Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, UCSD / 27.04.2015

Lisa M. Nyberg, MD, MPH Transplant Hepatologist Director, Hepatology Research Kaiser Permanente, Garfield Specialty Center San Diego, CA  92111MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa M. Nyberg, MD, MPH Transplant Hepatologist Director, Hepatology Research Kaiser Permanente, Garfield Specialty Center San Diego, CA  92111 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Nyberg: The overall cancer rates were higher in patients with Hepatitis C (HCV) vs those without HCV. Of note, though, the HCV cohort had higher rates of alcohol abuse, tobacco use, cirrhosis and diabetes mellitus (DM). However, even after stratification for the variables alcohol abuse, tobacco use, body mass index (BMI) and DM; the increased cancer rates remained significant for total cancer sites, liver cancer and NHL. Note that this study does not establish a cause and effect relationship between Hepatitis C and cancer. A strength of this study is that it is an evaluation of a large patient population (n=35,712 with HCV and 5,297,191 without HCV). Limitations of the study are those inherent in epidemiological studies using large databases. For example, confounders may not be accurately recorded in automated databases (smoking and alcohol abuse may be under-recorded).
AACR, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, UCSD / 21.04.2015

Presented by Dr. Maura N. Dickler MD Associate member of the Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New YorMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Presented by Dr. Maura N. Dickler MD Associate member of the Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York Medical Research: What is the background for this study? This year, breast cancer will claim the lives of nearly 40,000 women in the United States, and up to half of these women will have a disease that is driven by the estrogen receptor.
  • Although medicines have been approved for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer for decades, more treatment options are needed.
  • Resistance to endocrine therapies causes morbidity and mortality for women with metastatic estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer as many patients relapse or develop resistance to available hormonal agents via estrogen-dependent and estrogen-independent mechanisms.
  • Dual-acting investigational Selective Estrogen Receptor Degrader (SERDs) could potentially lead to a new treatment option for people with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and may help overcome resistance to current anti-hormonal medicines.
  • GDC-0810 is a dual-acting investigational next-generation oral SERD that works in a number of ways to prevent estrogen fueling tumor growth. It is not only designed to target the estrogen receptor (ER) as an antagonist, but also to cause degradation of the ER protein. In preclinical studies, GDC-0810 was shown to induce tumor regressions in both tamoxifen sensitive and tamoxifen resistant tumor models in vivo.
Medical Research: What are the main findings?
  • Clinical data from the dose-escalation portion of a Phase I/IIa study evaluating GDC-0810 appears to have an acceptable safety profile with encouraging anti-tumor activity in postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer positive for the estrogen receptor (ER), all of whom were previously treated with standard endocrine therapy.
  • Promising anti-tumor activity was observed in 38% of patients on study for six months or longer. At all doses tested, there was robust engagement of the estrogen receptor by GDC-0810 as demonstrated by fluoroestradiol (FES) PET scans.  Overall, the most common adverse events of any grade related to GDC-0810 were diarrhea, nausea and fatigue.
AACR, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Nutrition, UCSD / 20.04.2015

Catherine Marinac Doctoral Candidate UC San Diego/San Diego State University Joint-Doctoral Program in Public Health La Jolla, CA 92093MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Catherine Marinac Doctoral Candidate UC San Diego/San Diego State University Joint-Doctoral Program in Public Health La Jolla, CA 92093 MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The dietary advice for cancer prevention usually focuses on limiting consumption of red meat, alcohol, and refined grains, and increasing consumption of plant foods. However, new evidence suggests that other fundamental aspects of diet, such when and how often people eat, can also play a role in cancer risk. For example, research in mice suggests that decreasing the number of hours we eat during the day, and increasing the length of time we fast overnight can improve metabolic parameters and reduce risk of developing a number of chronic diseases including cancer. Similar to the data from animal models, we found that women who fasted for longer periods of time overnight had significantly better control over blood glucose concentrations – and these effects were independent of how much women ate. This finding is relevant to cancer research because people who have poor glucose control are significantly more likely to develop certain types of cancer. It is hypothesized that high concentrations of circulating glucose may fuel cancer growth and progression.
Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, Ophthalmology, Sleep Disorders, UCSD / 09.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carolina P B Gracitelli, M.D. Ophthalmology - PhD Candidate/ Research Fellow University of California San Diego - Hamilton Glaucoma Center  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Dr. Gracitelli:  Of all the diseases that can lead to blindness, glaucoma is one of the most important diseases; it affects more than 70 million people worldwide, of whom approximately 10 % are bilaterally blind. Different studies have reported that the damage caused by glaucomatous disease lead to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss and consequently loss of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which is a subtype of RGC. This subpopulation of RGC is clearly related with non-image-forming visual function such as photic synchronization of circadian rhythms  and the pupillary light reflex. However, the true impact of glaucoma on sleep quality, sleep disturbance or circadian rhythm was until nowadays controversial. The main clinical finding of our study was that glaucoma leads to RGC death, including ipRGC death. These cells are connected to several non-image-forming functions, including circadian photoentrainment and pupillary reflexes. Therefore, the image-forming and non-image-forming visual systems are associated with glaucoma. Circadian function has not been well investigated in clinical daily practice, but it can interfere with the quality of life of these patients. Concerns about sleep disturbances in glaucoma patients should be incorporated into clinical evaluations.   Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Dr. Gracitelli:  Our data support the concept that glaucoma is associated with a loss of ipRGCs that mediate the pupillary light response, particularly to the sustained component of the blue flash with a luminance of 250 cd/m2. Additionally, glaucoma patients had significant sleep disturbances that were inversely correlated with a measure of ipRGC function, the pupillary light reflex. These results suggest that the loss of ipRGCs in glaucoma may also lead to sleep disturbances. Both non-visual functions of ipRGCs are correlated, indicating that attention should be paid to the non-image forming visual functions in glaucoma patients.   Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?  Dr. Gracitelli:  Sleep disorders is a complex system, therefore, some conclusions in this study should be carefully evaluated. Further studies with larger cohorts could also help to elucidate the association between the pupillary reflex and the polysomnography parameters. And longitudinal studies can better explain the associations between sleep disorders and glaucoma progression.  In addition, we know that there are several types of ipRGCs and they have specific functions (pupillary reflex or circadian rhythms), therefore, evaluations would also need to include a more thorough assessment to understand better the specific role of ipRGCs in sleep disturbances. However, it is true that these ipRGCs functions are impaired in glaucoma, affecting the quality of life of these patients.   Citation:   Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cell Activity Is Associated with Decreased Sleep Quality in Patients with Glaucoma  Gracitelli, Carolina P.B. et al. Ophthalmology Published Online: April 06, 2015 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.02.030MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carolina P B Gracitelli, M.D. Ophthalmology - PhD Candidate/ Research Fellow University of California San Diego - Hamilton Glaucoma Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gracitelli: Of all the diseases that can lead to blindness, glaucoma is one of the most important diseases; it affects more than 70 million people worldwide, of whom approximately 10 % are bilaterally blind. Different studies have reported that the damage caused by glaucomatous disease lead to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss and consequently loss of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which is a subtype of retinal ganglion cell. This subpopulation of RGC is clearly related with non-image-forming visual function such as photic synchronization of circadian rhythms and the pupillary light reflex. However, the true impact of glaucoma on sleep quality, sleep disturbance or circadian rhythm was until nowadays controversial. The main clinical finding of our study was that glaucoma leads to retinal ganglion cell death, including ipRGC death. These cells are connected to several non-image-forming functions, including circadian photoentrainment and pupillary reflexes. Therefore, the image-forming and non-image-forming visual systems are associated with glaucoma. Circadian function has not been well investigated in clinical daily practice, but it can interfere with the quality of life of these patients. Concerns about sleep disturbances in glaucoma patients should be incorporated into clinical evaluations.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCSD / 24.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arisa Ortiz, MD, FAAD Assistant Clinical Professor Director, Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology Senior author: Brian Jiang, MD and First author Tiffany Loh, BS Department of Dermatology UC San Diego Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) are the most common type of malignancy in the United States, affecting an estimated 3.5 million people each year. Previous perception has remained that skin cancer risk in Hispanics and Asians is lower than that of Caucasians. However, despite historically lower rates of skin cancer, in recent years, the incidence of skin cancer in these groups has reportedly been increasing in the United States. As Hispanics and Asians constitute two of the most rapidly expanding ethnic groups in the US, the rise in NMSCs in these populations is particularly concerning. The finding from our study were as follows: Hispanic patients were significantly younger than Caucasians and Asians (p=0.003, 0.023 respectively). The majority of Non-melanoma skin cancers in Caucasians occurred in men, while this gender ratio was reversed for both Hispanics and Asians. There were significantly more cases of Non-melanoma skin cancers occurring in the “central face” area in Hispanics. Race was not a significant predictor for specific NMSC type (BCC or SCC).
