Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Lipids / 28.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49391" align="alignleft" width="133"]Samia Mora, MD, MHSAssociate Physician, Brigham and Women's HospitalAssociate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolBrigham and Women's HospitalDepartment of MedicinePreventive MedicineBoston, MA 02115  Dr. Mora[/caption] Samia Mora, MD, MHS Associate Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Medicine Preventive Medicine Boston, MA 02115  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Lipid testing plays a major role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk screening, prediction, and treatment. In the past decade, several pivotal studies (including the Women’s Health Study, the Copenhagen City Heart Study, and the Copenhagen General Population Study) compared populations of individuals who had fasting lipid testing with populations of individuals who had nonfasting lipid testing, and found that non-fasting lipids were at least as good as fasting lipids in cardiovascular risk screening and predicting CVD risk. To date, however, no study has examined the cardiovascular predictive value of lipids measured on the same individuals who had both fasting and nonfasting lipid testing. This is important because individual-level variability in fasting versus nonfasting lipids may not be captured when looking at population-level risk associations, and evidence from randomized studies is lacking. Furthermore, it is unclear whether substituting nonfasting lipids would misclassify cardiovascular risk for individuals who may be eligible for statin therapy.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Surgical Research, UCSF / 27.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49343" align="alignleft" width="144"]Carter Lebares, MDAssistant Professor of SurgeryDirector, Center for Mindfulness in SurgeryDepartment of Surgery, UCSF Dr. Lebares[/caption] Carter Lebares, MD Assistant Professor of Surgery Director, Center for Mindfulness in Surgery Department of Surgery, UCSF  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: This study was inspired by extensive evidence of the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for mitigating stress and enhancing performance in other high-stress populations like police and the military.  We know that overwhelming stress is related to burnout and to cognitive errors - two critical issues within surgery, today. This prompted us to tailor and streamline an MBI specifically for surgeons, and to test it in our trainees.
Author Interviews, Frailty, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Stanford, Surgical Research / 27.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: hospital-frailty-surgeryKara Anne Rothenberg.MD Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Vascular Surgery Shipra Arya, MD SM FACS Associate Professor of Surgery Stanford University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a growing body of literature showing that frailty, a syndrome where patients have increased vulnerability to a stressor (such as surgery), is associated with increased postoperative complications, failure to rescue, and hospital readmissions. The Risk Analysis Index (RAI), is an easy to use frailty measurement tool that better predicts postoperative mortality than age or comorbidities alone. As the rates of outpatient surgeries rise nationwide, we noted that most of the surgical frailty studies focus only on inpatient surgeries. Elective, outpatient surgery is generally considered low risk for complications and unplanned readmissions, however we hypothesized that for frail patients, it might not be.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, NIH, Stroke / 27.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49363" align="alignleft" width="128"]Lenore J. Launer, PhD.Chief Neuroepidemiology Section Intramural Research ProgramNational Institute on Aging Dr. Launer[/caption] Lenore J. Launer, PhD. Chief Neuroepidemiology Section Intramural Research Program National Institute on Aging MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The prevalence of cerebral infarction on MRI can be as high as 30% in community-based studies. These lesions detected on brain MRI, are often clinically silent, but are associated with impairments in cognitive and physical function and can increase the risk for clinical events. For a large number, the origin of these brain lesions is unknown. There is also a lack of population-based data on unrecognized myocardial infarction, which is associated with an increased for clinical coronary disease and mortality. Unrecognized MI was detected in 17% of participants using state-of-the-art cardia MRI, a more sensitive measure of the lesions, than the standard ECG. We investigated the contribution to these lesions of recognized and unrecognized myocardial infarction [MI] identified on cardiac MRI. We found both recognized and unrecognized myocardial infarction increased the risk for cerebral infarction, and that in particular unrecognized MI was associated with cerebral infarction of embolic origins of an unknown source. Given their prevalence, unrecognized MI may be an underestimated contributor to the risk for cerebral infarction in older persons. 
Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, JAMA, NIH, NYU / 24.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49355" align="alignleft" width="150"]Jan Blustein, MD PhDProfessor of Health Policy and MedicineWagner Graduate School and School of MedicineNew York University, New York Dr. Blustein[/caption] 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.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Lipids, Pediatrics / 22.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49239" align="alignleft" width="148"]Amanda Marma Perak, MD, MSAssistant Professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology) and Preventive Medicine Dr. Marma Perak[/caption] Amanda Marma Perak, MD, MS Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology) and Preventive Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Blood cholesterol is a critical initiator of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries that can lead to heart attack in adulthood. It is well established that these changes in the blood vessels occur already in childhood. Thus, it is important to know the status of cholesterol levels in youth to inform public health efforts aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease in the population. In the US there have been changes in childhood obesity prevalence (which may worsen cholesterol levels), the food supply (such as reduction of trans fats which may improve cholesterol levels), and other factors in recent years. We therefore designed a study to examine trends in cholesterol levels among youth in recent years.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 22.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49269" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dan LyPh.D. Program in Health PolicyHarvard Dan Ly[/caption] Dan Ly, MD, MPP Ph.D. Program in Health Policy Harvard MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is some mixed evidence regarding whether state level tort reform reduces defensive medicine, or the practicing of medicine in such a way to reduce medical liability. This includes “positive” defensive medicine, or performing certain tests and procedures to reduce such liability. Other research finds that the perception of malpractice risk drives such defensive medicine, including the use of diagnostic imaging, such as CT scans and MRIs. I was interested in exploring what influenced the perception of this risk, hypothesizing that, for a physician, a report of an injury against one’s colleague might increase the perception of this risk and lead to an increase the use of diagnostic imaging.
Author Interviews, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Neurology, Outcomes & Safety, University of Pennsylvania / 20.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49220" align="alignleft" width="180"]Sameed Khatana, MDFellow, Cardiovascular Medicine, Perleman School of MedicineAssociate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health EconomicsUniversity of Pennsylvania Dr. Khatana[/caption] Sameed Khatana, MD 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: There has been a growing use of quality metrics and indices in the US healthcare system. Much attention has been paid to quality measurement programs used by public payors, however, the use of such programs by commercial payors is much less studied. "Centers of excellence" are one type of quality designation program that is growing in use by commercial payors where certain hospitals are determined to be "high quality" for a certain disease state or procedure based on meeting certain criteria. For some people, this is even impacting the choice of providers and hospitals they can use by payors. We evaluated centers of excellence programs from three large commercial payors, Aetna, Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, targeted at cardiovascular diseases and interventions and examined publicly reported outcomes for all hospitals performing percutaneous coronary interventions (cardiac stenting) in New York State. 
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA / 20.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49216" align="alignleft" width="200"]XinQi DongDirector, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging ResearchHenry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of Population Health SciencesProfessor, Department of Medicine - Division of General Internal Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School XinQi Dong[/caption] XinQi Dong Director, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of Population Health Sciences Professor, Department of Medicine - Division of General Internal Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Interpersonal violence is a substantial public health issue across all socio-demographic and socioeconomic strata globally. A depth of prior studies have found that victims of childhood sexual abuse might have higher risks of re-experiencing sexual violence as adults. But the “re-victimization” phenomenon has been insufficiently examined among the rapidly growing aging populations. There lacks examinations about life-course violence experiences and the accumulative effect of which in older ages. Our study examined three most common forms of interpersonal violence (child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and elder abuse) across the life span and found an interconnectedness among them. Individuals with a history of child maltreatment and/or intimate partner violence had two to six times higher risks of elder abuse compared to those without a past experience of the violence. 
