Author Interviews, Gender Differences / 16.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50882" align="alignleft" width="148"]Jack Turban MD MHS Resident physician in Psychiatry The Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital Harvard Medical School Dr. Turban[/caption] Jack Turban MD MHS Resident Physician in Psychiatry The Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Gender identity conversion efforts are attempts by a professional (for example a therapist, counselor, or religious advisor) to make a transgender person cisgender. The practice has been labelled unethical and ineffective by major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association. Accordingly, many U.S. states have made this practice illegal. Other states, however, have deferred passing bans on gender identity conversion efforts. Some state legislators have argued that such bans are unnecessary because this practice doesn’t occur in their state.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Opiods / 06.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50561" align="alignleft" width="141"]Lauren A. Hoffman, Ph.D. Research Fellow Recovery Research Institute Center for Addiction Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Dr. Hoffman[/caption] Lauren A. Hoffman, Ph.D. Research Fellow Recovery Research Institute Center for Addiction Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: In 2017, an estimated 11.4 million Americans reported past-year opioid misuse1 and opioid-related overdose accounted for more than 47,000 deaths2. Prior research has helped further our understanding of the prevalence and consequences of opioid misuse, but we know substantially less about recovery from opioid use problems. Recovery-focused research conducted to-date has largely focused on alcohol use disorder, the most common type of substance use disorder. Characterizing recovery from opioid use problems and the pathways that individuals take to resolve such problems can ultimately help identify effective ways to address opioid misuse. Using data from the first national probability-based sample of US adults who have resolved a significant substance use problem (National Recovery Survey3), we provide the first national prevalence estimate of opioid recovery, and characterize treatment/recovery service use and psychological well-being in individuals who resolved a primary problem with opioids, relative to individuals who resolved a primary alcohol problem. We focused our cross-sectional investigation of service use and well-being on 2 time-horizons associated with continued vulnerability: <1 year since problem resolution (early-recovery) and 1 – 5 years since problem resolution (mid-recovery).
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 05.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50551" align="alignleft" width="200"]Muhammad Ali Chaudhary, MD Research Scientist | Center for Surgery and Public Health Department of Surgery | Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School | Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Dr. Chaudhary[/caption] Muhammad Ali Chaudhary, MD Research Scientist Center for Surgery and Public Health Department of Surgery Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many studies have documented disparities in cardiovascular care for minorities, specifically African Americans compared to white patients. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a common procedure in the United States, and the outcomes and post-surgical care for African Americans tend to be worse. We examined whether patients insured through TRICARE — a universal insurance and equal-access integrated healthcare system that covers more than 9 million active-duty members, veterans and their families — experienced these disparities. We found no racial disparities in quality-of-care outcomes, providing insights about the potential impacts of universal insurance and an equal-access health care system. The study included 8,183 TRICARE patients, aged 18-64, who had undergone CABG. The study took its data from TRICARE health care claims from the Military Health System Data Repository for the years of 2006 to 2014.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 01.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50514" align="alignleft" width="163"] Dr. Hwang[/caption] Daejoon Alex Hwang, PhD Instructor in Ophthalmology Investigator, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Yellow night driving glasses are sold with promises to reduce headlight glare from oncoming traffic and help aging individuals see better at night. Despite a 1997 ruling by the Federal Trade Commission against one company’s claims, the products still remain popular online. We tested three commercially available yellow lens night driving glasses and compare their effectiveness with clear lens glasses on our novel headlight glare simulator in the driving simulator.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC, Lung Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 10.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49629" align="alignleft" width="200"]Raymond H Mak, MD Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School Dr. Mak[/caption]   Raymond H Mak, MD Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School Radiation Oncology Brigham and Women's Hospital     [caption id="attachment_49693" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr-Katelyn M. Atkins Dr. Atkins[/caption]   Katelyn M. Atkins MD PhD Harvard Radiation Oncology Program Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 
  • Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide and nearly half of patients will require radiation therapy as part of their care.
