of Population Health NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: This study represents an international collaboration across four continents and six countries, to pool information from studies in different patient populations to generate robust information about the possible benefits of convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19. Because the study was so large and the methods so rigorous, we were able to show that while CP doesn’t benefit all patients, it may have positive effects in certain subgroups. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, NYU, USPSTF / 02.02.2022

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: Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and a major risk factor for stroke, and it often goes undetected. For this recommendation, the Task Force evaluated whether screening adults over the age of 50 who do not have any signs or symptoms of AFib can help prevent strokes. In its evidence review, Task Force expanded its scope to include a search for studies on portable and wearable devices such as smartphones and fitness trackers in addition to electrocardiography (ECG). Despite this consideration, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening for AFib. This is consistent with the Task Force’s 2018 recommendation. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Dental Research, Geriatrics, NYU / 23.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bei Wu, PhD Dean's Professor in Global Health Vice Dean for Research Rory Meyers College of Nursing Affiliated Professor, College of Dentistry Co-Director, NYU Aging Incubator New York University New York, NY 10010 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Social isolation and loneliness are global public health concerns. Social isolation is the lack of social contacts and having few people to have regular interactions; while loneliness is the distressing feeling of being alone or separated. Approximately 24% of community-dwelling older adults aged 65 and above are considered to be socially isolated in the United States, and 43% adults aged over 60 years old report feeling lonely. Increasing evidence suggests that social isolation and loneliness are risk factors for older adults’ health outcomes, such as depression, comorbidities, cognitive impairment and dementia, and premature mortality. However, one key limitation in the literature is that only a few studies have examined the impact of social isolation and loneliness on oral health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Heart Disease, JACC, NYU / 17.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Garshick, MD Assistant Professor Department of Medicine Grossman School of Medicine NYU MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients with psoriasis have a 50% higher risk of cardiovascular disease when compared to patients without psoriasis, the mechanisms of which are still under investigation Dyslipidemia is also highly prevalent in psoriasis including elevation in a variety of lipoproteins causal in atherosclerosis. Lipoprotein(a) is an LDL like particle which is associated with atherosclerosis, atherothrombosis, and the development of clinical cardiovascular disease. Traditionally lipoprotein(a) is felt to be inherited rather than acquired, but some evidence suggest that lipoprotein(a) is elevated in those with underlying inflammatory conditions and associated with systemic inflammation including circulating IL-6. We therefore aimed to determine if lipoprotein(a) is elevated in psoriasis and associated with underlying systemic inflammatory profiles and biomarkers of cardiovascular risk.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, NYU, Women's Heart Health / 11.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Darcy Banco, MD, MPH Internal Medicine Resident NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We became interested in this question because of recent epidemiological data showing that despite improvements in the number of heart attacks in overall population, that number is rising among young adults (<= 55 years old) and in particular, young women. Compared to young men, young women with heart attack experience more delays in care and have higher mortality and poorer quality of life after heart attack. Despite these findings, there was also a study that asked young adults who had experienced heart attack: “When you first went for help, did the health care providers think that you were having a problem with your heart?” Women were more likely to answer no to this question. Therefore, our study asked: Are young women evaluated and treated differently than men when presenting to the emergency room with symptoms of chest pain? (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Mental Health Research, NYU / 15.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: ANGELA R. KAMER, DMD, MS, PhD Associate Professor Periodontology and Implant Dentistry NYU Dentistry MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The accumulation of amyloid β plaques and neurofibrillary pathology in the brain are pathognomonic to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Brain amyloid deposition begins decades before cognitive dysfunction and is thought to be the first AD pathological feature followed by tau tangle accumulations and other pathologies. The mechanisms by which brain amyloid develops are incompletely understood although inflammation and bacterial imbalances (known as dysbiosis) of the gut and oral cavity may be involved. Periodontal disease affecting more than 50% of elderly is an inflammatory, chronic condition characterized by periodontal tissue destruction and bacterial imbalances. Using PET studies, we showed previously that measures of periodontal destruction were associated with brain amyloid retention in the brain [1]. In this study, we sought to investigate whether subgingival (under the gum line) bacteria associated with Alzheimer’s disease specific pathology, namely amyloidosis and tauopathy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, NYU / 11.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Terry Gordon PhD Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are air pollution researcher and interested in unique exposure scenarios.  Based on the work by Dr. Steve Chillrud, Columbia University, we did a study 5 years ago to assess air quality in over 30 subway stations in NYC.  We found poor air quality in all of the underground stations but the air quality was better in some locations.  So we wondered what would be air quality in different transit systems in NE United States.  David Luglio, pre-doctoral candidate, led a team of students to monitor particles in the air of subway stations in metropolitan NYC's MTA, LIRR, and PATH systems, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.   (more…)