Author Interviews, Emory, Heart Disease, JAMA, Pediatrics, Sugar / 19.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jean A. Welsh, RN, MPH, PhD Departments of Epidemiology and Pediatrics Emory University Wellness Department, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As the evidence has accumulated regarding the health risks associated with sugar-sweetened beverages, I’ve wondered about fruit juices.  Though they have a kind of healthy halo, their main ingredients are the same as sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar and water.  We know that young children drink a lot of fruit juice, and I’ve wondered if older children and adults might switch to drinking more as concern grows about soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 19.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49162" align="alignleft" width="191"]Nina Niu Sanford, M.D. Assistant ProfessorUT Southwestern Department of Radiation OncologyDallas TX 75390 Dr. Sanford[/caption] Nina Niu Sanford, M.D.  Assistant Professor UT Southwestern Department of Radiation Oncology Dallas TX 75390  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is that we know cancer survivors are at risk for uninsurance or underinsurance and the most commonly cited reason for this is cost of insurance.  However, there have been no prior studies assessing from the patient perspective the reasons for not having insurance. In addition, there has been further recent controversy over the Affordable Care Act, including threats from the current administration to dismantle it.  Thus assessing the impact of the ACA among at risk populations including cancer survivors is timely.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Orthopedics, Osteoporosis, Surgical Research / 15.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49152" align="alignleft" width="135"]Elaine W. Yu, MD, MMSc Assistant Professor,  Harvard Medical School Director, Bone Density CenterEndocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital  Dr. Elaine Yu[/caption] Elaine W. Yu, MD, MMSc Assistant Professor,  Harvard Medical School Director, Bone Density Center Endocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is a popular surgical weight loss procedure.  We have previously shown that gastric bypass leads to rapid high-turnover bone loss. Bariatric procedures are being increasingly performed in older adults, and the clinical consequences of gastric bypass-associated skeletal changes in this vulnerable population have been unclear to date.  Thus, we used Medicare claims data to investigate fracture risk among older adults after gastric bypass, and in comparison to adults who received another bariatric procedure called adjustable gastric banding (AGB), which is thought to have fewer negative bone effects. In our analysis, we found that patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass were 73% more likely to fracture than those undergoing AGB. Importantly, we found that hip fracture risk increased nearly 180% after RYGB, and that fracture rates in patients aged 65 or older were similar to the overall group. 
Author Interviews, Hip Fractures, JAMA, Supplements / 13.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49114" align="alignleft" width="149"]Prof. Haakon E Meyer, PhDDepartment of Public Health and Global HealthNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOslo, Norway Prof. Meyer[/caption] Prof. Haakon E Meyer, PhD Department of Public Health and Global Health Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The use of high dose vitamin supplementation is popular in parts of the population, often without any clear indication and in the absence of clear evidence of benefit. However, side effects can occur, and in a previous published secondary analysis of double blinded randomized controlled trials, we found to our surprise an increased risk of hip fracture in those supplemented with high doses of vitamin B6 in combination with vitamin B12. This finding was re-assessed in the current study employing data from the large observational Nurses' Health Study. As in the previous study, we found that a combined high intake of vitamin B6 and B12 was associated with increased risk of hip fracture.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, JAMA, Karolinski Institute / 13.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49076" align="alignleft" width="150"]Louise OlssonSenior researcherDepartment of Molecular Medicine and SurgeryColorectal SurgeryKarolinski InstituteStockholm, Sweden Dr. Olsson[/caption] Louise Olsson MD PhD Senior researcher Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery Colorectal Surgery Karolinski Institute Stockholm, Sweden  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I read a very interesting paper back in 2006 “Detection and quantification of mutation in the plasma of patients with colorectal cancer”. Only some 60 % of patients with early colorectal cancer were detectable in this way whereas patients with stage IV disease all had a high concentration of APC mutations in their plasma. So the prospects of using the method for example, screening of primary colorectal cancer seemed limited but I thought wow, this is the test to detect recurrences and generalized disease during follow-up after surgery for colorectal cancer. After some discussion we started to collect plasma samples from patients at the hospital where I worked and that´s how my research began.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Primary Care, University of Michigan / 11.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49122" align="alignleft" width="140"]Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., Ph.D.Department of PediatricsSusan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research CenterUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor Dr. Kao-Ping Chua[/caption] Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Pediatrics Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Doctor and pharmacy shopping is a high-risk behavior in which patients obtain opioid prescriptions from multiple prescribers and fill them at multiple pharmacies. Because this behavior is associated with a high risk of overdose death, there have been many efforts to help clinicians detect doctor and pharmacy shopping among patients prescribed opioids. For example, 49 states have a prescription drug monitoring program that provides information on patients’ prior controlled substance prescriptions. In contrast, there has been little attention to the possibility that patients prescribed opioids may have family members who are engaged in opioid doctor and pharmacy shopping. Such family members may divert opioids prescribed to patients because of their access to these opioids.