  • Cardiac toxicity following radiotherapy has been well-studied in breast cancer and lymphomas, however the impact of cardiac toxicity following lung cancer radiotherapy has historically been under-appreciated due to the high risk of lung cancer death.
  • Recent studies highlighting cardiac toxicity following lung cancer radiotherapy have been limited by small numbers of patients and, to our best knowledge, have not included validated cardiac event endpoints defined by the American Heart Association (AHA)/American College of Cardiology (ACC).
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, FDA, JAMA, Pharmacology / 29.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49366" align="alignleft" width="200"]Bishal Gyawali  MD PhD Med Onc. Asst. Professor  Dr. Gyawali[/caption] Bishal Gyawali  MD PhD
  • Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL), Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Department of Oncology, Department of Public Health Sciences, and Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Accelerated approval pathway from the FDA allows cancer drugs to come to market sooner by showing improvement in surrogate measures such as change in tumor size. Surrogate measures do not reflect clinical benefit in terms of living longer or feeling better. So, when a drug receives accelerated approval, the drug is required to undergo a confirmatory trial to confirm that true clinical benefit from the drug actually exists. Last year, a paper from the FDA argued that accelerated approval pathway is working effectively because 55% of such drugs confirmed clinical benefit. However, we saw that most of those drugs were actually improving only a surrogate measure even in confirmatory trials. So the confirmatory trials were not confirming clinical benefit but actually confirming benefit in a surrogate endpoint. We investigate that issue in our study using updated results from the confirmatory trials that were ongoing at the time of FDA review. Our main finding is that only one-fifth of cancer drugs that received accelerated approval actually improved overall survival later in confirmatory trials. For, 20% of other drugs, the confirmatory trials tested the same surrogate endpoint as did the preapproval trial. For another 21%, the confirmatory trial showed benefit in a surrogate endpoint different from the one used in preapproval trial. Furthermore, when drugs fail to confirm clinical benefits in confirmatory trials, they still continue to remain on market. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Opiods, Orthopedics, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 16.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49201" align="alignleft" width="135"]Marilyn M. Heng, MD, MPH, FRCSCOrthopaedic Trauma SurgeonAssistant Professor of Orthopaedic SurgeryHarvard Medical School Dr. Heng[/caption] Marilyn M. Heng, MD, MPH, FRCSC Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The ultimate background for this study does come from the larger context of the opioid epidemic that is seen worldwide but particularly in North America. Orthopaedic surgeons should take responsibility as being among the top prescribers of opioids. The more specific background that led to this specific study was the observation that several colleagues would insist that a drug like hydromorphone was so dangerous that they would not prescribe it but seemed okay prescribing large amounts of oxycodone.  It seemed like an urban myth that the type of opioid was what made it dangerous, so that led us to do the study to see if there was evidence for that. 