Author Interviews, NYU, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Rheumatology / 21.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Peter Izmirly, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine Director of Inpatient Rheumatology, Bellevue Hospital Center co-Director, NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases Lupus Clinic Research Office Address: NYU School of Medicine New York, NY 10016  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Knowing how many people have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is limited, particularly for racial/ethnic subgroups in the United States. Our work provides accurate estimates of who has  (SLE) among the major racial/ethnic groups in the United States and that our estimates for SLE approach the FDA’s definition or a rare disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Genetic Research, NYU / 19.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John T. Poirier, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine Director, Preclinical Therapeutics Program Perlmutter Cancer Center An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center NYU Langone Health Smilow Research Center New York, NY 10016  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The goal of this study was to identify in as much detail as possible the genes that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, needs to successfully infect a human host cell. CRISPR technology played a key role in this research; it was used to disrupt every gene in the human genome in parallel and study which ones were required for infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections, JAMA, NYU, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 04.12.2020

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 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background for the study is the disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Blacks and Hispanics compared to Whites in major cities across the country. We asked two questions: 1) are there racial/ethnic differences in COVID-19 outcomes (likelihood of testing positive, hospitalizations, severe illness, and deaths) among patients who receive care at NYU Langone Health? If there are differences, are they explained by comorbidity and neighborhood characteristics (poverty, educational status, employment, housing, proportion of Blacks and Hispanics in communities)? (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, NYU, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Technology / 26.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marie Bragg, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health on Health Choice NYU College of Global Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know from previous research that children who see food advertisements eat significantly more calories than children who see non-food advertisements. Those studies led the World Health Organization and National Academy of Medicine to issue reports declaring that exposure to food advertising is a major driver of childhood obesity. What we don’t know is how frequently unhealthy food and beverage brands are appearing in YouTube videos posted by Kid Influencers. Kid influences are children whose parents film videos of the child playing with toys, unwrapping presents, eating food, or engaging in other family-friendly activities. The parents then post the videos to YouTube for other children and parents to view for entertainment.  (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, NYU, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aisha T. Langford, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor Department of Population Health Co-Director, CTSI Recruitment and Retention Core NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health New York, NY 10016 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2018, the American Heart Association (AHA) published an updated Scientific Statement on Resistant Hypertension. The term apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH) is used when pseudoresistance (e.g., white coat effect, medication nonadherence) cannot be excluded. The current study was designed to investigate if Black adults with aTRH, a group disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease, receive evidence-based approaches to lower blood pressure as recommended in the 2018 AHA Scientific Statement. Specifically, we studied healthy lifestyle factors including not smoking, not consuming alcohol, ≥75 minutes of vigorous-intensity or ≥150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week, and body mass index <25 kg/m2; and recommended antihypertensive medication classes among US Black adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU, Rheumatology / 26.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Fernandez-RuizRuth Fernandez-Ruiz, MD Post-Doctoral Fellow Department of Rheumatology NYU Langone Heath  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) represent a unique population in considering risk for COVID-19 with biologic, genetic, demographic, clinical and treatment issues at play. By the nature of their chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition, the presence of comorbidities, and regular use of immunosuppressants, these individuals would traditionally be considered at high risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 and possibly having worse outcomes from the viral infection. However, it might be speculated that inherently elevated type I Interferon, characteristic of the majority of patients with SLE, confers a protective effect as a first line anti-viral defense. Additionally, hydroxychloroquine, which was suggested as a potential therapeutic agent for COVID-19 early on, is used in most patients with SLE. Accordingly, we initiated this study to provide critical data needed to address the frequency and severity of COVID-19 in patients with SLE. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nature, NYU / 17.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Aneel K Aggarwal, PhD Pharmacological Sciences and Oncological Sciences Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: DNA polymerase ζ  (Pol ζ) is the crucial enzyme that allows cells to cope with DNA damage resulting from exposure to environmental and industrial carcinogens and to other daily genotoxic stresses. At the same time, Pol ζ has emerged as an important target for discovery of therapeutics in the treatment of chemotherapy-resistant cancers.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?   Response: We have succeeded in resolving the 3-D atomic structure of the complete Pol ζ enzyme using cryo-electron microscopy. (more…)
