Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 02.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David H. Canaday, MD Associate Director of Research Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC),  Cleveland VA Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested in following up on a prior study where we determined that nursing home residents, and in particular those that were given the Pfizer shot who never had COVID-19 in the past, had 4 fold less antibodies against the key Spike protein of the coronavirus than did the group of health care workers who were the other group studied. We wanted to see how those antibodies levels in these groups held up over 6 months.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer / 02.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sophia Harlid, Ph.D. Associate Professor/Docent in Molecular Epidemiology Department of Radiation Sciences Umeå University Umeå, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Antibiotics has previously been associated with in increased risk of colorectal cancer, with this study we were able to use comprehensive registry data to further break down and validate this relationship.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 28.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Oken MD MPH Professor, Harvard Medical School Professor in the Department of Population Medicine Associate Director and Advisor, Oliver Wendell Holmes Society. Professor, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In this study of over 11,000 mothers and children, we found that a mothers with higher weight in late pregnancy had children with poorer performance on tests of cognition and behavior in childhood and adolescence. The findings are consistent with results from studies in other populations around the world, as well as animal experiments.  This research suggests that maternal nutrition is important for child health over the long-term, and specifically provides support for mothers to try to achieve healthy weight and nutritional status during pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 28.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Holberger, PhD Vice President, Strategic Partnerships Biolabs MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dr. Laura Holberger is the lead author of a JNO article published today describing the results of a research study done on behalf of BioLabs, a global network of coworking laboratory spaces, and the Cambridge Consortium for Rapid COVID Tests (CCRCT). BioLabs co-sponsored the study which helped validate a high-frequency testing protocol using an antigen test for COVID-19 under development by E25Bio Inc., a biotechnology company that develops rapid tests for infectious diseases.  The study involved twice-weekly testing of members and affiliates working in person at coworking laboratories in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts from September 2020 through March 2021. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 28.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH Director, Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Furniture and TV tip-overs are an important source of injury, especially for children younger than 6 years old. Our study found that an estimated 560,200 children younger than 18 years old were treated in U.S. emergency departments for furniture or TV tip-over injuries from 1990 through 2019. In 2019, there were 11,521 injured children, which is an average of one child every 46 minutes. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Lancet, Pulmonary Disease / 26.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jie Li, PhD, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS, FAARC Department of Cardiopulmonary Sciences Division of Respiratory Care Rush University, Chicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prone positioning has been shown to improve oxygenation and reduce mortality in intubated patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), as placing patients on their stomachs can help open alveoli and reduce ventilation to perfusion mismatch. At early pandemic, clinicians tried prone positioning for non-intubated patients with COVID-19 and found improvement in oxygenation. However, the evidence for patient outcomes such as intubation or mortality is still lacking. Thus we organized this international, multicenter, randomized controlled meta-trial, with 41 hospitals in 6 countries participated. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, BMJ, Cognitive Issues, Occupational Health / 24.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Mika Kivimaki PhD Director, Whitehall II Study Dept. of Epidemiology University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Lancet 2020 Commission on Dementia Prevention, which is the most comprehensive and up-to-date review on the evidence in this field, did not list cognitive stimulation in adulthood as a protective factor against dementia. This was because trials results are inconsistent and observational studies suggest that leisure time cognitive activity does not reduce risk of dementia. However, it was unclear whether the reason for modest findings is that the decrease in brain plasticity with age prevents cognitive activities across adult life from conferring protection against dementia, or, in the case of interventions, that the cognitive stimulation studied has not been intensive or engaging enough to preserve cognitive function. To address this question, we decided to focus on cognitive stimulation at work rather than leisure time cognitive activity or cognitive interventions. We thought that this approach would allow us to detect an effect, if there is one, because exposure to cognitive stimulation at work typically lasts considerably longer than cognitively stimulating hobbies or cognitive interventions. We contacted 13 cohort studies in Europe which had data on cognitive stimulation at work. Seven had also a dementia follow-up and were selected to our analyses, a total of 107 896 dementia-free participants from the UK, France, Sweden and Finland. Follow-up of incident dementia varied between 13.7 to 30.1 years depending on the cohort. 1143 people developed dementia during this follow-up. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Prostate Cancer / 24.