Author Interviews, Melanoma, Vaccine Studies / 16.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nina Bhardwaj MD, PhD Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) and Urology Tisch Cancer Institute Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What types of cancer may be amenable to this vaccine? Response: The goal was to determine if vaccine responses could be improved by increasing special white cell numbers, namely dendritic cells, which are key for jumpstarting an immune response. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: We found that the agent flt3-L mobilized these dendritic cells which help to improve the vaccine’s ability to prime the immune system.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, Vaccine Studies / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Douglas L. Kriner, PhD The Clinton Rossiter Professor in American Institutions Department of Government Cornell University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 reaches the market, the world will not change overnight.  Rather, government and public health individuals will have to develop a comprehensive plan to distribute the vaccine and to convince potentially wary Americans to take it. Our study examined the influence of both specific vaccine characteristics and the politics surrounding it on public willingness to vaccinate.  Both matter in important ways.  For example, efficacy is unsurprisingly a major driver of public opinion; Americans are more willing to take a vaccine that is more efficacious. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emory, NEJM, NIH, Vaccine Studies / 04.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Evan J. Anderson, MD Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics Emory University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Older adults have suffered a disproportionate number of the hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19. A vaccine is clearly needed for older adults.  For a number of vaccines, the immune response and efficacy of vaccines decreases with increasing age. A prime example would be influenza and the need for high dose influenza vaccine in the elderly. We had previously conducted a Phase I study in 18 – 55 year old adults of mRNA-1273 vaccine – published in NEJM 2020 with Lisa Jackson as the lead author. This phase I study was expanded to include older adults in 2 separate cohorts (56 – 70, >70 years of age) and 2 different doses. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, Karolinski Institute, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 30.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jiayao Lei PhD Prof. Pär Sparén PhD Karolinski Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The efficacy and effectiveness of quadrivalent HPV (qHPV) vaccine protecting against HPV infection, genital warts and high-grade precancerous cervical lesions have been shown. However, there is lack of population-based studies in examining the association between HPV vaccine and invasive cervical cancer on individual level.  (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Vaccine Studies / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Shepshelovich MD Professor, Department of Medicine Rabin Medical Center Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was initiated as part of a research project aiming to assess the quality of post marketing surveillance of various medical interventions. This includes drugs (file:///C:/Users/danielshep/Downloads/jamainternal_ross_2019_en_190008.pdf), medical devices (accepted to a leading medical journal, still under embargo) and additional studies in specific settings (e.g. cancer drugs, immune-modulating drugs). Through this perspective, vaccines are clearly safer as a group than drugs or medical devices, with significantly less post-marketing safety issues, most of which were not clinically important, and a more effective post-marketing surveillance program. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Infections, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 15.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frederick Hayden MD Stuart S Richardson Professor Emeritus of Clinical Virology Professor Emeritus of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health University of Virginia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although primary prevention approach for influenza infections is vaccination, vaccine efficacy is incomplete and uptake rates are variable in the population. Preventing people who have been exposed to someone with influenza from developing the disease is an important way to prevent its rapid spread, reduce the disruption to peoples' lives and, in some cases, reducing the risk of serious illness or even death.  Prior studies have shown that antivirals like oseltamivir and inhaled zanamivir can reduce the risk influenza illness in those exposed. The BLOCKSTONE study was designed to assess the efficacy of postexposure prophylaxis with a single oral dose of baloxavir for the preventing influenza in household contacts. This antiviral drug was approved first in 2018 for treatment of adults with uncomplicated influenza.  (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, CDC, Vaccine Studies / 28.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Elisabeth Hesse, MD Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS Officer) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the last decade, there has been increasing attention given to shoulder injuries diagnosed after intramuscular vaccinations, with multiple publications of case reports and case series. However, to the best of our knowledge, there haven’t been any robust studies to determine how frequently this happens and what may make some people more likely than others to have shoulder injuries after vaccination. The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) is an ideal system to use for such a study, because it contains medical and vaccination records of over 10 million people across the United States. We found that out of the 2.9 million people over the age of 3 who received an injectable flu vaccine (specifically, inactivated influenza vaccine) during the 2016-2017 flu season, fewer than 8 people per million vaccinated developed shoulder bursitis that can be attributed to the vaccination. