Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Infections, University of Michigan / 09.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Valerie M. Vaughn, MD MSc Assistant Professor of Medicine and Research Scientist, Division of Hospital Medicine The Patient Safety Enhancement Program and Center for Clinical Management Research Michigan Medicine and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pneumonia is one of the top causes for hospitalization and one of the main reasons for antibiotic use in US hospitals. In the past decade, studies have suggested that patients can be safely treated with short course antibiotic therapy instead of the prolonged courses we used to prescribe. Our study looked at prescribing practices in 43 hospitals across the state of Michigan to see if we were appropriately prescribing short course therapy, and if so, how that affected patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania / 08.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John Barbieri, MD, MBA Hospital & Health Care University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe the type of acne treated with Isotretinoin? Response: Isotretinoin is often used to treat moderate to severe acne or acne that has been unresponsive to other treatments. It is also used for patients with scarring acne. While highly effective for acne, due to concerns about medication related side-effects, patients are often monitoring with frequent blood tests, sometimes up to once per month. However, there have been several studies over the past two decades questioning the value of these frequent blood tests for patients on isotretinoin for acne. The purpose of this study was to examine whether blood test monitoring has been decreasing over time in response to these studies. We also evaluated the frequency of blood test abnormalities for patients being treated with isotretinoin. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Emory, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 02.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ms. Cassandra Pingali Ms. Pingali worked on this paper while a a graduate student at Emory University, and completed it post-graduation. She is currently an ORISE fellow at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Immunization Services Division MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite high overall immunization coverage in the United States, we are currently experiencing the largest measles outbreak since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. In 2014, California grappled with a very large measles outbreak known as the “Disneyland” outbreak. Later investigation revealed that most of the affected children were unvaccinated against measles despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. In order to prevent future outbreaks, California officials wanted to improve their declining childhood vaccination coverage. California passed two laws and implemented an educational program for school staff to increase vaccination rates in the state. We felt it was important to take a systematic look at these interventions and examine if public health initiatives such as these are working to improve vaccination rates. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, University of Michigan / 30.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca L. Haffajee, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor Department of Health Management & Policy umichsphumichsph MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Evidence suggests that the availability of medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) has been slow to expand, particularly in rural areas, despite the efficacy and effectiveness of these medications in reducing overdose deaths and other adverse life outcomes. We were interested in understanding the characteristics of counties both with high need (as measured by above-national rates in opioid overdose deaths) AND low provider capacity to deliver medications to treat OUD in 2017. We found that such "opioid high-risk" counties were likely to be in the East North Central (e.g., Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana), South Atlantic (e.g., North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia), and Mountain (e.g., New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada) regions. We also found that these opioid high-risk counties were more likely to have higher rates of unemployment and less likely to have fewer primary care clinicians or be micropolitan (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease / 28.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth C. Oelsner, MD, MPH Irving Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of General Medicine New York Presbyterian Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Uncertainty regarding how to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has posed significant problems for early detection and treatment of this common disease. Simplifying and standardizing the diagnosis of COPD has the potential to improve diagnosis, clinical care, and clinical research for this common and under-diagnosed chronic lung disease. We therefore aimed to provide robust evidence for the best threshold to diagnose COPD by comparing how well various thresholds predict hospitalizations and deaths from COPD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Columbia, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, NEJM, Neurology / 27.