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kerry S. Courneya, PhD Professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer Director, Behavioral Medicine Laboratory and Fitness Center Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation | College of Health Sciences University of Alberta | Edmonton, Alberta | CANADA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: An increasing number of men with low risk prostate cancer (PCa) do not receive any immediate medical treatments for their PCa. This practice is called active surveillance (AS). It can be very stressful for men because about one-third of them will eventually experience disease progression and require medical treatments. Right now, there is nothing these men can really do for themselves other than to attend all of their follow-up medical visits. Some research has shown that exercise may slow the progression of prostate tumours and metastasis in animal models and improve quality of life in men during and after PCa treatments. Very little research, however, has been conducted in the AS setting. We wanted to see if a high intensity interval training exercise program could improve fitness and prevent or delay biochemical progression of PCa in the AS setting. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cocaine, Pain Research / 18.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Youngeun Armbuster Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cocaine is classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule II drug that can be used as an anesthetic in various types of surgery by otorhinolaryngologists, as well as in diagnosing Horner syndrome. Although controlled doses of cocaine used in topical anesthetics does not cause myocardial infarction as can occur with recreational dosages, intranasal administration of cocaine is absorbed systemically and it results in vasoconstriction of the coronary arteries via stimulation of adrenergic receptors. These potential adverse effects may disincentivize health care providers from medical cocaine use. Our objective was to quantify the trends in licit cocaine distribution in the United States using DEA data and to determine the usage of medical cocaine in Medicaid and Medicare, as well as based on electronic medical records [1]. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Immunotherapy, Kidney Disease, NEJM / 18.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Toni K. Choueiri, MD Director, Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology Director, Kidney Cancer Center Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg Chai Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The standard of care for patients diagnosed with locoregional RCC is partial or total nephrectomy. Nearly half of patients will eventually experience disease recurrence following nephrectomy and no standard, globally approved adjuvant therapy options are currently available for this population. The phase 3 KEYNOTE-564 study met its primary objective of demonstrating a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in disease-free survival with pembrolizumab vs placebo as adjuvant therapy for patients with RCC post nephrectomy, supporting pembrolizumab as a potential new standard of care for patients at high risk of disease recurrence following surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, Neurology, Pain Research / 18.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jessica Ailani M.D. FAHS FAAN FANA Director Medstar Georgetown Headache Center Vice Co-Chair of Strategic Planning for MedStar Neurology Professor of Clinical Neurology MedStar Georgetown University Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Migraine is a common neurological disease that causes disabling attacks that can be frequent. Preventive treatments can help reduce the frequency of attacks and improve patient function, reducing disease burden. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Nature / 18.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Weston B Anderson PhD Postdoctoral Reasearch Scientist International Research Institute for Climate and Society The Earth Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We find that while drought continues to be a consistent trigger of food crises in Sub-Saharan Africa, protracted conflict has become relatively more important over the last decade. We furthermore find that pastoral livelihoods have taken longer to return to food secure conditions following droughts as compared to agricultural livelihoods. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 16.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joerg Albrecht, MD, PhD Dermatologist, Internist, Clinical Pharmacologist Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine Attending Dermatologist, Chair Division of Dermatology Chair system-wide Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee Cook County Health Chicago, IL  60612 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was stimulated by data that suggested that an unusually large proportion of inpatient with Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) were African American. HS is an underdiagnosed disease and the total numbers of inpatients with HS in the year we looked at initially seemed small. So we wanted to test whether this finding held up when the period of observation was extended. Point estimates can be unreliable and we had followed another finding in the data that did not hold up when we looked at other years, so we felt one year was not enough to confirm a trend (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Dermatology / 15.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annakaisa Haapasalo, PhD Adjunct Professor Research Director (Associate Professor A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences Molecular Neurodegeneration University of Eastern Finland | UEF |   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? At what age might these changes be present? Response: Our research team is interested in understanding the underlying disease mechanisms and developing biomarkers for frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD is the second most common cause of dementia in the working age population. Presently, no efficient therapies exist for FTD, it is challenging to diagnose, and the disease mechanisms of different types of FTD remain largely unclear. We are especially interested in FTD associated with the C9orf72 repeat expansion because it is the most common genetic cause of frontotemporal dementia and exceptionally prevalent in Finnish FTD patients. Many current studies of FTD and C9orf72 repeat expansion have largely concentrated on examining neurons, as these are the principle CNS cells that are affected in neurodegeneration. Neurons are also one of our key research interests, but obtaining neurons directly from living patients is difficult in many ways. Therefore, we became interested in exploring the FTD patient skin fibroblasts with the idea in mind that they might represent more easily accessible patient-derived cells than neurons for trying to decipher disease mechanisms of FTD. Moreover, we were interested in finding out if these cells show any specific alterations or deficiencies that could be utilized later on in biomarker studies or testing drug effects.