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 09.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr-Romy GaillardRomy Gaillard MD PhD LifeCycle Project-Maternal Obesity and Childhood Outcomes Study Group Erasmus MC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Obesity among women of reproductive age is a major problem for society. Scientists have long known that maternal weight before and during pregnancy are associated with pregnancy outcomes. Gestational weight gain is necessary to ensure healthy development of the fetus, but too much weight gain is associated with a higher risk of pregnancy complications. The magnitude of the associations of maternal weight before and during pregnancy with the risks of pregnancy complications, as well as the optimal amount of weight that especially obese women should gain during pregnancy were not well-known.
Author Interviews, Electronic Records, JAMA, Pediatrics, Primary Care / 07.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49055" align="alignleft" width="173"]Cari McCarty, PhDResearch Professor, UWInvestigator, Seattle Children’s Research Institute Dr. McCarty[/caption] Cari McCarty, PhD Research Professor, UW Investigator, Seattle Children’s Research Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adolescence is a time when teens begin to take charge of their health, but it is also a time when they can be prone to health risk behaviors, such as insufficient physical activity, poor sleep, and substance use. We were interested in whether using an electronic health risk screening tool in primary care settings could improve healthcare and health for adolescents.  The tool was designed to provide screening as well as motivational feedback directly to adolescents, in addition to clinical decision support for the healthcare clinician.  We conducted a trial with 300 adolescent patients where one group received the screening tool prior to their health checkup, and the other group received usual care.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Pulmonary Disease / 07.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48985" align="alignleft" width="80"]Robert A. Wise, M.D.Professor of MedicinePulmonary and Critical CareJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore, MD  Dr. Wise[/caption] Robert A. Wise, M.D. Professor of Medicine Pulmonary and Critical Care Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been a lingering controversy about the safety of long-acting anti-muscarinic agents (LAMA) as maintenance treatment for COPD in patients who have increased cardiovascular risk.  This study enrolled participants with COPD who also had increased cardiovascular risk or known cardiovascular disease.  Participants were randomly treated with either aclidinium bromide (Tudorza Pressair) or placebo. Over 3 years of follow up there was no increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events.  Moreover, the medication had a significant benefit in terms of reducing exacerbations and COPD hospitalizations.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA / 07.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48981" align="alignleft" width="140"]Robert Wong, MD, MS, FACGAssistant Clinical Professor of MedicineDirector, GI Education & ResearchHighland Hospital   I A member of Alameda Health SystemOakland, CA 94602 Dr. Wong[/caption] Robert Wong, MD, MS, FACG Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Director, GI Education & Research Highland Hospital   I A member of Alameda Health System Oakland, CA 94602  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Alcoholic liver disease is a major cause of chronic liver disease in the United States and has become the leading indication for liver transplantation in the U.S.  However, accurate estimates of the true burden among U.S. adults is not well studies due to challenges in accurately identifying alcoholic liver disease or lack of awareness is screening individuals for alcohol use disorder.  Given the gaps in knowledge regarding the epidemiology of alcoholic liver disease in the U.S., our current study attempts to further contribute to the understanding of alcoholic liver disease epidemiology in the U.S We utilized a U.S. national cross sectional database and focused on the specific subset of alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is the earlier stage of disease along the spectrum of alcoholic liver disease.  Focusing on alcoholic fatty liver disease allowed us to more accurately define and capture the prevalence of this disease.  Furthermore, given that alcoholic fatty liver disease is early on the overall spectrum of alcoholic liver disease, it is a disease state that early identification provides opportunities to implement therapy and counseling for alcohol abstinence that can prevent further liver damage and disease progression.