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, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Red Meat / 22.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48738" align="alignleft" width="158"]Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD Research Scientist, Dept of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Instructor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02115 Dr. Guasch-Ferré[/caption] Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD Research Scientist, Dept of Nutrition Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Instructor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicin Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02115   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Previous findings from randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of red meat on cardiovascular disease risk factors have been inconsistent. But our new study, which makes specific comparisons between diets high in red meat versus diets high in other types of foods, shows that substituting red meat with high-quality protein sources lead to more favorable changes in cardiovascular risk factors. That is, to properly understand the health effects of red meat, it’s important to pay attention to the comparison diet. People do not simply eat more or less meat – it will almost always be in substitution with other foods. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gender Differences, JAMA, Surgical Research / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48523" align="alignleft" width="200"]Nelya Melnitchouk, MD,MScDirector, Program in Peritoneal Surface Malignancy, HIPECDr. Melnitchouk is an associate surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) and instructor of surgery at Harvard Medical Schoo Dr. Melnitchouk[/caption] Nelya Melnitchouk, MD,MSc Director, Program in Peritoneal Surface Malignancy, HIPEC Dr. Melnitchouk is an associate surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) and instructor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Current literature on women in surgery show that female physicians, particularly those in procedural specialties, face many challenges in balancing responsibilities between work and home. We hypothesized that these challenges may affect career satisfaction more negatively for physician mothers in procedural specialties than those in nonprocedural specialties. In our study, we found that physician mothers in procedural specialties who had more domestic responsibilities were more likely to report a desire to change careers than those in nonprocedural specialties. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, JAMA / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48205" align="alignleft" width="125"]Isaac Chua MDInstructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical SchoolBoston, Massachusetts Dr. Chua[/caption] Isaac Chua MD Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Opioids are routinely prescribed for cancer-related pain, but little is known about the prevalence of opioid-related hospitalizations for patients with cancer. Although opioid addiction among patients with cancer is estimated to be as high as 7.7%, our understanding of opioid misuse is based on small, preliminary studies. In light of the wider opioid epidemic, oncologists and palliative care clinicians frequently balance providing patients with legitimate access to opioids while protecting them and the general public from the risks of prescribing these medications.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Weight Research / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48208" align="alignleft" width="135"]Liya Kerem, MDFellow, Pediatric Endocrine UnitMassachusetts General Hospital for ChildrenHarvard Medical School Dr. Kerem[/caption] Liya Kerem, MD Fellow, Pediatric Endocrine Unit Massachusetts General Hospital for Children Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The hypothalamic neurohormone Oxytocin (OXT), shown to decrease food intake in animals and humans, is a promising novel treatment for obesity. We previously showed that in men with overweight/obesity, intranasal (IN)OXT reduced the fMRI activation in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the origin of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system, in response to high-calorie food vs non-food visual stimuli. Here, we employed fMRI functional connectivity analysis, which better characterizes the exchange in information between neural systems in a context-dependent manner. We hypothesized that Oxytocin would reduce the functional connectivity of the VTA with food motivation brain areas in response to high-calorie foods. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, End of Life Care, JAMA / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joanna Paladino, MD Director of Implementation, Serious Illness Care Program | Ariadne Labs Brigham and Women's Hospital | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Palliative Care | Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Instructor | Harvard Medical School and Dr. Rachelle Bernacki MD MS Director of Quality Initiatives Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care Senior Physician, Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Dr. Paladino's responses: MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Paladino: People living with serious illness face many difficult decisions over the course of their medical care. These decisions, and the care patients receive, should be guided by what matters most to patients, including their personal values, priorities, and wishes. These conversations don’t often happen in clinical practice or do so very late in the course of illness, leaving patients exposed to getting care they don’t want. Doctors and nurses want to have these important discussions, but there are real challenges, including insufficient training and uncertainties about when and how to start the conversation. We designed an intervention with clinical tools, clinician training, and systems-changes to address these challenges. When tested in a randomized clinical trial in oncology, we found that the intervention led to more, earlier, and better conversations between oncology clinicians and their patients with life-limiting cancer. These findings demonstrate that it is possible to ensure reliable, timely, and patient-centered serious illness conversations in an outpatient oncology practice.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 19.