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 15.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison Kempe, MD, MPH Ergen Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Outcomes Research Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine Director of ACCORDS (Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science) University of Colorado School of Medicine | Children’s Hospital Colorado  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2019 the WHO designated vaccine hesitancy as one of the ten leading threats to global health. Although studies have assessed parental vaccine hesitancy in different localities and estimated vaccine refusals nationally, there is little recent US national data on the prevalence of hesitancy about routine childhood vaccines and national hesitancy rates for influenza vaccine have never been assessed. We used a hesitancy scale developed by the WHO to estimate levels of parental hesitancy for both routine childhood and childhood influenza vaccination  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 07.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul B. McCray, Jr., M.D. Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology, and Internal Medicine Executive Vice Chair of Pediatrics Associate Director: Center for Gene Therapy Roy J. Carver Chair in Pulmonary Medicine Pappajohn Biomedical Institute Carver College of Medicine University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA  52242 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is great interest in developing a vaccine that could help protect people from infection with SARS-CoV-2.  Over the last 15 years, my laboratory has helped develop small animal models of the severe coronavirus diseases SARS and MERS to study disease pathogenesis and to test treatments.  In this study, we used a mouse model of the MERS coronavirus to test a vaccine idea in collaboration with Dr. Biao He at the University of Georgia. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pharmaceutical Companies, Vaccine Studies / 17.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathalie Charland PhD Senior Director, Scientific and Medical Affairs Medicago  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We started to work on solutions as soon as we were able to obtain the appropriate genetic information for the new COVID-19. Medicago is committed to advancing therapeutics against life-threatening diseases worldwide.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia Liu,  Ph.D. Manager, Scientific Information CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society Columbus, OH 43210 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by the new virus SARS-CoV-2 has overwhelmed the health systems in many countries and been declared by WHO as a pandemic which will continue to affect global public health and world economy. This threat calls for an intensified effort in the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines. CAS is a not-for-profit division of the American Chemical Society that specializes in scientific information solutions. Our team includes hundreds of scientists that build a global data collection of curated scientific content from both journal articles and patent applications as well as chemical and biological substance collections. With this report, our team hopes to support the efforts of R&D organizations seeking to address this crisis by providing an up-to-date overview of recent relevant publications and insight into potential therapeutic agents, including both small molecules and biologics. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Global Health, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 09.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Parker Hyle, M.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We found that many children who were planning to travel internationally were eligible for MMR vaccination prior to departure but often did not receive it - especially if they were aged 6 months to 6 years. That is because most children do not routinely receive their first dose of MMR till 12-15 months of age and their second dose of MMR till 4-6 years of age. However, ACIP recommendations are different for children who are traveling internationally. The risk of being infected with measles is much higher outside of the US, so it is recommended that children older than 1 year have had 2 MMR vaccinations and that children 6-12 months receive 1 MMR vaccination prior to travel. MMR vaccination is a safe and effective way to greatly reduce the risk of measles infection.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Technology, Vaccine Studies / 15.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD Professor and Chair, Department of Family Science Senior Associate Director, Maryland Center for Health Equity School of Public Health University of Maryland College Park, MDSandra Crouse Quinn, PhD Professor and Chair, Department of Family Science Senior Associate Director, Maryland Center for Health Equity School of Public Health University of Maryland College Park, MD  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Millions of Americans use Facebook (FB) for a variety of purposes, including seeking health information. However, it is difficult for FB users to discern what is credible and scientifically sound information on the platform.  Facebook ads also focus on health issues including vaccination, which is labelled by FB as an issue of national importance.  We were the first team to conduct a research study examining the FB Ad Archive and analyzed ads that contained vaccine content. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 04.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel C. Payne, PhD, MSPH Senior Scientific Advisor Viral Gastroenteritis Branch US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Rotavirus vaccines have been recommended for US infants for more than 10 years.  