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jan Claassen, MD, PhD, FNCS Associate Professor of Neurology Division of Division of Critical Care and Hospitalist Neurology Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unconsciousness is common and predicting recovery is challenging – often inaccurate. Many patients do not show movements on commands and typically this is interpreted as unconsciousness. Some of these patients may be able to have brain response to these commands raising the possibility of some preservation of consciousness. This has previously been shown months or years after the injury mostly using MRI. We were able to detect this activation at the bedside in the ICU shortly after brain injury. For this we applied machine learning to the EEG to distinguish the brain’s responses to commands. Patients that showed this activation were more likely to follow commands prior to discharge and had better outcomes one year later.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, University Texas / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kevin F. Bieniek, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine Director, Biggs Institute Brain Bank Core Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio San Antonio, Texas 78229 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by CTE?   Response: CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is linked to prior exposure to repetitive traumatic brain injuries.  CTE pathology, characterized by a distinct deposition pattern of the protein ‘tau’, is most often observed in the brains former contact sport athletes and military veterans.  The public health impacts of this disorder are largely unknown, as this disease is often studied in individuals which advanced levels of exposure, particularly professional American football player. This study aimed to understand what the presence of this disorder might be in the general population by studying athletes and non-athletes, a number of different sports, different levels of participation, and both males and females. (more…)
Amgen, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Lipids, UCLA / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, FACC, FAHA Eliot Corday Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science Director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center Co-Chief of Clinical Cardiology, UCLA Division of Cardiology Co-Director, UCLA Preventative Cardiology Program David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Last year, Amgen made the PCSK-9 inhibitor evolocumab available at a reduced list price of $5,850 per year This 60% reduction was aimed at improving patient access by lowering patient copays, especially for Medicare beneficiaries. Additionally, the treatment landscape for PCSK9 inhibitors was further defined in 2018 when the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Multisociety Clinical Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol recommended PCSK9 inhibitors for, among other patient populations, patients with very high-risk (VHR) ASCVD whose low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels remain at 70 mg/dL or more  despite a heart-healthy lifestyle and treatment with standard background therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, JAMA, Ophthalmology, University of Michigan / 21.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Kellogg Eye Center Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: This study came out of data collected as part of the National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA). The NPHA is funded by AARP and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan to inform the public, healthcare providers, and policymakers on a variety issues related to health. The vision survey, conducted in March 2018, was just one of many NPHA surveys. Due to aging of the population, the number of older U.S. adults with blindness and vision impairment is expected to double over the next 30 years. Thus, this study was designed to provide crucial data  on contemporary data on patterns of eye care utilization in older adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, HPV, Yale / 20.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard J. Antaya, MD, FAAD, FAAP Professor, Dermatology and Pediatrics Yale University School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Localized hyperthermia has been reported to hasten the resolution of warts and treat both benign and malignant neoplasms. Numerous clinical studies employing various methods to increase the cutaneous surface temperature, including: infrared radiation, radiofrequency, Nd:YAG laser, moxibustion, warm water immersion, ultrasound, and exothermic heat patches, have all yielded positive results. We published a proof-of-concept, open-label trial, representing the largest experience to date employing chemical reaction induced exothermic heat patches for the treatment of warts. Localized hyperthermia from all sources currently has a low level of evidence and strength of recommendation because of the lack of well-designed, sufficiently powered studies.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, NIH, Pediatrics / 18.