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47945" align="alignleft" width="200"]Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSc, FRCP (London)The William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular MedicineMedical Director, Heart and Vascular Center, Brigham and Women’s HospitalExecutive Director, Center for Advanced Heart DiseaseBrigham and Women’s HospitalProfessor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Dr. Mehra[/caption] Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSc, FRCP (London) The William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine Medical Director, Heart and Vascular Center Brigham and Women’s Hospital Executive Director Center for Advanced Heart Disease Brigham and Women’s Hospital Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The MOMENTUM 3 trial is the largest study of LVAD therapy in Advanced Heart Failure with over 1000 randomized patients followed to at least 2 years. This trial tested a novel fully magnetically levitated LVAD, the HeartMate 3 pump against a mechanical bearing containing LVAD, the HeartMate II pump in patients suffering from advanced heart failure (85% of whom were on continuous intravenous Inotropic therapy or IABP device at the time of randomization). While LVADs have improved survival for such patients, the morbidity has remained excessive due to serious complication as a result of problems with hemocompatibility. The principal concerns revolve around complications of pump thrombosis requiring surgical replacement, strokes and bleeding events, especially gastrointestinal bleeding. The trial has previously reported two interim analyses which suggested signals for superiority on pump replacement and even a decrease in ischemic stroke. This final full report concludes convincingly that all three domains of hemocompatibility related adverse events are reduced with the novel LVAD with near elimination of pump thrombosis, halving of strokes of any kind and any severity and a marked decrease in bleeding complications.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, NEJM, Opiods / 13.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47869" align="alignleft" width="125"]Wenjia Zhu, PhD. Marshall J. Seidman FellowDepartment of Health Care PolicyHarvard Medical School Dr. Zhu[/caption] Wenjia Zhu, PhD. Marshall J. Seidman Fellow Department of Health Care Policy Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The current opioid epidemic continues to cause deaths and tremendous suffering in the United States, driven in large part by overuse of prescription opioids. Of special concern are new opioid prescriptions, i.e. opioids given to patients who have not used opioids before, which research tells us are an important gateway to long-term opioid use, misuse, overdoes and death. Recently, in their efforts to curb over prescribing of opioids, the CDC issued guidelines (December 2015 in draft form; March 2016 in final version) to encourage opioid prescribers to limit the use, duration and dose of opioids, particularly opioids to first-time users. Despite these, little is known about the prescribing of opioids to first-time users on a national scale, particularly among commercially insured patients. In this study, we examined national monthly trends in the rate at which opioid therapy was started among commercially insured patients. Using administrative claims from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association commercial insurers from 2012 to 2017, we analyzed more than 86 million commercially insured patients across the United States.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, JAMA / 12.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47886" align="alignleft" width="125"]Chanu Rhee, MD,MPHAssistant Professor of Population MedicineHarvard Medical School / Harvard Pilgrim Health Care InstituteAssistant Hospital EpidemiologistBrigham and Women’s Hospital Dr. Rhee[/caption] Chanu Rhee, MD,MPH Assistant Professor of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School / Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute Assistant Hospital Epidemiologist Brigham and Women’s Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sepsis is the body’s reaction to a serious infection that results a cascade of inflammation in the body and organ dysfunction, such as low blood pressure, confusion, or failure of the lungs, kidneys, or liver.   Sepsis is a major cause of death, disability, and cost in the U.S. and around the world.  Growing recognition of this problem has led to numerous sepsis performance improvement initiatives in hospitals around the country.  Some of these efforts have also been catalyzed by high-profile tragic cases of missed sepsis leading to death, which may have contributed to a perception that most sepsis deaths are preventable if doctors and hospitals were only better at recognizing it. However, the extent to which sepsis-related deaths might be preventable with better hospital-based care is unknown.  In my own experience as a critical care physician, a lot of sepsis patients we treat are extremely sick and even when they receive timely and optimal medical care, many do not survive.  This led myself and my colleagues to conduct this study to better understand what types of patients are dying from sepsis and how preventable these deaths might be. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 04.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47775" align="alignleft" width="125"]Mark S. Bauer, M.D.Professor of Psychiatry, EmeritusHarvard Medical SchoolCenter for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR)VA Boston Healthcare System-152MBoston, MA 02130 Dr. Bauer[/caption] Mark S. Bauer, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus Harvard Medical School Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research VA Boston Healthcare System-152M Boston, MA 02130 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Collaborative Chronic Care Models (CCMs) have extensive evidence for their effectiveness in a wide variety of mental health conditions.  CCMs are frameworks of care that include several or all of the following six elements:  work role redesign for anticipatory, continuous care; self-management support for individuals in treatment; provider decision support; information system support for population-based and measurement-guided care; linkage to community resources; and organization and leadership support. However, evidence for Collaborative Chronic Care Model effectiveness comes almost exclusively from highly structured clinical trials.  