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease, Science / 13.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Lizhe Zhuang PhD Dr Karol Nowicki-Osuch PhD Dr. Rebecca C. Fitzgerald MD Medical Research Council Cancer Unit, Hutchison/Medical Research Council Research Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Barrett’s oesophagus affects about one out of 100 people in the UK and is thought to be a precancerous lesion of a more deadline cancer, oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Barrett’s is a condition where the squamous cells in the lower part of oesophagus are replaced by a special type of columnar cells, which look like intestine, a far distant organ, raising a question where are these columnar cells come from. Many theories have been proposed in the past decades and no agreement was reached, and many conclusions were based on mouse models which do not recap the human condition. We therefore collected fresh samples of human tissues that correspond to all the possible theories and assessed them all together using state of the art technologies.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Medical Imaging, Technology / 13.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ryan C. Gibbons, MD, FAAEM, FACEP Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine Director of the Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship Associate Director of the Division of Emergency Ultrasound Department of Emergency Medicine Director of Ultrasound in Medical Education Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  How was the gift funded? Butterfly needle visualizatioResponse: Point-of-care ultrasound is one of the most significant advances in bedside patient care, and its use is expanding across nearly all fields of medicine. In order to best prepare medical students for residency and beyond, it is imperative to begin POCUS training as early as possible. At the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, we introduced POCUS education over a decade ago and have expanded it since then. By providing each student with a Butterfly iQ device, we can augment our curriculum significantly. In addition to our robust pre-clinical sessions, now we will expand into the clinical years highlighting the utility of POCUS with actual patients. This gift was made possible by the incredible generosity of Dr. Ronald Salvitti, MD ’63.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, JAMA, Nursing, Sexual Health, STD / 12.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD MPH, LCSW, RN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, AAHIVS, FAAN Vincent Guilamo-Ramos is dean and professor at the Duke University School of Nursing, vice chancellor for nursing affairs, Duke University, and director of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) at Duke. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos served as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies) Committee on Prevention and Control of STIs in the U.S. that wrote the recent consensus study report. He also serves as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and the HHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies) recently released a consensus study report on prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States. The report entitled “Sexually Transmitted Infections: Adopting a Sexual Health Paradigm” includes a strong emphasis on adolescents and young adults as an important priority population for the response to record-level STI rates that have reached an all-time high for the sixth year in a row in 2019. The report also highlights the well-supported and crucial role of parents in addressing STIs and promoting sexual health among adolescents and young adults. In this new Viewpoint article, my co-authors and I, who contributed to the National Academies report as committee members or consultants, discuss the practical implications for health care professionals of engaging parents in adolescent sexual health services. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury / 12.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henry Mahncke, PhD Chief Executive Officer Posit Science Dr. Mahncke earned his PhD at UCSF in the lab where lifelong brain plasticity as discovered. At the request of his academic mentor, he currently leads a global team of more than 400 brain scientists engaged in designing, testing, refining, and validating the computerized brain exercises found in the BrainHQ app from Posit Science, where he serves as CEO. This week, MedicalResearch.com interviews Dr. Mahncke about a new study, with breakthrough results for service members and Veterans grappling with the signature injury of recent wars. MedicalResearch.com: What makes this study newsworthy? Response: As the last troops come home from Afghanistan, the battle is not over for many who served and continue to grapple with the signature injury of recent conflicts — mild Traumatic Brain Injury (or mTBI). Typically, such injures were caused by blasts or concussions, and they’ve been diagnosed in more than 300,000 service members. Most recover within a couple days or weeks, but for many — some estimate fifteen percent — physical, psychological, emotional, and cognitive problems persist for years. Such injuries often go untreated, because treatments focus on in-person, customized, cognitive rehabilitation, which can be helpful, but is costly, time-consuming, requires travel for treatment, and relies on the craft and expertise of the healthcare provider. Up until now, there’s been no effective intervention that’s highly-scalable and that can be delivered remotely. This study showed that remotely-administered BrainHQ computerized exercises improved overall cognitive performance in a population with very persistent cognitive issues. On average, patients in this study had cognitive issues for more than seven years. That means we finally have a tool shown effective in a gold-standard study that practitioners can employ in treating this large and underserved population, who sacrificed so much to serve our nation. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cocaine, Diabetes, Methamphetamine / 07.