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ellen Leschek MD Program Director: Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Health Information Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is thought to be characterized by a progressive loss of pancreatic beta cell (insulin producing/releasing cell) function. For this reason, T2D medications eventually stop working and individuals with T2D require treatment with insulin. The Restoring Insulin Secretion (RISE) Consortium was established by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to evaluate the effects of treatment and treatment withdrawal on the loss of pancreatic beta cell function. In the RISE Study, progression of disease was assessed by the measurement of pancreatic beta cell function in youth and adults who had either impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; prediabetes) or recently diagnosed Type 2 diabetes before, during and after treatment with study medications. Importantly, the RISE Pediatric Medication Study and the RISE Adult Medication Study were designed in tandem to allow direct comparison of the effects of two pharmacologic treatment regimens (the only two FDA-approved medications for Type 2 diabetes in youth) on disease progression in youth and adults. For more information about the RISE Study, please visit https://rise.bsc.gwu.edu/web/rise. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Opiods, University of Pittsburgh / 18.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Julie Donohue, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management Vice Chair for Research Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The opioid epidemic is exacting a significant burden on families, communities and health systems across the U.S. Prescription and illicit opioids are responsible for the highest drug overdose mortality rates ever recorded. We know from previous studies that some surgical and medical patients who fill opioid prescriptions immediately after leaving the hospital go on to have chronic opioid use. Until our study, however, little was known about how and if those patients were being introduced to the opioids while in the hospital. My colleagues and I reviewed the electronic health records of 191,249 hospital admissions of patients who had not been prescribed opioids in the prior year and were admitted to a community or academic hospital in Pennsylvania between 2010 and 2014. Opioids were prescribed in 48% of the admissions, with those patients being given opioids for a little more than two-thirds of their hospital stay, on average. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Kidney Disease, Surgical Research / 13.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Caitlin W. Hicks, M.D., M.S. Assistant Professor of Surgery Recipient of the Department of Surgery Rothman Early Career Development Award for Surgical Research Johns Hopkins Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Arteriovenous fistula are associated with better long-term patency, lower rates of infection, and lower long-term costs compared to arteriovenous graft. As a result, the Fistula First Catheter Last Guidelines recommend placement of an arteriovenous fistula over an AVG whenever possible. We looked at individual physician utilization of AVF vs AVG for first-time AV access in Medicare beneficiaries. We found that the median physician utilization rate for AVG was only 18%, but that 21% of physicians use AVG in more than 34% of cases, which is above currently recommended  practice guidelines.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Genetic Research, Infections, NEJM, UCSF / 13.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Charles Chiu, M.D./Ph.D. Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Medicine / Infectious Diseases Director, UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center Associate Director, UCSF Clinical Microbiology Laboratory UCSF School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you describe what is meant by metagenomic sequencing? Response: Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) is the use of technology to generate millions of sequence reads to diagnose infection sin patients by characterizing the full range of potential pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites) in a single sample. Although shown to be a promising diagnostic tool for  infectious diseases in case reports and limited case series (Chiu and Miller Nature Reviews Genetics 20, 341-355 (2019)), to date the “real-life” utility of this approach for patient care has hitherto not been demonstrated.  This study is the first prospective, multi-center study of clinical mNGS testing for the diagnosis of neurological infections in acutely ill hospitalized patients presenting with meningitis and/or encephalitis. (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…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC, Lung Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 10.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:   Raymond H Mak, MD Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School Radiation Oncology Brigham and Women's Hospital       Katelyn M. Atkins MD PhD Harvard Radiation Oncology Program Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 
  • Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide and nearly half of patients will require radiation therapy as part of their care.
  • Cardiac toxicity following radiotherapy has been well-studied in breast cancer and lymphomas, however the impact of cardiac toxicity following lung cancer radiotherapy has historically been under-appreciated due to the high risk of lung cancer death.
  • Recent studies highlighting cardiac toxicity following lung cancer radiotherapy have been limited by small numbers of patients and, to our best knowledge, have not included validated cardiac event endpoints defined by the American Heart Association (AHA)/American College of Cardiology (ACC).