Little is known about whether CCMs can be implemented in general clinical practice settings, and the implementation evidence that does exist derives primarily from studies of the CCM used in primary care settings to treat depression. We conducted a randomized, stepped wedge implementation trial using implementation facilitation to establish CCMs in general mental health teams in nine US Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. We found that establishing Collaborative Chronic Care Models was associated with reduced mental health hospitalization rates and, for individuals with complex clinical presentations, improvements in mental health status.  Additionally, standardized assessment of team clinicians indicated that facilitation improved clinician role clarity and increased focus on team goals.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Chemotherapy, NEJM / 24.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47551" align="alignleft" width="135"]Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH Director, Precision Medicine, Center for Breast Cancer, Attending Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114 Dr. Bardia[/caption] Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH Director, Precision Medicine, Center for Breast Cancer, Attending Physician Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Metastatic triple negative breast cancer is associated with aggressive tumor biology, and tends to affect younger patients and African Amerians. The response rate with standard chemotherapy regimens in patients with pre-treated metastatic TNBC ranges from 10-15%, and median progression-free survival ranges from 3-4 months. The median survival of metastatic TNBC is around 12 months and has not changed in the past 20 years. Thus, treatment of metastatic triple negative breast cancer represents an unmet clinical need.  
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA / 22.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47600" align="alignleft" width="200"]Xuehong Zhang, MD, ScD Assistant Professor in Medicine | Harvard Medical School Associate Epidemiologist | Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA Dr. Xuehong Zhang[/caption] Xuehong Zhang, MD, ScD Assistant Professor in Medicine Harvard Medical School Associate Epidemiologist Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the United States., liver cancer incidence is rapidly increasing and over 42,200 new cases were projected to be diagnosed in 2018. The majority of individuals with liver cancer are diagnosed at a late stage, are not eligible for curative therapy, and die within 1 year of diagnosis. Established risk factors for liver cancer are limited to hepatitis B and C virus (HBV/HCV) infections, metabolic disorders, and smoking. Clearly, identification of novel risk factors, particularly those that are modifiable, is urgently needed. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but only excessive alcohol use and aflatoxin-contaminated foods are considered to be established dietary risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Consumption of whole grains and dietary fiber, especially cereal fiber, have been associated with lower risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which are known predisposing factors for HCC. We thus hypothesized that long-term intake of whole grains and dietary fiber may lower the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and tested this hypothesis using data from two large prospective cohort studies, the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS).
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Sleep Disorders / 16.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47525" align="alignleft" width="225"]Cameron S. McAlpine, Ph.D. Banting Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Systems Biology Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02114 Dr. McAlpine[/caption] Cameron S. McAlpine, Ph.D. Banting Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Systems Biology Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cardiovascular disease is caused by the build up of white blood cells and fat in arteries. We have known for a long time that poor sleep is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A number of human observational studies have found this correlation. However, the reasons for this correlation have been largely unknown. Our study, performed in mice, provides one possible explanation. We found that when we disturbed the sleep of mice they produced more inflammatory white blood cells. These cells caused larger lesions in their arteries and more advanced cardiovascular disease. We found that his phenomenon is controlled by a hormone produced in the brain that normally suppresses the production of white blood cells. When mice have their sleep disturbed this pathway breakdown causing the increased production of white blood cells.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cannabis, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 19.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46574" align="alignleft" width="132"]Sharon Levy, MD, MPH Director, Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program Boston Children's Hospital Associate Professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School Dr. Levy[/caption] Sharon Levy, MD, MPH Director, Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program Boston Children's Hospital Associate Professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: ​For this study we analyzed data that were collected as part of a larger survey study that recruited a sample of adolescents who were coming to the doctor's office for routine medical care.  We asked them a lot of questions about their health, school, extracurricular activities, plans for the future, substance use patterns and problems associated with use among other things. The main finding was that among the participants who reported marijuana use in the past year, many of them, more than 40%, said that they had experienced either an hallucination, or paranoia/anxiety related to their use. Kids who used more frequently and those who met criteria for a substance use disorder were more likely to experience these symptoms, as were those who had symptoms of depression
Author Interviews / 13.12.2018

MedicalResearch.comInterview with:

Hadi Shafiee, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Engineering in Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Hadi Shafiee, PhD
Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Engineering in Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School

 

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Last year we developed a smartphone-based technology for male infertility testing at-home, which was published at Science Translational Medicine. This year, we developed a similar technology for ovulation testing at-home. Here, we developed a 3D printed smartphone-attachment similar to a cellphone case that literally turns the phone to a small microscope. 