This study used seven years of active surveillance data from seven hospitals around the US to evaluate the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines in the US.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Lung Cancer, Vaccine Studies / 28.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naomi E Aronson, MD, FIDA, FACP Professor and Director, Infectious Diseases Division Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda, MD  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: BCG is a live attenuated mycobacteria vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis which has been reported to have associated nonspecific effects such as treatment of diabetes, bladder cancer, prevention of severe respiratory infections in children, and suppressed autoimmune responses. In earlier reports in the 1970s, results of epidemiologic studies were divided as to whether BCG vaccine was associated with subsequent rates of malignancy, specifically leukemia (protective) and non Hodgkins lymphoma (higher rates). To further evaluate these observations we studied cancer data collected in the 60 year follow up of a controlled trial of BCG in American Indian/ Alaska Native schoolchildren. (more…)
Author Interviews, Herpes Viruses, Science, University of Pennsylvania, Vaccine Studies / 23.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harvey M. Friedman, MD Professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104-6073  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Mice and guinea pigs are the animal models used to evaluate candidate vaccines for preventing genital herpes. My lab has been working on such a vaccine. Our candidate vaccine contains 3 immunogens. One immunogen is a protein on the virus that is required for the virus to enter cells (viruses need to enter cells to replicate). The other two immunogens are proteins on the virus that help the virus escape immune attack. Our intent is to produce antibodies to these 3 proteins by immunization and that the antibodies will bind to the proteins on the virus and block the protein functions. The virus then will not be able to enter cells and will not be able to use its evasion strategies to avoid the immune responses generated by the vaccine. Our vaccine aimed at preventing immune evasion is novel as a component of a genital herpes vaccine.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dengue, Duke, Vaccine Studies / 21.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Shee-Mei Lok, PhD Professor in the Emerging Infectious Disease program Duke-NUS, a school of National University of Singapore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dengue virus consists of four different serotypes (DENV1-4) and within each serotypes, there are multiple strains. In terms of the viral particle shape, our previous research work using some laboratory adapted strains showed these DENV2 strains are very interesting in that it can change shape from the smooth spherical surface particles when grown at mosquito physiological temperature (29oC) and then becomes bumpy surfaced particles when incubated at human physiological temperature (37oC). This ability to transform into different virus surface structures helps the virus to escape from the immune system of the human host. Hence understanding the mechanism of how this occur is important for therapeutics and vaccine development. Here we also identified a laboratory adapted virus strain that do not showed this structural changes. We showed some differences in their amino acid sequences and We showed some differences in their amino acid sequences and mutating these residues coupled with observing their surface structures showed which residues are important for this temperature induced structural change. Results showed that subtle mutations at different places on the envelope protein can destabilize the virus allowing them to change in structure when temperature is elevated. Due to the poor selection pressure of the artificial laboratory tissue culture system, gradual mutations of the virus is accumulated causing the virus to have bumpy surface morphology. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, FDA, Vaccine Studies / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Graca Dores MD MPH US Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Office of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Division of Epidemiology Silver Spring, Maryland Oklahoma City, OK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what Sipuleucel-T is used for?  Response: Sipuleucel-T was the first therapeutic vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010.  It is indicated for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC; prostate cancer that spreads while an individual is on hormone-blocking therapy).  During the preparation of this product, the patient’s cells are collected (leukapheresis), sent for processing to generate a dose of patient-specific vaccine, and then administered intravenously back to the patient.  This process is repeated approximately every two weeks for a total of three doses. Except for the pre-marketing clinical trials that were reviewed during the sipuleucel-T approval process, post-marketing studies that have evaluated the safety profile of sipuleucel-T are scarce. Therefore, we used the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database to summarize the adverse events reported to FDA by industry, medical professionals, and consumers.  We also assessed whether sipuleucel-T and specific adverse events (product-event pairs) were reported more than expected compared to all other drug/biologic-adverse event pairs in the FAERS database. (more…)