(more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Prostate Cancer, Weight Research / 10.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Barbra Dickerman, PhD Research Fellow Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is associated with a higher risk of advanced prostate cancer and poorer prognosis after diagnosis. However, emerging evidence suggests that the specific distribution of body fat may be an important prognostic factor for prostate cancer outcomes. In this original investigation, we analyzed body fat distribution on computed tomography imaging and the risk of being diagnosed with, and dying from, prostate cancer. This study was conducted among 1,832 Icelandic men with over a decade of follow-up in the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, Kaiser Permanente, Pharmacology / 10.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD Vice President for Kaiser Permanente Research Executive Director Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices based on FDA data and observations from a Kaiser Permanente physician leader raised questions about whether direct acting antiviral medications for the treatment of Hepatitis C posed any significant safety risks for patients. Since the decision to take medications requires making tradeoffs between benefits (which had been clearly established in clinical trials) and risks (which are often harder to ascertain until drugs are in widespread use in the real world) we decided this was an important question to pursue.  We found no evidence of increased risks of significant side effects associated with taking these drugs.  In this cohort study of 33,808 patients in three large health systems we found lower adjusted odds of experiencing the following adverse events:  death, multiple organ failure, hepatic decompensation, acute-on-chronic liver event, and arrhythmia.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 07.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sameed Khatana, MD, MPH Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine, Perleman School of Medicine Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to the largest increase in Medicaid coverage since the beginning of the program. However, a number of states decided not to expand eligibility. Studies of prior smaller expansions in Medicaid, such as in individual states, have suggested evidence of improved outcomes associated with Medicaid expansion. Additionally, studies of Medicaid expansion under the ACA of certain health measures such as access to preventive care and medication adherence have suggested some improvements as well. However, there have been no large, population-level studies to examine whether Medicaid expansion under the ACA led to changes in mortality rates. Given, a high burden of cardiovascular risk factors in the uninsured, we examined whether states that had expanded Medicaid had a change in cardiovascular mortality rates after expansion, compared to states that have not expanded Medicaid. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, FDA / 06.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephanie L. Kuschel, MD Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, IN, 46202 Robert Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH Professor of Dermatology and Public Health University of Colorado School of Medicine Colorado School of Public Health Chief, Dermatology Service US Department of Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System Denver, CO 80220  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Physicians can serve as external experts and voting members of FDA advisory committee panels, which help determine if a drug is acceptable for the US market. Considering that financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) have been shown to influence voting member habits, the FDA has regulations in place to minimize these FCOI. However, the FDA can grant waivers for some financially conflicted individuals if they meet certain requirements (like offering key insights that may out-weigh the risk of a possible FCOI). Additionally the FDA does not make stipulations regarding post-advisory role financial relationships. In fact, many former FDA committee advisors later engage in financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. Some worry these post-hoc financial relationships could pose an ethical dilemma whereby future FDA advisory members are incentivized to alter their voting habits in expectation of future rewards. Others argue the situation may be more complex than expected. For example, the author of one study, found that while there was evidence for a pro-industry voting bias among committee members with exclusive financial relationships to the sponsoring manufacturer (of the drug under review), this was not the case for members with nonexclusive financial ties to both the sponsor and its competitors 1. Furthermore, the author found that advisors with many corporate ties were (on average) actually more likely than their peers without any financial ties to vote against the sponsor. The author argued that these advisors were more likely to be experienced researchers, and their voting habits may reflect their experience evaluating medical research. While this author and others have offered valuable insights into financial relationships of advisors during their advisory role, unfortunately little information is available regarding post-advisory role financial relationships and whether these relationship have any influence on the integrity of the voting process. The purpose of our study was to review Open Payment data on industry payments to former physician FDA dermatologic drug committee members.  (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Surgical Research, University of Michigan / 05.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mark R. Hemmila MD Associate Professor of Surgery Division of Acute Care Surgery University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Traumatic injury has a tendency to be thought of as a disease that preferentially impacts younger people.  We wanted to explore the prevalence and impact of traumatic injury within the population of patients for whom Medicare is the third party payer.  (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, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA / 02.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: I-Min Lee, MD, ScD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Professor of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While we have many studies showing that physical activity is beneficial for health, there are few data on steps and health, particularly long-term health outcomes.  