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM, NYU, UCSD / 20.03.2015

Sripal Bangalore, MD, MHA, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI, Director of Research, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Director, Cardiovascular Outcomes Group, The Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, Associate Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sripal Bangalore, MD, MHA, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI Director of Research, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Director, Cardiovascular Outcomes Group, Associate Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bangalore: Prior studies have shown a mortality benefit of bypass surgery over stenting. But these studies compared bypass surgery with older generation stents which are no longer used. We used data from the New York state registry of patients who underwent stenting or bypass surgery for 2 or more blockages of coronary arteries. With data from over 18,000 patients we found that there was no difference between stenting and bypass surgery for long term mortality. In addition we found that both procedures have trade offs. Bypass surgery has upfront risk of death and stroke whereas PCI has long term risk of needing a repeat procedure. In addition, in patients who underwent incomplete revascularization, there was increase in myocardial infarction with PCI.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Stroke, UCSD / 20.03.2015

Jonathan L. Halperin, M.D. The Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn Professor of Medicine Mount Sinai School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan L. Halperin, M.D. The Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn Professor of Medicine Mount Sinai School of Medicine Dr. Halperin is a member of the Steering Committee for the GLORIA-AF program and a consultant to Boehringer Ingelheim, which sponsored this research. Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Halperin: The two analyses come from the GLORIA-AF Registry Program, a global, prospective, observational study supported by Boehringer Ingelheim, which is designed to characterize the population of newly diagnosed patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) at risk for stroke, and to study patterns, predictors and outcomes of different treatment regimens for stroke risk reduction in non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients. The data is based on treatment trends in 3,415 patients who entered the registry from November 2011 to February 2014 in North America. All patients had a recent diagnosis of NVAF, and 86.2 percent had a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 2 or higher. Results from the first analysis demonstrated that patients with the paroxysmal (occasional) form of non-valvular atrial fibrillation and at a high risk for stroke (CHA2DS2-VASc score of 2 or higher) were given an anticoagulant medication less often than those with persistent or permanent forms of NVAF, and a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 2 or higher. This pattern runs counter to NVAF guidelines calling for patients to receive oral anticoagulant therapy based on their risk of stroke, rather than the type of atrial fibrillation. In the second analysis, researchers found that despite high stroke risk, a considerable number of patients receive only aspirin or no medication.
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, UCSD, Women's Heart Health / 17.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Raffaele Bugiardini, M.D. Professor of Cardiology University of Bologna Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bugiardini: Our analysis differs from previous reports of outcomes following STEMI because prior studies have not looked at sex differences in outcomes adjusted for time from symptom onset to hospital presentation and subsequent utilization of cardiac revascularization procedures, and rates of revascularization are typically significantly lower in women compared with men Our study is the first to look at the relationship between delays and outcomes.