This low-cost smartphone attachment magnifies the saliva fern structures dried on a reusable device that will be  recorded using the smartphone camera. The entire sample-to-answer time is only few minutes (~7 mins). The developed ovulation test is fully automated, simple, and easy-to-use. 

Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy, Surgical Research / 16.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45955" align="alignleft" width="200"]Anthony Victor D'Amico, MD, PhD Professor and Chief, Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School Dr. D'Amico[/caption] Anthony Victor D'Amico, MD, PhD Professor and Chief, Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study investigated whether surgery followed by the use of adjuvant low dose radiation and short course hormonal therapy as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy could provide an equivalent low risk of death from prostate cancer amongst men presenting with aggressive and not infrequently fatal Gleason score 9 or 10 prostate cancer. It has been shown previously (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2673969) and validated in the current study that surgery alone in such cases leads to a more then 2.5-fold increase in the risk of death from prostate cancer as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Melanoma / 14.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45286" align="alignleft" width="160"]Caroline C. Kim, M.D. Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology Harvard Medical School Director, Pigmented Lesion Clinic Associate Director, Cutaneous Oncology Program Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, MA 02215 Dr. Kim[/caption] Caroline C. Kim, M.D. Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology Harvard Medical School Director, Pigmented Lesion Clinic Associate Director, Cutaneous Oncology Program Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, MA 02215 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Atypical/dysplastic nevi have been identified as risk factors for melanoma, however the majority of melanomas arise as new lesions on the skin. Unlike other models of dysplasia having a clear trajectory towards cancer as seen in cervical dysplasia, dysplastic nevi are not proven to be obligate precursors for melanoma.  However, there is little evidence to guide the management of biopsied dysplastic nevi with positive margins, with much clinical variation in the management of moderately dysplastic nevi in particular. In this multi-center national study of 9 U.S. academic centers, we examined outcomes of 467 moderately dysplastic nevi excisionally biopsied without residual clinical pigmentation but with positive histologic margins with at least 3 years of clinical follow-up.  We found that no cases developed into a same-site melanoma with a mean follow-up time of 6.9 years. However, 22.8% of our patients went on to develop a future separate site melanoma.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 09.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44355" align="alignleft" width="133"]David A. Shaye, M.D., FACS Instructor in Otolaryngology Harvard Medical School  Dr. Shaye[/caption] David A. Shaye, M.D., FACS Instructor in Otolaryngology Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty (nasal surgery) is the most common procedure we perform and traditionally post operative pain medication includes opioids. In light of the recent opioid epidemic, we wished to investigate if patients pain was being treated over-treated by surgeons. Of 173 Rhinoplasties that we performed, the majority of patients received post operative opioid tablets (an average of 28 tablets).  However 11% of patients did not fill these prescriptions at all, and only 2 of the 178 patients required refills. We believe patients experienced less pain than surgeons anticipated.