Author Interviews, Melanoma, Vaccine Studies / 11.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, PhD Head, Cancer Research and Nanomedicine Laboratory Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel Prof. Helena Florindo, PhD Head, BioNanoSciences – iMed.ULisboa Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon Lisbon, Portugal    MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The war against cancer in general, and melanoma in particular, has advanced over the years through a variety of treatment modalities, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy. The immune checkpoint inhibitors brought a breakthrough solution for advanced melanoma patients, but only a low percentage of those respond to this therapy, developing resistance and being affected by severe side effects. Despite the success of several vaccines against viral diseases, this success has not been materialized yet against cancer. This study led by my lab at Tel Aviv University, and Helena Florindo’s lab at the University of Lisbon, describes the development of an effective nano-vaccine against melanoma, that also sensitizes the immune system to immunotherapies. This nano-vaccine prevented melanoma, and also led to remarkable tumor inhibition and prolonged survival in mice already affected by this disease.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Emory, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 02.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ms. Cassandra Pingali Ms. Pingali worked on this paper while a a graduate student at Emory University, and completed it post-graduation. She is currently an ORISE fellow at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Immunization Services Division MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite high overall immunization coverage in the United States, we are currently experiencing the largest measles outbreak since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. In 2014, California grappled with a very large measles outbreak known as the “Disneyland” outbreak. Later investigation revealed that most of the affected children were unvaccinated against measles despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. In order to prevent future outbreaks, California officials wanted to improve their declining childhood vaccination coverage. California passed two laws and implemented an educational program for school staff to increase vaccination rates in the state. We felt it was important to take a systematic look at these interventions and examine if public health initiatives such as these are working to improve vaccination rates. (more…)
Author Interviews, HPV, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Syringe and Vaccine” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0Ali Moghtaderi PhD MBA Assistant Research Professor and Avi Dor PhD Professor of Health Policy and Economics Milken Institute School of Public Health George Washington University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In this study, we investigate the effect of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination on participation in Pap test, which is one of the most effective cancer screening interventions. Cervical cancers are causally linked to HPV infections. The Pap test is a diagnostic procedure for early detection of cervical cancer. HPV vaccination provides partial protection against cervical cancer, and the Pap test is strongly recommended for women 21 to 65 years of age even after vaccination. If vaccination leads to a reduction in testing participation, it could contribute to greater incidence and severity of cervical cancer. Note that we focus on relatively older women (age 22 or older) who were not vaccinated at younger ages.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Cognitive Issues, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arindam Nandi  PhD Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The motivation for this study comes from a small but growing body of evidence on the potential long-term benefits of vaccines. The recent resurgence of measles outbreaks in several countries which had previously eliminated the virus makes our study additionally relevant. There have been over 1,000 measles cases reported across 28 states in the US so far in 2019, which is the largest number of cases the country has seen in almost 3 decades. Similarly high number of cases have been reported in several European countries in recent years. This study reiterates the importance of vaccination and proves the long-term benefits of the measles vaccine in low- and middle-income countries, which account for a large proportion of global measles cases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa Lindesmith, MS Research specialist Ralph S. Baric, PhD Professor, Departments of Epidemiology, Microbiology and Immunology Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Gillings School of Global Public Health University of North Carolina MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the types of outbreaks caused by Norovirus infections? Response: Noroviruses cause about 20% of endemic and 50% of food-borne acute gastroenteritis, infecting all age groups, globally.  While may different strains of norovirus cause outbreaks primarily in community settings, since the mid-1990’s the GII.4 strains of norovirus have caused waves of pandemic disease every 2-7 years.  These pandemics are associated with emergence of a GII.4 strain that has changed key viral domains rendering the virus less susceptible to recognition by and protection from a person’s immune system.  For a vaccine to be efficacious against pandemic GII.4 strains, it must be able to train the immune system to focus on the part of the GII.4 virus that does not change over time. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Flu - Influenza, Vaccine Studies / 29.