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, JAMA / 07.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. med. Hermann Brenner Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research Division Head German Cancer Research Center Foundation under Public Law Germany  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer globally, accounting for almost 900.000 deaths every year. Most of these deaths could be prevented by screening colonoscopy with early detection and removal of precursors of the cancer. However, capacities and use of screening colonoscopy are limited in most parts of the world, and low-cost but reliable noninvasive screening tests are important alternative primary screening tests. The currently best established noninvasive tests are fecal immunochemical tests for hemoglobin (FITs) which are offered for colorectal cancer screening in an increasing number of countries. Although FITs detect the majority of colorectal cancers they detect approximately one out of four advanced adenomas only, the precursors of most colorectal cancers. We hypothesized that this proportion could be increased by taking a single pill of aspirin two days prior to collecting the stool sample for FIT, because the well-established antithrombotic effects of aspirin might favor detecting occult bleeding from colorectal cancer or its precursors.
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, FDA, JAMA / 06.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48994" align="alignleft" width="191"]David Strauss, MD, PhDDirector, Division of Applied Regulatory ScienceU.S. Food and Drug AdministrationCenter for Drug Evaluation and Research Dr. Strauss[/caption] David Strauss, MD, PhD Director, Division of Applied Regulatory Science U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is unknown whether most active ingredients in sunscreens are absorbed. FDA has provided guidance that sunscreen active ingredients with systemic absorption greater than 0.5 ng/mL or with safety concerns should undergo nonclinical toxicology assessment including systemic carcinogenicity and additional developmental and reproductive studies. This randomized clinical trial demonstrated systemic exposure of 4 commonly used sunscreen active ingredients on application of sunscreen products under maximal use conditions consistent with current sunscreen labeling. All 4 sunscreen active ingredients tested resulted in exposures exceeding 0.5 ng/mL. 
Allergies, Author Interviews, Immunotherapy, JAMA / 06.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48976" align="alignleft" width="129"]Dr. Marcus Shaker Dr. Shaker[/caption] Marcus S. Shaker, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There are two peanut allergy treatments that are being evaluated for potential FDA approval—an orally administered treatment and an epicutaneous (skin based) treatment.  Both have tremendous potential benefit.  The focus of our study was to explore the range of health and economic benefits in terms of establishing pathways for how each therapy could be cost effective. We want to be clear that our purpose was not to suggest one therapy is or is not cost effective at present.  That would be a ridiculous statement to make regarding two treatments that not only lack FDA approval, but do not have established pricing.  Rather, we used preliminary inputs that are presently available to create as robust a model as we could to better determine the individual paths that would make them more or less cost-effective.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Education, JAMA / 06.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48973" align="alignleft" width="169"]Arabella L. Simpkin,  MD, MMScAssociate Director, Center for Educational Innovation and Scholarship, MGHAssociate Program Director, Education and Curriculum, Internal Medicine Residency, MGHInstructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolBoston, MA 02114 Dr. Simpkin[/caption] Arabella L. Simpkin,  MD, MMSc Associate Director, Center for Educational Innovation and Scholarship, MGH Associate Program Director, Education and Curriculum, Internal Medicine Residency, MGH Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The academic health care environment has changed in unprecedented ways over several decades, with mounting evidence that faculty are becoming increasingly more unhappy, dissatisfied, and burnt out in their work. Concern for faculty wellbeing is high, with much speculation about causes of burnout. Comprehending what affects satisfaction at work in academic health care centers is critically important to stem this epidemic of discontent. For physicians, satisfaction has been reported to be associated with quality of care delivered, particularly as measured by patient satisfaction; faculty retention and job satisfaction are intricately linked, with dissatisfied physicians more likely to leave the profession and to discourage others from entering. Other industries that have suffered similar rises in employee discontent have found that demonstration of respect is the most important leadership behavior in improving employees satisfaction. To our knowledge this factor has not been looked at in healthcare professionals. To address this gap, we sought to determine key variables influencing satisfaction at work for faculty in a large academic medical center in the United States.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Smoking / 06.05.2019

