Author Interviews, Biomarkers, JAMA, Multiple Sclerosis / 07.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Rogier Q Hintzen Neurologist/immunologist Head MS Centre ErasMS Dept of Neurology Erasmus MC, Rotterdam MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Years ago, we identified soluble (s) CD27 as a biomarker for T cell activation in body fluids, as part of my PhD study. (J Immunol. 1991 Jul 1;147(1):29-35.) As we presume the neuropathology seen in MS is guided by T cells we were interested to be able to quantify the activity of such cells in a given patient. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is as close as we can get to the site of the disease process in MS, therefore we focus on biomarkers in this compartment. We found clearly elevated levels of sCD27 in CSF of Multiple Sclerosis patients versus non-inflammatory controls. In this study we investigated whether at the moment of first attack of suspected Multiple Sclerosis, quantification of CSF sCD27 can predict further progression in to a diagnosis of MS and whether sCD27 levels are correlated with later attack frequency. Indeed, we found that high sCD27 measured at this early stage predicts a more rapid diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and a more aggressive disease course. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Orthopedics / 06.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charles L. Shapiro, MD Professor of Medicine Co-Director of Dubin Breast Center Director of Translational Breast Cancer Research Director of Cancer Survivorship, Tisch Cancer Institute Mount Sinai Health System Division of Hematology / Medical Oncology: Tisch Cancer Institute New York, NY 10029 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Metastases to bone are frequent in many cancers and cause pain, pathological fractures, necessitate surgical and/or radiation treatments, cause spinal chord compression that can lead to paralysis, and significantly increase health care costs. Zoledronic acid, a bisphosphonate that inhibits bone resorption, is used in standard practice because it reduces the risks skeletal-related events including cancer-related pathological fractures, the need for surgery and/or radiation to bone metastases, and spinal chord compression in patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma. However, the optimal dosing interval for zoledronic acid is unknown and based on prior studies and empiricism it is administered monthly along with anti-cancer treatments. In this trial, over 1800 breast cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma patients with bone metastases were randomized to the standard dosing interval of monthly zoledronic acid versus every 3-months zoledronic acid for a duration of two years. The results overall, and in each specific disease site, show that giving zoledronic acid once every 3-months as opposed to monthly did not result in any increase in skeletal-related events. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Medicare, Orthopedics, University of Pennsylvania / 06.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amol Navathe, MD PhD University of Pennsylvania Staff Physician, CHERP, Philadelphia VA Medical Center Assistant Professor of Medicine and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, The Wharton School Co-Editor-in-Chief, HealthCare: the Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Bundled payments pay a fixed price for an episode of services that starts at hospital admission (in this case for joint replacement surgery) and extends 30-90 days post discharge (30 days in this study). This includes physician fees, other provider services (e.g. physical therapy), and additional acute hospital care (hospital admissions) in that 30 day window. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pulmonary Disease / 06.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Meng-Ting Wang, PhD Associate Professor School of Pharmacy National Defense Medical Center Taipei, Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the past decades, there have been multiple case reports about acute respiratory distress or acute respiratory failure (ARF) from the use of antipsychotics. Nevertheless, no population-based studies have been conducted to examine this potential drug safety issue. We aimed to investigate the association between use of antipsychotics and risk of ARF in a population of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who is vulnerable to ARF and frequently prescribed with antipsychotics. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Diabetes, JAMA / 05.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joseph Dieleman, PhD Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation University of Washington Seattle, WA 98121 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The objective of this study was to provide a estimate of total health care spending in the United States for an exhaustive list of health conditions, over an extended period of time – from 1996 to 2013. The study primarily focuses on personal health spending, which includes both individual out-of-pocket costs as well as spending by private and government insurance programs on care provided in inpatient and outpatient facilities, emergency departments, nursing care facilities, dentist offices, and also on pharmaceuticals. There were 155 conditions included in the analysis, and spending was also disaggregated by type of care, and age and sex of the patient. In 2013, we accounted for $2.1 trillion in personal health spending in the U.S. It was discovered that just 20 health conditions made up more than half of all dollars spent on health care in the U.S. in 2013, and spending for each condition varied by age, sex and type of care. Diabetes was the most expensive condition, totaling $101 billion in diagnoses and treatments, growing at an alarmingly rate – a 6.5% increase per year on average. Ischemic heart disease, the number one killer in the U.S., ranked the second most expensive at $88.1 billion, followed by low back and neck pain at $87.6, treatment of hypertension at $83.9 billion, and injury from falls at $76.3. Women aged 85 and older spent the most per person in 2013, at more than $31,000 per person. More than half of this spending (58%) occurred in nursing facilities, while 20% was expended on cardiovascular diseases, 10% on Alzheimer’s disease, and 7% on falls. Men ages 85 and older spent $24,000 per person in 2013, with only 37% on nursing facilities, largely because women live longer and men more often have a partner at home to provide care. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Pediatrics / 05.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Slaughter, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Center for Perinatal Research Nationwide Children's Hospital/The Ohio State University Columbus, OH 43205 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The ductus arteriosus, a fetal blood vessel that limits blood flow through the lungs, normally closes shortly after birth. However, the ductus often remains open in premature infants, leading to patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Infants with PDA are more likely to die or develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), the major chronic lung disease of preterm infants. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) treatment has been shown to close PDAs in preterm infants and NSAID treatment of PDA is common. However, it has never been shown that PDA closure with NSAIDs leads to decreased mortality or improved long-term respiratory outcomes. NSAID closure of PDA has become increasingly controversial in recent years since NSAID treatment has been associated with acute renal injury. Also, these medications are expensive, with the usual three-dose treatment course costing well over $1000 per patient. Due to these controversies, the likelihood of a preterm infant with PDA being treated with NSAIDs varies by clinician and institution and has decreased over time. Meta-analyses of randomized trials that investigated NSAID (indomethacin and/or ibuprofen) treatment for PDA closure in preterm infants did not show a benefit. However, they were principally designed only to study whether the ductus itself closed following treatment and not to determine if there was an improvement in mortality risk or in respiratory outcomes following NSAID treatment. Given the difficulty of conducting randomized trials in preterm infants and the urgent need for practicing clinician's to know whether treatment of PDA in all preterm infants is beneficial, we used a study design that incorporated the naturally occurring practice variation in NSAID treatment for PDA as a mechanism to reduce the risk of biases that are commonly found in non-randomized investigations. This is based on the premise that if NSAID treatment for PDA in preterm infants is truly effective, we should expect to see improved mortality and respiratory outcomes in instances when clinician preference-based NSAID administration rates are higher. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Prostate Cancer / 03.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jim C. Hu MD MPH Professor of Urology Weill Cornell Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The most significant finding from our population based study is that after years of decline following the introduction of PSA screening, we see a rise in the incidence of metastatic prostate cancer at diagnosis among men aged 75 years and older. This is concerning in light of recent criticisms and guidelines against PSA testing. For instance, in 2008, the US Preventative Services Task Force recommended against PSA testing in this age group, and in our study, we see the incidence of metastasis at diagnosis rising in 2012 and 2013. This is significant because there is no cure for men with metastatic prostate cancer of their disease. The traditional argument against PSA screening is that it leads to over-diagnosis and over-treatment of prostate cancer. However, we currently do not have a better test for diagnosing prostate cancers before it has spread beyond the prostate and metastasized. Remarkably, when Ben Stiller shared his personal use of PSA testing in his mid to late 40's and how this led to a detection of intermediate risk prostate cancer that led him to surgery and cure, others criticized him for sharing his story. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Melanoma / 02.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jessica S. Mounessa, BS Robert P. Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH Dermatology Service, Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Denver, Colorado Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Skin cancer remains the most common cancer in the U.S., despite ongoing efforts to address this major public health problem. Over 9,000 deaths occur annually, and mortality rates continue to increase faster than those associated with any other preventable cancer. Malignant melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, accounts for the overwhelming majority of these deaths. Our study identified regional and state differences in the incidence and mortality rates of melanoma in the United States. We found that the Northeast, specifically New England, represents the only U.S. region in which the majority of states experienced a reduction in both incidence and death rates over the ten-year period between 2003 and 2013. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics, UC Davis / 02.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Magdalena Cerda, DrPH, MPH Vice Chancellor's Chair in Violence Prevention Associate Director, Violence Prevention Research Program UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The potential effect of legalizing marijuana for recreational use has been a topic of considerable debate since Washington and Colorado first legalized its use for adults in 2012. Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., followed suit in 2014, and voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational use this past November. In our study, we examined changes in perceived risk of marijuana use, and in use of marijuana among school-attending adolescents, in Washington and Colorado, following legalization of recreational marijuana use, and compared pre- to post-legalization changes in these two states to changes in the 45 contiguous US states that had not legalized recreational marijuana use. Marijuana use significantly increased and its perceived harm decreased among eighth- and 10th-graders in Washington state following enactment of recreational marijuana laws. There was no change in use or perceived harm among 12th graders or among similar grades in Colorado. In particular, the data showed that legalization of recreational marijuana use significantly reduced perceptions of marijuana’s harmfulness by 14 percent and 16 percent among eighth and 10th graders and increased their past-month marijuana use by 2 percent and 4 percent in Washington state but not in Colorado. Among states without legalized marijuana use, the perceived harmfulness also decreased by 5 percent and 7 percent for students in the two grades, but marijuana use decreased by 1.3 percent and .9 percent. Among older adolescents in Washington state and all adolescents surveyed in Colorado, there were no changes in perceived harmfulness or marijuana use in the month after legalization. (more…)