Author Interviews, NYU, Orthopedics / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bruce N. Cronstein, MD Paul R. Esserman Professor of Medicine NYU School of Medicine Director, NYU-H+H Clinical and Translational Science Institute Director, Division of Translational Medicine NYU Langone Health New York, NY 10016  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting about 10% of the adult population and 25% of the population over 60. We had previously found that adenosine, a molecule generated by nearly all cell types, is critical for maintaining cartilage health by activating specific adenosine receptors on the surface of cells (A2A receptors). Moreover, giving adenosine into the joint could prevent deterioration of cartilage (progression of osteoarthritis) in a rat model of osteoarthritis. Because people do not usually go for treatment of osteoarthritis until they have developed symptoms we asked whether administration of adenosine or adenosine that had been modified to be a more potent and specific stimulus for A2A receptors, carried in fat bubbles called liposomes, could reverse osteoarthritis after it had already started. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, NYU / 23.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julian Santaella Tenorio, MSc DrPH Epidemiology Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy Division of Epidemiology, Department of Population Health New York University Langone School of Medicine, New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? car-accident-traffic-accidentResponse: This study found that recreational cannabis laws were associated with increases in traffic fatalities in Colorado (mean of 75 excess fatalities per year) but not in Washington State.  These findings suggest that unintended effects of recreational cannabis laws can be heterogeneous and may be specific to variations in how these laws are implemented
(eg, density of recreational cannabis stores).   (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU / 21.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shadi Yaghi, MD Assistant Professor Department of Neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine Director, Clinical Vascular Neurology Research, NYU Langone Health Director, Vascular Neurology, NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our aim was to determine the characteristics of imaging proven ischemic stroke in the setting of COVID-19 infection and compare them to those of ischemic stroke but without COVID-19 infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU, Technology / 02.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Anasse Bari PhD Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science Department, New York University, New York, and Megan Coffee MD PhD Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Department of Medicine New York University, Department of Population and Family Health Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Coffee and Bari:  This work is led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, in partnership with Wenzhou Central Hospital and Cangnan People's Hospital, both in Wenzhou, China. This is a multi-disciplinary team with backgrounds in clinical infectious disease as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science. There is a critical need to better understand COVID-19. Doctors learn from collective and individual clinical experiences. Here, no clinician has years of experience. All are learning as they go, having to make important decisions about clinical management with stretched resources. The goal here is to augment clinical learning with machine learning. In particular, the goal is to allow clinicians to identify early who from the many infected will need close medical attention. Most patients will first develop mild symptoms, yet some 5-8 days later will develop critical illness. It is hard to know who these people are who will need to be admitted and may need to be intubated until they become ill. Knowing this earlier would allow more attention and resources to be spent on those patients with worse prognoses. If there were ever treatments in the future that could be used early in the course of illness, it would be important to identify who would most benefit We present in this study a first step in building an artificial intelligence (AI) framework, with predictive analytics (PA) capabilities applied to real patient data, to provide rapid clinical decision-making support. It is at this point a proof of concept that it could be possible to identify future severity based on initial presentation in COVID-19. (more…)
Author Interviews, Melanoma, NYU / 25.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Polsky, MD, PhD Professor of Dermatology and Pathology Alfred W. Kopf MD, Professor of Dermatologic Oncology Director, Pigmented Lesion Section The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology New York University Grossman School of Medicine Perlmutter Cancer Center Joan and Joel Smilow Research Center New York, NY 10016 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background for the study was to determine the extent to which new treatments for metastatic melanoma were impacting melanoma mortality rates for the United States population. Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated that several new agents were highly effective at prolonging survival. These treatments belong to two different groups of medications: those targeting the biological pathway activated by mutation in the BRAF oncogene, which occurs in just under 50% of metastatic melanomas; and those targeting the immune system, called checkpoint inhibitors. These drugs prevent melanomas from suppressing the immune response to the tumors. Ten treatments were approved beginning in 2011, including six treatments between 2011 and 2014. We examined mortality rates between 1986 and 2016, prior to and after FDA approval of these agents. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Geriatrics, JAMA, NYU / 24.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin H. Han, MD MPH Assistant Professor Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care New York University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the past, the prevalence of cannabis use (both for recreational and for medicinal purposes) was very low among adults age 65 and older. As a reference, the national prevalence rate of past-year cannabis use among adults age 65 and older in 2006-2007 was 0.4%, it has increased dramatically since then. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, NYU, Ophthalmology, Pharmaceutical Companies / 02.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cassandra L. Thiel, PhD Assistant Professor NYU Langone School of Medicine Department of Population Health NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service NYU Tandon School of Engineering MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most healthcare professionals and researchers are aware that the healthcare sector makes up about 18% of the US Gross Domestic Product. What many do not realize is that all of that economic activity results in sizable resource consumption and environmental emissions. The healthcare industry is responsible for 10% of the US’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 9% of air pollutants.1 Sustainability in healthcare is a developing field of research and practice, and my lab offers data and information by quantifying resource use and emissions of healthcare delivery. We started looking at cataract surgery a few years ago, in part because operating rooms (ORs) typically represent the largest portion of spending and garbage generation in a hospital.2,3 Cataract surgeries are interesting because they are one of the most common surgeries performed in the world. In the US, we spend $6.8 billion on them each year. Any changes we can make to individual cases would have much larger, global impacts. I studied cataract surgeries at a world-renowned, high-volume eye surgery center in India and helped validate that clinical care could be designed in a way that was effective, cost-efficient, and resource efficient. Compared to the same procedure in the UK, this surgery center generates only 5% of the carbon emissions (with the same outcomes).2 This site’s standard policy is to multi-dose their eye drops, or use them on multiple patients until the bottle was empty. As such, the site generated very little waste. Returning to the US, I observed cataract cases and heard the complaints of OR staff that they had to throw out many partially used or unused pharmaceuticals. In reviewing the literature, we could not find a study that quantified how much we were throwing away and what it cost us to do so. We, therefore, set up a study to look at this particular issue. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, NYU, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melanie Jacobson, PhD, MPH NYU School of Medicine New York, N.Y.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study was about exposure to bisphenols, which are synthetic chemicals found in aluminum can linings, plastics, thermal paper receipts and other consumer products, and their association with obesity among a nationally representative sample of US children and adolescents. We found that children who had greater levels of these chemicals in their urine were more likely to be obese compared with children with lower levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, JACC, Kidney Disease, NYU / 13.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Charytan, MD MSc Chief, Nephrology Division NYU Langone Medical Center New York, NY 10010  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Cardiovascular events are much more frequent in patients with impaired kidney function (chronic kidney disease), and cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in advanced chronic kidney disease. This risk remains high despite the use of standard medical therapies including statins, the most commonly used cholesterol lowering agents. The PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab is a new class of highly potent cholesterol lowering medications that can further reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients already taking statins. We analyzed data from the FOURIER trial, which randomized study patients with clinically evident atherosclerosis and an LDL cholesterol level >=70 mg/dL or HDL cholesterol level >= while on a statin, to assess the safety and efficacy of evolocumab, a PCSK9 inhibitor, compared with placebo in individuals with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease. There were several major findings
  • a) evolocumab appears to be equally safe in individuals with preserved and mild to moderately impaired kidney function
  • b) evolocumab appears to have preserved efficacy at preventing cardiovascular events as kidney function declines.
  • c) We were unable to detect any significant impact on kidney function.
  • In addition, because the baseline risk of cardiovascular events is much higher in individuals with  chronic kidney disease, the absolute benefits of treatment with evolocumab appear  to be magnified as kidney function declines.  (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Melanoma, NYU / 02.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Polsky, MD, PhD Dermatologist and Director of the Digmented Lesion Service Mahrukh M. Syeda, MS Research Associate Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several studies of metastatic melanoma patients have demonstrated that measuring circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) associates with their disease burden and survival.  Generally, patients with detectable pre-treatment ctDNA levels and/or detectable ctDNA at various time intervals after starting treatment have shorter survivals than patients with lower pre-treatment or on-treatment ctDNA levels.  Studies have varied in their methods to detect ctDNA, the thresholds chosen to call a sample positive or negative, and the follow up time point for measurement, if any. In this study, we examined pre-treatment and week 4 on-treatment plasma samples from patients enrolled in Combi-D, the Phase III, randomized, double-blind trial of the BRAF and MEK inhibitors Dabrafenib and Trametinib, which led to FDA approval of the combination therapy for patients with unresectable stage III/IV melanoma. Only patients with BRAF V600E or V600K mutations identified from tumor genotyping were enrolled in the clinical trial. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, JAMA, NIH, NYU / 24.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jan Blustein, MD PhD Professor of Health Policy and Medicine Wagner Graduate School and School of Medicine New York University, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s largest public funder of health research, provides annual reports about levels of funding for many diseases and conditions.  These reports, issued as part of the NIH’s Research, Condition and Disease Categorization (RCDC) process, allow members of the public to track funding across key conditions and across time. Hearing loss is not included among the reported conditions. This runs counter to two of the NIH’s stated goals, according to researcher Jan Blustein (M.D., Ph.D.), professor of health policy and medicine at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, in a Research Letter in the May 15th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery. “First, the NIH is committed to transparency about how it divides funds across diseases and conditions,” said Dr. Blustein.  “Second, it has said that it will prioritize its funding to those conditions that cause the greatest disease burden.”  Hearing loss causes great disease burden, ranking 10th in the U.S. among all conditions as a contributor to Disability Adjusted Life Years (a widely-used measure of disease burden), according to the World Health Organization. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Neurology, NYU / 17.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rebecca Stainman Dr. Arielle Kurzweil MD Adult Neurology Program Director New York University School of Medicine NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Physician burnout is prevalent. Neurologists have among the highest burnout rates, ranked third among specialties in a 2011 study, and over half of US Neurologists report at least 1 symptom of burnout in a 2016 survey.  Efforts to address burnout in training programs have mostly been aimed at implementing wellness curricula and offering mental health resources. Training neurology residents to effectively identify, address, and help impaired colleagues is equally crucial in these efforts, yet there is a paucity of literature on this topic. We used simulation as a means of addressing this topic, via identifying and addressing an impaired colleague through an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).  (more…)