"E-Cigarette/Electronic Cigarette/E-Cigs/E-Liquid/Vaping/Cloud Chasing" by Vaping360 is licensed under CC BY 2.0 CC BY 2.0MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Jenny L. Carwile, ScD, MPH Department of Medicine Maine Medical Center Portland   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Although e-cigarette aerosols are commonly perceived to be "harmless water vapors" they contain numerous potentially harmful chemicals including volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, nicotine, heavy metals, and ultrafine particulates. Non-users can be exposed to these chemicals through secondhand exposure. We found that in the US 4.9% of adults who lived in a household with children were current e-cigarette users.
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 01.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48954" align="alignleft" width="130"]Nicholas B. DeFelice, PhDDepartment of Environmental Medicine & Public HealthIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew York, New York Dr. DeFelice[/caption] Nicholas B. DeFelice, PhD Department of Environmental Medicine & Public Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Effective allocation of public health resources during an outbreak is complicated and often reactive. Thus, it is important that we develop quantitative tools that can accurately and rapidly forecast the progression of an outbreak and provide decision support. Recently, several advancements have been made in the realm of infectious disease forecasting: it is a field that is growing in exciting directions. However, for these forecasting tools to work in real time, we must understand how the forecasting apparatus and observational network work in real time to ensure they are sufficient to support accurate operational predictions. We previously showed that accurate and reliable forecasts of West Nile virus outbreaks can be made using surveillance data and a mathematical model representing the interactions between birds, mosquitoes and risk of human spillover. This model system was able to retrospectively forecast mosquito infection rates prior to the week of peak mosquito infection, and to forecast accurately the seasonal total number of human West Nile virus cases prior to when the majority of cases were reported. For this study, we were interested in the data flow process and the question of whether appropriate infrastructure is in place to support real time forecasting. If this forecast system were made operational in real time, public health officials would have an evidence-based decision-support tool to help 1) actively target control of infected mosquito populations (i.e., larviciding and adulticiding), 2) alert the public to future periods of elevated West Nile virus spillover transmission risk, and 3) identify when to intensify blood donor screening.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, End of Life Care, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 30.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48887" align="alignleft" width="180"]Emily Largent, PhD, JD, RNAssistant Professor, Medical Ethics and Health PolicyPerelman School of MedicineLeonard Davis Institute of Health EconomicsUniversity of Pennsylvania Dr. Largent[/caption] Emily Largent, PhD, JD, RN Assistant ProfessorMedical Ethics and Health Policy Perelman School of Medicine Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response:  Public support for aid in dying in the United States is rapidly growing.  As a result, we’re now seeing debates about whether to expand access to aid-in-dying to new populations – such as people with Alzheimer’s disease – who wouldn’t be eligible under current laws. With those debates in mind, we asked currently healthy people who recently learned about their risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease dementia (i.e., due to the presence of amyloid, an Alzheimer’s disease biomarker) whether they would be interested in aid-in-dying. Our findings suggest that about 20% of individuals with elevated amyloid may be interested in aid-in-dying if they become cognitively impaired.  