Anemia, Author Interviews, ENT, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 31.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kathleen Schieffer, BS, PhD Candidate Biomedical Sciences and Clinical and Translational Science Clinical and Translational Science Fellow Hershey, PA 17033 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hearing loss is common in the United States, with its prevalence increasing with each decade of life. Iron deficiency anemia is a common, reversible condition, associated with negative health outcomes. The inner ear is highly sensitive to ischemic damage and previous animal studies have shown that iron deficiency anemia alters the inner ear physiology. Understanding the association between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss may open new possibilities for treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, JAMA / 29.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with David A Mankoff, MD, PhD Gerd Muehllehner Professor of Radiology Attending Physician University of Pennsylvania Health System PET Center Director Vice-Chair of Research, Department of Radiology University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This review was designed to describe the current status of molecular imaging, especially positron emission tomography (PET) as a clinical tool for helping to direct precision oncology. We found that while there had been a number of promising methods tested in small, single research studies, the number of new molecular imaging tests translated to the clinic was small. In addition, the application of molecular methods as tools for therapeutic decision making (versus use for disease detections and staging) was even smaller. We noted that some recently published studies, including a few large multi-center trials, indicated the considerable potential of new molecular imaging tests to identify therapeutic targets for cancer treatment, to evaluate early response to targeted cancer therapy, and to predict downstream outcomes such as progression free survival. We made some observations and recommendations in the review for directing these potentially powerful imaging tools towards use as biomarkers for precision oncology. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 29.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marshall B. Elam PhD MD Professor Pharmacology and Medicine (Cardiovascular Diseases) University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Memphis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This manuscript presents the findings of extended follow up of patients with Type 2 Diabetes who were treated with fenofibrate, a member of a group of triglyceride lowering medications known as fibrates or PPAR alpha agonists, as part of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in T2DM (ACCORD) study. ACCORD was designed to test the effect of intensive treatment of cardiovascular risk factors including blood glucose, blood pressure and lipids on risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiac death in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. The lipid arm of ACCORD tested the hypothesis that adding fenofibrate to statin therapy would further reduce risk of these cardiovascular events. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA / 27.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Dong W. Chang, MD MS Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology and Medicine Los Angeles Biomed Research Institute at Harbor-University of California Los Angeles, Medical Center Torrance California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was based on our overall impression that ICU care is often delivered to patients who are unlikely to derive long-term benefit (based on their co-morbidities/severity of illness, etc.). However, what surprised us was the magnitude of this problem. Our study found more than half the patients in ICU at a major metropolitan acute-care hospital could have been cared for in less expensive and invasive settings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Yale / 27.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nihar R. Desai, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale School of Medicine Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation Yale New Haven Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Reducing rates of readmissions after hospitalization has been a major focus for patients, providers, payers, and policymakers because they reflect, at least partially, the quality of care and care transitions, and account for substantial costs. The Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) was enacted under Section 3025 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010 and imposed financial penalties beginning in October 2012 for hospitals with higher than expected readmissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (HF), and pneumonia among their fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. In recent years, readmission rates have fallen nationally, and for both target (AMI, HF, pneumonia) and non-target conditions. We were interested in determining whether the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) associated with different changes in readmission rates for targeted and non-targeted conditions for penalized vs non-penalized hospitals? (more…)