Author Interviews, Chocolate, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JACC, UCLA, UCSD / 17.03.2015

Pam R. Taub, MD, FACC Assistant  Professor of Medicine UC San Diego Health System Division of Cardiology Encinitas, CA 92024MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pam R. Taub, MD, FACC Assistant  Professor of Medicine UC San Diego Health System Division of Cardiology Encinitas, CA 92024 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Taub: Epidemiological studies indicate that the consumption of modest amounts of dark chocolate (DC), which contains the natural cacao flavanol (-)-epicatechin (Epi,) is associated with reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The health benefits of dark chocolate have been attributed to Epi. Clinical studies using cocoa and/or DC in normal volunteers or subjects with CVD have reported improvements in peripheral and coronary vascular endothelial function, blood pressure, lipids, insulin resistance, and inflammatory markers. The mechanism underlying these improvements is thought to be due to increased nitric oxide levels and improved endothelial function. We have also shown that capacity of Epi to favorable impact mitochondria under normal and disease states. We previously conducted pilot study in five patients with heart failure and type II diabetes, and showed that in skeletal muscle (SkM) biopsies there is a severe reduction in mitochondrial volume and cristae, as well as, in structural/functional proteins. After treatment with Epi rich dark chocolate , there was a significant recovery of SkM mitochondrial cristae, structural/functional proteins (e.g. mitofilin), as well as in regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis. However, no studies have examined the capacity of Epi rich dark chocolate to enhance exercise capacity in normal subjects and assess its impact on mitochondrial and oxidative control systems. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Taub: Seventeen subjects were randomized to placebo (n=8) or DC groups (n=9) and consumed 2 squares of chocolate (20 g, provided by Hershey) for 3 months. We showed in the chocolate group subjects had improved levels of HDL cholesterol and enhanced exercise capacity that is linked to the stimulation of SkM metabolic control endpoints which enhance mitochondrial function.
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, UCSD / 18.02.2015

Dr. Rahul S. Desikan MD, PhD Department of Radiologoy University of California, San Diego School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rahul S. Desikan MD, PhD Department of Radiologoy University of California, San Diego School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Desikan: The MAPT gene encodes the tau protein, which plays an integral role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) neurodegeneration. Though a number of studies have investigated this issue, the role of the MAPT gene in Alzheimer's disease is still unclear. In contrast, a number of studies have found a robust association between MAPT and increased risk for other 'tauopathies' like Parkinson's disease (PD). In our study, rather than evaluating all possible genetic loci, we only assessed shared genetic variants between Alzheimer's disease and PD. By using this type of approach, we were able to increase our statistical power for gene discovery in Alzheimer's disease. We found genetic overlap between Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease at a locus on chromosome 17 within the MAPT region. Our findings demonstrate that this MAPT associated locus increases risk for Alzheimer's disease, correlates with gene expression of MAPT and is associated with brain atrophy of the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus on longitudinal MRI scans.