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, JAMA, Technology / 30.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48863" align="alignleft" width="132"]Steven J.M. Jones, Professor, FRSC, FCAHSCo-Director & Head, BioinformaticsGenome Sciences CentreBritish Columbia Cancer Research CentreVancouver, British Columbia, Canada Dr. Jones[/caption] Steven J.M. Jones, Professor, FRSC, FCAHS Co-Director & Head, Bioinformatics Genome Sciences Centre British Columbia Cancer Research Centre Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Jasleen Grewal, BSc.Genome Sciences CentreBritish Columbia Cancer Research CentreVancouver, British Columbia, CanadaJasleen Grewal, BSc. Genome Sciences Centre British Columbia Cancer Research Centre Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cancer diagnosis requires manual analysis of tissue appearance, histology, and protein expression. However, there are certain types of cancers, known as cancers of unknown primary, that are difficult to diagnose based purely on their appearance and a small set of proteins. In our precision medicine oncogenomics program, we needed an accurate approach to confirm diagnosis of biopsied samples and determine candidate tumour types for where the primary site of the cancer was uncertain.  We developed a machine learning approach, trained on the gene expression data of over 10,688 individual tumours and healthy tissues, that has been able to achieve this task with high accuracy. Genome sequencing offers a high-resolution view of the biological landscape of cancers. RNA-Seq in particular quantifies how much each gene is expressed in a given sample. In this study, we used the entire transcriptome, spanning 17,688 genes in the human genome, to train a machine learning method for cancer diagnosis. The resultant method, SCOPE, takes in the entire transcriptome and outputs an interpretable confidence score from across a set of 40 different cancer types and 26 healthy tissues. 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, MD Anderson, Radiation Therapy / 30.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48932" align="alignleft" width="140"]Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, MDDepartment of Radiation OncologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHouston Dr. Quynh-Nhu[/caption] Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, MD Department of Radiation Oncology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This is the first non-spine bone metastases trial comparing higher dose single fraction radiotherapy vs multifraction standard fractionated radiotherapy for patients with painful bone metastases. The results of this trial demonstrated more durable pain relief and superior local control for patients treated in the higher dose(12 Gy-16 Gy)  single fraction RT compared to standard 30 Gy/10 fractions multifractionated regimen.  This trial supports the previous multiple randomized trials which recommend single fraction should be standard palliative radiotherapy regimen for bone metastases.  This trial is unique in that it addressed previous criticism that single fraction does not provide durable palliation with lower 8 gy single fraction and result in higher re-irradiation rates.  This trial on the contrary with the utilization of modern radiotherapy techniques, demonstrated we can safely and more effectively deliver a higher single fraction radiotherapy regimen for improvement in the quality of life for patients.  This higher dose should be the new standard single fraction regimen for patients who are functional and have a longer life expectancy. 
Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA / 29.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48876" align="alignleft" width="180"]Dr Barbara Mintzes PhDAssociate Professor The University of Sydney Charles Perkins Centre and School of PharmacyFaculty of Medicine and HealthThe University of Sydney Dr. Mintzes[/caption] Dr Barbara Mintzes PhD Associate Professor The University of Sydney Charles Perkins Centre and School of Pharmacy Faculty of Medicine and Health The University of Sydney MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: When medicines are approved for marketing, the information available on rare serious harmful effects, longer-term effects, and outcomes in vulnerable populations is often limited. New serious safety concerns often arise when a medicine is already on the market. In many cases these can be  managed for example through dose reductions or avoiding prescribing to at-risk patients. Drug regulatory agencies such as the US FDA often issue safety warnings to let health professionals and the public know  about new evidence of potential harm and often to provide advice on how to avoid this. We were interested to know how consistent these warnings are between different countries. This is a research project funded by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. We examined warnings for medicines in Australia, Canada the US and the UK over a 10-year period, from 2007 to 2016 inclusive. We were looking at how often regulators issue the same warning if the drug is approved for marketing at the time.