Author Interviews, Herpes Viruses, JAMA / 22.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by one of two subtypes of the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2). The condition is common in the United States, as the CDC estimates that almost one in six people between the ages of 14 and 49 are afflicted. Unfortunately, there are no good screening tests for herpes and it cannot be cured. After a systematic review of the evidence, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force determined that, for adolescents and adults who have no signs or symptoms, including pregnant women, the harms of screening for genital herpes outweigh the benefits. These harms include high rates of false-positive screening tests, potential concerns around unnecessary antiviral medication use, and anxiety and relationship issues related to diagnosis. Additionally, the benefits of screening proved small, in part because early identification and treatment do not alter the course of the condition. In the end, due to the lack of benefits in the face of serious harms, the Task Force recommended against routine serologic screening for genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA, Pediatrics / 21.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roger Zemek, MD, FRCPC Associate Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Clinical Research Chair in Pediatric Concussion, University of Ottawa Director, Clinical Research Unit, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Ottawa, ON MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While current concussion protocols endorse the conservative view that children should avoid physical activity until completely symptom-free, there is little evidence beyond expert opinion regarding the ideal timing of physical activity re-introduction. In fact, while rest does play a role in concussion recovery, protracted physical rest may actually negatively impact concussion recovery. Further, physiological, psychological, and functional benefits of early physical rehabilitation are observed in other disease processes such as stroke (which is an example of a severe traumatic brain injury). Therefore, our objective was to investigate the relationship between early physical activity (defined within 7 days of the concussion) and the eventual development of persistent post-concussion symptoms at one month. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 21.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eyal Cohen, MD, MSc, FRCP(C) Staff Physician, Paediatrics The Hospital for Sick Children Associate Scientist, Research Institute Child Health Evaluative Sciences Associate Professor, University of Toronto   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Major structural or genetic congenital anomalies affect approximately 2 percent to 5 percent of all births in the United States and Europe. Mothers of children born with major congenital anomalies face serious challenges such as high financial pressures, as well as the burden of providing care to a child with complex needs within the home setting, which can impair a mother's health. Little is known about the long-term health consequences for the mother. We assessed whether the birth of an infant with a major congenital anomaly was subsequently associated with an increased risk of death of the infant's mother. The population-based study (n = 455,250 women) used individual-level linked Danish registry data for mothers who gave birth to an infant with a major congenital anomaly between 1979 and 2010, with follow-up until December 31, 2014. A comparison group was constructed by randomly sampling, for each mother with an affected infant, up to 10 mothers matched on maternal age, parity (the number of children a woman has given birth to), and year of infant's birth. Mothers in both groups were an average age of 29 years at delivery. After a median follow-up of 21 years, there were 1,275 deaths (1.60 per 1,000 person-years) among 41,508 mothers of a child with a major congenital anomaly vs 10,112 deaths (1.27 per 1,000 person-years) among 413,742 mothers in the comparison group. Mothers with affected infants were more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and other natural causes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gender Differences, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA / 20.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yusuke Tsugawa, MD, MPH, PhD Department of Health Policy and Management Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We analyzed a 20% sample of Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with a medical condition in 2011-2014, and found that patients treated by female doctors have lower mortality and readmission rates than those cared for by male doctors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA / 16.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: C. Anthony Blau, M.D. Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology University of Washington School of Medicine Co-Director, University of Washington Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Director, Center for Cancer Innovation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Matching cancer treatment to the molecular composition of a patient’s tumor holds promise for making cancer therapies more effective, and molecular testing for cancer patients has become widespread in recent years. Recently molecular testing of tumor samples has been complemented by blood tests that characterize tumor DNA that has been shed into the bloodstream.  Blood tests are attractive because they are much less invasive than obtaining tumor tissue via biopsies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 15.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristin N. Ferguson, BSc The Royal Women’s Hospital and Deakin University Melbourne, Victoria, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Weaning preterm infants from mechanical ventilation, thereby minimising the risks of having an endotracheal tube in situ which may further damage their fragile lungs, is something all neonatal clinicians are keen to do. We provide clinicians with a straightforward list of safe and effective strategies to help them in this task, as well as pointing out some treatments to either avoid or use with caution. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Surgical Research / 15.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mohammed Al-Omran, MD, MSc, FRCSC Head, Division of Vascular Surgery St. Michael’s Hospital Professor, Department of Surgery University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: General surgery residency is among the most demanding clinical training programs in medicine. Several studies have suggested surgical residents have a relatively high attrition rate; however, no study has systematically reviewed the overall prevalence and causes of attrition among general surgery residents. We included over 20 studies representing 19,821 general surgery residents in our review. Most studies were from the US. We found the pooled estimate of attrition prevalence among general surgery residents was 18%. Female residents were more likely to leave than male (25% versus 15%), and residents were most likely to leave after their first training year (48%). Departing residents most commonly switched to another medical specialty (such as anaesthesia, plastic surgery, radiology or family medicine) or relocated to another general surgery program. The most common causes of attrition were uncontrollable lifestyle (range of 18% to 88%) and transferring to another specialty (range of 18% to 39%). (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Education, JAMA, Melanoma / 15.