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Mental Health Research, UCSD / 05.02.2015

Michael Wilson, MD, PhD, FAAEM Attending Physician, UCSD Department of Emergency Medicine Director, Department of Emergency Medicine Behavioral Emergencies Research (DEMBER) lab UC San Diego Health SystemMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Wilson, MD, PhD, FAAEM Attending Physician, UCSD Department of Emergency Medicine Director, Department of Emergency Medicine Behavioral Emergencies Research (DEMBER) lab UC San Diego Health System MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Wilson: Emergency departments (EDs) nationwide are crowded. Although psychiatric patients do not make up the largest proportion of repeat visitors to the emergency department, psychiatric patients stay longer in the ED than almost any other type of patient. So, it’s really important to find out things about these patients that may predict longer stays. In this study, we looked at patients on involuntary mental health holds. The reasoning is simple: patients on involuntary mental health holds aren’t free to leave the ED. So, the only thing that should really matter is how quickly an Emergency department can release them from the involuntary hold. Surprisingly, though, this wasn’t the only thing that correlated with longer stays.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, PNAS, UCSD / 31.12.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annie Samraj and  Ajit Varki MDDr. Annie Samraj MD Postdoc Fellow Varki Lab and Ajit VAjit Varki MD Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular & Molecular Medicine Co-Director, Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) Co-Director, Glycobiology Research and Training Center (GRTC)  University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0687.arki MD Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular & Molecular Medicine , Co-Director, Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, Co-Director, Glycobiology Research and Training Center University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Varki: For the past decade, there has been increasing evidence that people who consume red meat (beef, pork, lamb) are at a higher risk for certain kinds of cancers. Although red meat is a high quality source of protein, iron and vitamins, too much consumption may be harmful to humans. While there are other hypotheses under consideration, we focused on a non-human sugar molecule called Neu5Gc in red meat that could explain the link to cancer risk. We extensively studied various foods and concluded that red meat (particularly beef) is rich in Neu5Gc. In contrast poultry, fish steaks and hen eggs have little or no Neu5Gc. From previous studies, we knew that animal-derived Neu5Gc could be incorporated into human tissues. In this study, we hypothesized that eating red meat could lead to inflammation if the body’s immune system targets the foreign Neu5Gc. Chronic inflammation is also known to instigate or promote tumor progression. To test this hypothesis, we used mice engineered to be similar to humans in that they lacked Neu5Gc, and also produced antibodies against it. When these mice were fed Neu5Gc, they developed systemic inflammation. Tumor formation increased fivefold and Neu5Gc accumulated in the tumors, proving the hypothesis. None of the various control groups of mice showed this effect.
Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, HIV, JAMA, UCSD / 27.12.2014

dr-peter-torre Dr. Peter Torre III PhD Associate Professor, Audiology Director, Recreational Noise Exposure and Hearing Lab San Diego State UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Peter Torre III PhD Associate Professor, Audiology Director, Recreational Noise Exposure and Hearing Lab San Diego State University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Torre: The primary purpose of our study was to evaluate hearing sensitivity in HIV+ and HIV- adults. And subsequently, in HIV+ adults only, to examine whether HIV disease variables or treatment was associated with hearing sensitivity. The main findings were that HIV+ adult had poorer hearing for both the lower and higher frequencies compared with HIV- adults, although we did not find any significant associations between HIV variables and treatment variables with hearing loss.
Author Interviews, Hospital Readmissions, UCSD / 24.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ralitza P. Parina, MPH, Senior medical student John Rose, MD MPH Department of Surgery at University of California San Diego Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study looked at the association between hospital 30-day readmission rates and 30-day mortality rates. While readmission rates are coming into increasing focus with CMS reimbursement cuts for hospitals with higher than expected rates, they remain a poorly studied metric of quality. High readmission rates have been unequivocally tied to increased costs, but it remains unclear whether they actually represent poor quality of care and worse outcomes for patients. We chose to compare readmission rates as a quality metric to the well-established “gold standard” of mortality. We found that 85% of hospitals did not show a correlation between readmission and mortality, i.e. their rates were not both high or both low. Furthermore, among hospitals that were outliers in at least one of the measures, almost a third were in the category of low or normal readmission rates with higher than expected mortality. The implications are twofold: first, readmission and mortality rates are not strongly correlated. Second, focusing on readmission rates as an outcome will miss a large number of poorly performing hospitals with higher than expected mortality rates but low or expected readmissions.