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joy M. Schmitz, Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry Faillace Chair McGovern Medical School The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Director, Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction (CNRA)   Scott D. Lane Ph.D. McGovern Medical School Vice Chair For Research Director Of Neurobehavioral Laboratory Center For Neurobehavioral Research On Addiction Director Of Research University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Houston, TX  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Addiction science has made considerable progress in understanding how cocaine and other addictive drugs impair the brain. Over time, cocaine can disrupt brain regions that help us think, plan, solve problems, and exert self-control. These disruptions in brain structure can be seen in neuroimaging studies that reveal impairment in the nerve fibers or white matter (WM) tracts in the central and front parts of the brain. We conducted two systematic meta-analytic reviews of the literature to document the robustness of evidence showing alterations in WM integrity of chronic stimulant users relative to healthy control subjects who did not use cocaine or other drugs of abuse (Beard et al., 2019; Suchting et al., 2020). Importantly, WM impairments negatively predict treatment outcome, meaning individuals with greater levels of WM impairment are less likely to benefit from treatment and more likely to experience deficits in attention, working memory, and impulse control. We reasoned that pharmacological interventions shown to protect WM integrity may help improve cognition and treatment outcomes in patients recovering from cocaine addiction. Pioglitazone, an approved medication for type 2 diabetes, has been shown to reduce inflammation and mediate protection after traumatic brain injury. The therapeutic potential of pioglitazone has prompted investigation of its role in neurodegenerative conditions, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. Similar to these brain diseases and injuries, pioglitazone might effectively protect the brain from the inflammatory damage created by cocaine use.  (more…)
COVID -19 Coronavirus, PLoS / 07.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melanie Bell, PhD, MS Professor Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health The University of Arizona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In May 2020 my colleagues began a cohort study called CoVHORT, which  aimed to investigate the impacts of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic among residents of Arizona. The current study on long covid is a sub-study which included all CoVHORT participants who had a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, were not hospitalized, and had symptom data 30 days are longer since the test. We wanted to investigate the prevalence of long covid, also known as post-acute sequalae of COVID-19 (PASC) amongst people who did not experience severe acute infection. Although the definition is still evolving in the research community, we defined PASC as continuing to experience at least one symptom 30 days or longer post-acute infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JAMA / 05.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fernando Ribeiro PhD School of Health Sciences Institute of Biomedicine - iBiMED University of Aveiro Aveiro, Portugal MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Resistant hypertension is a puzzling problem without a clear solution. The available treatment options to lower blood pressure, namely medication and renal denervation, have had limited success, making nonpharmacological strategies good candidates to optimize the treatment of this condition. Exercise training is consistently recommended as adjuvant therapy for patients with hypertension, yet, it is with a great delay that the efficacy of exercise training is being tested in patients with resistant hypertension. Having that in mind, the EnRicH trial was designed to address whether the benefits of an exercise intervention with proven results in hypertensive individuals are extended to patients with resistant hypertension, a clinical population with low responsiveness to drug therapy. Exercise training was safe and associated with a significant and clinically relevant reduction in 24-hour, daytime ambulatory, and office blood pressure compared with control (usual care). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research, UC Davis / 05.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John Pierce, PhD Professor Emeritus Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Moores Cancer Center Director for Population Sciences Co-leader of the Cancer Prevention program UC San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Graphic Warning Labels are to be implemented in the US in July 2022, depending on litigation. This will be about 10 years after they were first proposed.  Meanwhile, 120 other countries have implemented them already. The FDA states that their purpose for the warnings is to provide a constant reminder to smokers about the health consequences of smoking, not to force them to quit. In our study, 3 months of having cigarettes repackaged into graphic warning packs was associated with smokers thinking more about quitting and not getting as much pleasure out of their cigarettes.  However, thinking about quitting is only the first step to conquering a nicotine addiction. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Kidney Disease / 04.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Luisa S. Sequeira Lopez, MD, FAHA Harrison Distinguished Professor in Pediatrics and Biology University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22908 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is crucial in the regulation of the blood pressure (BP). Synthesis and secretion of renin is the key regulated event in the operation of the RAS. One of the main mechanisms that control renin synthesis and release is the baroreceptor mechanism whereby a decrease in blood pressure results in increased release of renin by juxtaglomerular (JG) cells. In spite of its enormous importance, the nature and location of the renal baroreceptor was still unknown. This was due in great part to the lack of appropriate in vitro and in vivo models to confidently allow tracking of the fate and isolation of renin cells, and the lack of tools to study the chromatin in scarce cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness / 04.