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: June K. Robinson, MD Research Professor of Dermatology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Dermatology Chicago, IL 60611 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is a secondary finding from a randomized controlled trial of a structured skills training program for melanoma patients and their skin check partners. The pairs learned and performed skin self-examination for the early detection of melanoma. They continued to perform skin checks for 2 years and trained pairs identified more early melanoma (melanoma in situ and Stage 1A melanoma) than controls. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety, UCSF / 12.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charlie M. Wray, DO, MS Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine University of California, San Francisco Department of Medicine San Francisco VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since the establishment of residency duty hour regulations in 2010, which subsequently lead to increased discontinuity of inpatient care and more resident shift work, educators and researchers have attempted to establish which shift handoff technique(s) or strategies work best. National organizations, such as the ACGME, AHRQ, and the Joint Commission have made specific recommendations that are considered "best practice". In our study, using an annual national survey given to Internal Medicine Program Directors, we examined the degree of implementation of these recommended handoff strategies and the proportion of Program Director satisfaction with each of the respective strategies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Genetic Research, JAMA / 12.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Adrian Lee PhD Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology Director, Women's Cancer Research Center University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The goal of this study was to understand molecular changes which occur when breast cancers metastasize to the brain, with the eventual of identifying new therapeutic strategies. Brain metastases occur in 10-15% of patients with metastatic breast cancer and are a major clinical challenge. Limited therapeutic options exist for patients with brain metastases. We analyzed molecular changes in pairs of patient-matched primary breast cancers and brain metastases. We found that brain metastases tended to have the same intrinsic subtype as the primary breast cancer, however, there were many genes which changes in gene expression and may represent therapeutic targets. The most common change was an increase in ErbB2/HER2 which can be targeted clinically. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Infections, JAMA, Neurological Disorders / 12.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zanusso Gianluigi M.D.Ph.D. Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences University of Verona Verona, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: To determine RT-QuIC assay sensitivity and specificity in cerebrospinal fluid and olfactory mucosa in a large group of patients with a clinical diagnosis of probable, possible or suspect Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) and controls. In these patients, RT-QuIC testing of CSF and olfactory mucosa provided a specificity and sensitivity of 100%. A softer swab for olfactory mucosa sampling provided the same sensitivity as using a brush . (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 09.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua L Denson MD Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Miscommunication during physician transition in care has been associated with adverse patient events and medical errors; however, an understudied topic is the transition in care that occurs each month when resident physicians switch clinical rotations, also called an end-of-rotation transition. During this handoff, hospitalized patients (up to 10-20) are handed over to an oncoming physician who has never met the patients. We sought to investigate if this type of transition was associated with worse patient outcomes, specifically mortality. On July 1, 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty-hour regulations limited first-year resident physicians (interns) to 16 continuous hours of work. Although these rules do not appear to have affected overall patient safety outcomes, they have been associated with an increase in shift-to-shift handoffs among training physicians. Given this, we wanted to study how they might impact patient outcomes surrounding end-of-rotation transitions in care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, McGill, Pharmacology, Stroke / 09.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christel Renoux, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurology & Neurosurgery McGill University Centre For Clinical Epidemiology Jewish General Hospital - Lady Davis Research Institute Montreal  Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase the risk for abnormal bleeding, in particular, gastrointestinal tract bleeding. Previous studies also suggested an increased risk for intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in patients treated with SSRIs compared to non users. However, even if this risk exists, the comparison with a non-treated group may exaggerate the strength of a potential association and the comparison with a group of patients treated with other antidepressants may help better delineate the risk. The potential bleeding effect of antidepressants is linked to the strength of serotonin inhibition reuptake, and antidepressants that are strong inhibitors of serotonin reuptake have been associated with the risk for gastrointestinal or abnormal bleeding compared with weak inhibitors but the risk of ICH is unclear. (more…)