An expert committee – the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, which reviewed the scientific evidence to support the recently released Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition – noted this (i.e., the relation between steps and health outcomes) to be a critical gap in knowledge, since many individuals are using wearables and monitoring their step counts. We often hear the number 10,000 steps cited as a daily goal, but the basis for this number is unclear. It likely originated as a marketing tool: in 1965, the Yamasa Clock and Instrument Company, Japan sold a pedometer called “Manpo-kei” – “ten thousand steps meter” in Japanese. For many older people, 10,000 steps/day can be a very daunting goal; thus, we wanted to investigate whether this was necessary for lower mortality rates in older women.  Additionally, steps taken can be fast or slow, and there are no published studies on step intensity and long-term health outcomes.  Note that walking pace and step intensity are not the same concept: walking pace gauges intensity when walking purposefully (e.g., for exercise or transportation), while step intensity assesses an overall best natural effort in our daily life. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Duke, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, JAMA / 30.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas J. Povsic, MD, PhD Interventional Cardiologist Duke Clinical Research Institute Duke University School of Medicine Durham, North Carolina  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: The background for this study is that it is unknown how mandatory reporting of CYP2C19 metabolizer status affects how doctors treat patients or to what degree provision of this information would affect choice of a P2Y12 inhibitor within a clinical trial. As part of the GEMINI-ACS trial, all patients underwent CYP2C19 metabolizer testing.  This trial enrolled patients with a recent acute coronary syndrome and randomized them to aspirin or a low dose of rivaroxaban.  All patients were also to be treated with ticagrelor or clopidogrel, which was at the discretion of the investigator.  Investigators were given information regarding the CYP2C19 metabolizer status about a week after randomization.  Importantly prior to randomization, all investigators were asked how they expected to use this information, and then we followed what they actually did. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Duke, OBGYNE, Opiods, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 29.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashraf Habib, MDChief of the Division of Women’s Anesthesia and Professor of AnesthesiologyDuke University Ashraf Habib, MD Chief of the Division of Women’s Anesthesia Professor of Anesthesiology Duke University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This was a multicenter study conducted in 13 clinical sites in the United States enrolling patients undergoing elective Cesarean-section and receiving spinal anesthesia. 186 patients were enrolled and randomized to receive EXPAREL, a long-acting, non-opioid option to manage postsurgical pain, administered via transversus abdominis plane (TAP) field block, mixed with plain bupivacaine or TAP block with plain bupivacaine alone. A TAP block numbs the nerves that supply the abdominal wall. We presented the data at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) in Phoenix, AZ. We aimed to collect clinical evidence that a multimodal postsurgical pain regimen using a TAP block with EXPAREL (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) together with regularly scheduled acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could reduce opioid consumption more so than a standard multimodal pain control approach that combines TAP block with standard bupivacaine, regularly scheduled acetaminophen, and NSAIDs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, FDA, JAMA, Pharmacology / 29.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bishal Gyawali  MD PhD
  • Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL), Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Department of Oncology, Department of Public Health Sciences, and Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Accelerated approval pathway from the FDA allows cancer drugs to come to market sooner by showing improvement in surrogate measures such as change in tumor size. Surrogate measures do not reflect clinical benefit in terms of living longer or feeling better. So, when a drug receives accelerated approval, the drug is required to undergo a confirmatory trial to confirm that true clinical benefit from the drug actually exists. Last year, a paper from the FDA argued that accelerated approval pathway is working effectively because 55% of such drugs confirmed clinical benefit. However, we saw that most of those drugs were actually improving only a surrogate measure even in confirmatory trials. So the confirmatory trials were not confirming clinical benefit but actually confirming benefit in a surrogate endpoint. We investigate that issue in our study using updated results from the confirmatory trials that were ongoing at the time of FDA review. Our main finding is that only one-fifth of cancer drugs that received accelerated approval actually improved overall survival later in confirmatory trials. For, 20% of other drugs, the confirmatory trials tested the same surrogate endpoint as did the preapproval trial. For another 21%, the confirmatory trial showed benefit in a surrogate endpoint different from the one used in preapproval trial. Furthermore, when drugs fail to confirm clinical benefits in confirmatory trials, they still continue to remain on market.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, UCLA / 29.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Molly C. Easterlin, MD Fellow, UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program Clinical Instructor, Pediatrics, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adverse childhood experiences or ACEs (including physical or emotional neglect or abuse, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, exposure to household substance misuse or mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and parental incarceration) are common with about half of children experiencing 1 and one-quarter of children experiencing 2 or more. Children exposed to adverse childhood experiences have worse mental health throughout life, including higher rates of depression and anxiety. However, little is known about what factors improve long-term mental health in those exposed to ACEs. Additionally, as far as we are aware, no studies have looked at team sports participation as a potential factor that may be associated with improved mental health among those with adverse childhood experiences. (more…)