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan C. Lindley, MPH Deputy Associate Director for Science Immunization Services Division CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite longstanding recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, healthcare personnel influenza vaccination coverage remains below the Healthy People 2020 target of 90%. Healthcare employers use a variety of strategies to promote influenza vaccination among healthcare personnel, including facility-level mandates for vaccination. Several U.S. states have also enacted laws related to healthcare personnel influenza vaccination, but the effect of these laws on vaccination uptake is unclear. Our study used influenza vaccination coverage data reported by over 4,000 U.S. hospitals to examine three kinds of laws: (1) Assessment laws, which require hospitals to assess healthcare personnel influenza vaccination status; (2) Offer laws, which require hospitals to offer the influenza vaccine to healthcare personnel; and (3) Ensure laws, which require hospitals to require healthcare personnel to demonstrate proof of influenza vaccination. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, HPV, Race/Ethnic Diversity, STD, Vaccine Studies / 08.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Perry N Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH Dean and Professor Department of Urban-Global Public Health Rutgers Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The rate of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is high among young minority gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men despite the availability of a vaccine that can prevent the infection, a Rutgers School of Public Health study found. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, HPV, OBGYNE, Sexual Health, Vaccine Studies / 05.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Tim Palmer Honorary Senior Lecturer Department of Pathology University of Edinburgh Edinburgh, UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: High risk HPV infection is the obligate cause of between 70 and 90% of cervical cancers, depending upon the country. The development of vaccines against the commonest hr-HPV types has the potential to reduce the burden of cervical cancer, especially in low and middle income countries that cannot afford screening programmes. Cervical cancer affects predominantly women in their 30s and is a major public health issue even in countries with well-established screening programmes. Scotland has had a successful immunisation programme since 2008, and women immunised at age 12 to13 have been screened since 2015. We can therefore demonstrate the effect of hr-HPV immunisation on the pre-invasive stages of cervical cancer. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, University of Michigan, Vaccine Studies / 05.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Diane Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S. Professor of Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology Senior Associate Director, Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research Physician Director for Community Outreach, Engagement and Health Disparities, Rogel Cancer Center Michigan Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is no current cure for women with HPV infection that has progressed to CIN 2/3 disease. The only treatment is for the diseased cervix, and does not eliminate the risk of another CIN 2/3 from the HPV infection 15-20 years later. This vaccine is made from a live virus that has 3 genes inserted:  human cytokine IL-2, and modified forms of HPV 16 E6 and E7 proteins. When the vaccine is injected subcutaneously, the proteins for HPV 16/E6 and E7 and the cytokine LI-2 proteins are made. These proteins trigger the immune response.  This is very different form imiquimod which is topical and not specific for HPV. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Infections, STD, Vaccine Studies / 01.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa T. Wigfall, PhD, MCHES(R) Assistant Professor, Health and Kinesiology Texas A&M MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Human papilloma virus (or HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted infection that can cause some types of cancer. These include anal, cervical, oral, penile, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Some people such as people who are HIV-positive and men who have sex with men have a greater risk for developing HPV-associated cancers. The risk of developing anal cancer is significantly higher for men who have sex with men who are also HIV-positive. Our study included adults who were at risk for becoming HIV-positive, which included having unprotected anal sex. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Social Issues, University of Pittsburgh, Vaccine Studies / 26.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Beth Hoffman, B.Sc., graduate student University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Research Assistant, University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Vaccine refusal is a public health crisis - low vaccination rates are leading to outbreaks of deadly vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2017, Kids Plus Pediatrics, a Pittsburgh-based pediatric practice, posted a video on its Facebook pagef eaturing its practitioners encouraging HPV vaccination to prevent cancer. Nearly a month after the video posted, it caught the attention of multiple anti-vaccination groups and, in an eight-day period, garnered thousands of anti-vaccination comments. Our team analyzed the profiles of a randomly selected sample of 197 commenters in the hopes that this crisis may be stemmed if we can better understand and communicate with vaccine-hesitant parents. We determined that, although Kids Plus Pediatrics is an independent practice caring for patients in the Pittsburgh region, the commenters in the sample were spread across 36 states and eight countries. By delving into the messages that each commenter had publicly posted in the previous two years, we also found that they clustered into four distinct subgroups:
  • “trust,” which emphasized suspicion of the scientific community and concerns about personal liberty;
  • “alternatives,” which focused on chemicals in vaccines and the use of homeopathic remedies instead of vaccination;
  • “safety,” which focused on perceived risks and concerns about vaccination being immoral; and
  • “conspiracy,” which suggested that the government and other entities hide information that this subgroup believes to be facts, including that the polio virus does not exist. 
(more…)