Author Interviews, Electronic Records, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research, UCSD / 09.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jamie Anderson MD MPH Department of Surgery University of California, San Diego Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Anderson: Risk adjustment is an important component of outcomes and quality analysis in surgical healthcare. To compare two hospitals fairly, you must take into account the “risk profile” of their patients. For example, a hospital operating on predominately very sick patients with multiple co-morbidities would be expected to have different outcomes to a hospital operating on relatively healthier patients with fewer co-morbidities. Somewhat counter-intuitively, it is possible that a hospital with a 10% mortality rate may be better than a hospital with 5% mortality rate when you adjust for the risk of the patient population. Currently, the “gold standard” database to evaluate surgical outcomes is the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), which includes a number of variables on each patient to perform risk adjustment. However, collecting these variables is costly and time consuming. There is also concern that risk adjusted benchmarking systems can be “gamed” because they include data elements that require subjective interpretation by hospital personnel. With the widespread adoption of electronic health records, the aim of this study was to determine whether a number of objective data elements already used for patient care could perform as well as a traditional, full risk adjustment model that includes other provider-assessed and provider-recorded data elements. We tested this hypothesis with an analysis of the NSQIP database from 2005-2010, comparing models that adjusted for all 66 pre-operative risk variables captured by NSQIP to models that only included 25 objective variables. These results suggest that rigorous risk adjusted surgical quality assessment can be performed relying solely on objective variables already captured in electronic health records.
Blood Clots, General Medicine, UCSD / 19.05.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview withTimothy Fernandes, M.D., M.P.H. University of California, San Diego - La Jolla, CA Timothy Fernandes, M.D., M.P.H. University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Fernandes: The fibrinopeptides are cleaved off of fibrinogen by thrombin during the generation of a new clot. These small molecules are excreted into the urine and we have developed a urine assay to measure the level of FPB. We examined the performance of urine FPB as a screening test for acute pulmonary embolism, blood clots that travel to the lungs. The study group consisted of 344 patients: 61 (18%) with pulmonary embolism and 283 (83%) without. At a threshold of 2.5 ng/ml, urine FPB demonstrated sensitivity of 75.4% (95% CI: 62.4-85.2%), specificity of 28.9% (95% CI: 23.8-34.7%), and negative likelihood ratio of 0.18 (0.11-0.29), weighted by prevalence in the sample population. However, the thresholds of 5 ng/ml and 7.5 ng/ml had sensitivities of only 55.7% (95% CI: 42.5-68.2%), and 42.6% (30.3-55.9%), respectively. The urine fibrinopeptide B assay at a cut-off of 2.5 ng/ml had a sensitivity of 75.4% for detecting pulmonary embolism. For diagnosis of PE, this sensitivity is comparable to previously published values for the first generation plasma latex and whole blood D-dimer assays (not as well and the D dimer ELISA assay).
Author Interviews, PLoS, Toxin Research, UCSD / 30.03.2014

Beatrice A. Golomb MD, PhD Professor of Medicine Family and Preventive Medicine University of California, San DiegoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Beatrice A. Golomb MD, PhD Professor of Medicine Family and Preventive Medicine University of California, San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Golomb: The main finding is that veterans with Gulf War illness have bioenergetic defects -- dysfunction of mitochondria, the energy producing elements of cells -- that is evident in comparing affected veterans to matched healthy controls. An estimated 1/4 to 1/3 of the ~700,000 US veterans from the 1990-1 Gulf War developed chronic multisymptom health problems that entail fatigue, cognitive and other CNS problems, muscle pain, weakness and exercise intolerance, with high rates of gastrointestinal (especially diarrhea) and neurological problems, and other symptoms - as well as autonomic dysfunction. Evidence suggests these problems have not abated with time. Veterans from other nations that have conducted epidemiological studies, including the UK, Canada, and Australia, also show elevated rates of problems.
Autism, Genetic Research, NEJM, UCSD / 26.03.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Erik Courchesne PhD Professor, Department of Neurosciences UC San Diego School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Courchesne: “Building a baby’s brain during pregnancy involves creating a cortex that contains six layers,” Courchesne said. “We discovered focal patches of disrupted development of these cortical layers in the majority of children with autism.” The authors created the first three-dimensional model visualizing brain locations where patches of cortex had failed to develop the normal cell-layering pattern. The study found that in the brains of children with autism key genetic markers were absent in brain cells in multiple layers. “This defect,” Courchesne said, “indicates that the crucial early developmental step of creating six distinct layers with specific types of brain cells – something that begins in prenatal life – had been disrupted.”  The study gives clear and direct new evidence that autism begins during pregnancy.