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Willie Stewart, MBChB, PhD, DipFMS, FRCPath, FRCP Edin Consultant Neuropathologist Honorary Professor Department of Neuropathology Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is concern over the association between participation in contact sports and later life risk of dementia and associated neurodegenerative disease. Much of this comes from observations of a specific form of neurodegenerative pathology - chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)- linked to history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and repetitive head impacts in autopsy studies of relatively small numbers of former athletes, including boxers and soccer players. Nevertheless, although this brain injury linked pathology is described, surprisingly little is known about what this might mean for later life health, specifically risk of dementia. In a previous study published from our programme of research looking at "Football's Influence on Lifelong health and Dementia risk' (the FIELD Study), we demonstrated that former professional soccer players had an approximately three-and-a-half-fold higher mortality from neurodegenerative disease than matched general population controls. However, these mortality data did not allow us to consider the relationships between varying head injury/impact exposure variables, such as player position and career length, and risk of neurodegenerative disease.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Imperial College, Lancet / 28.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Adam Hampshire PhD Faculty of Medicine Department of Brain Sciences Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During 2020 I was leading a study that sought to map the distribution of cognitive abilities and aspects of mental health across the UK population. The study generated a lot of interest because it was a collaboration with BBC2 Horizon, leading to ~390,000 participants. When the pandemic began to escalate in the UK a number of my colleagues at Imperial and elsewhere contacted me to note that the study could be used to investigate the impact of both the pandemic and direct illness on daily life, mental health and cognition. I had been thinking along similar lines so decided to add questionnaires about peoples' experiences with the pandemic and Covid-19 illness. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Columbia / 27.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: George Hripcsak, MD, MS. Chair and Vivian Beaumont Allen Professor of Biomedical Informatics Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University Irving Medical Center New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: ACE inhibitors and ARBs are anti-hypertension drugs that have related yet distinct mechanisms of action, and they are both recommended as first-line therapies for treating hypertension. There have been no large head-to-head comparisons of ACE inhibitors and ARBs, although there are several studies with limited size and often restricted (e.g., high-risk) populations. While there are some conflicting results in the literature, the current evidence seems to indicate that they are similar in effectiveness but that ACE inhibitors have more side effects (e.g., cough and angioedema). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Melanoma / 22.07.2021

  MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eleonora Leucci, Ph.D Assistant Professor Laboratory for RNA Cancer Biology Department of Oncology KU Leuven   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Back in 2016, while I was characterising the RNA SAMMSON as essential for mitochondrial translation in melanoma, I noticed that its inhibition was causing cell death across a large spectrum of melanoma cell lines and models, irrespectively of their genetic background and cell state. At that time I still did not know why the effect was so pronounced on melanoma cells, but I knew that antibiotics of the tetracycline family could also block mitochondrial translation and I thought about repurposing them to treat melanoma. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA / 20.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arman Shahriar Medical Student University of Minnesota Medical School Research Consultant HealthPartners Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? & What should readers take away from your report? Response: Financing medical school is an opaque and important topic because the cost of attendance of medical school has risen much faster than inflation for decades. Over the same time period, the racial wealth gap has widened. We found significant differences in how students of different socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds are planning to pay for medical school at the time of matriculation. Family or personal financing is far more common for high-income students. Among Black students, family or personal financing was markedly lower than other racial/ethnic groups, which could be a reflection of the wealth gap - which is rooted in structural racism.  This may create educational disparities as the field becomes increasingly racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse; there are many costs outside of tuition and living that may be considered "variable" or "non-essential" but necessary for high-quality education, including expensive board prep materials and transportation during clinical rotations. Furthermore, the stark deficit in family financing may be one reason why Black students currently report the highest debt burden of all racial/ethnic groups.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, NEJM / 20.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jane Fang, MD Clinical Athenex, Inc. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Tirbanibulin is a first-in-class synthetic molecule that has potent anti-proliferative activity by inhibiting tubulin polymerization and disrupting src kinase signaling. It has been formulated as an ointment for the treatment of actinic keratosis, a very common precancerous condition of UV-damaged skin that affects over 50 million people in the US. The most commonly adopted management approach is to remove AK lesions as it is hard to predict which lesion will become cancerous. Lesion-directed treatment like cryotherapy can effectively remove lesions one at a time but does not treat larger field of cancerization. Also, it is limited by associated pain and long term complication such as scarring. Currently approved topical treatments involve cumbersome application courses of weeks or months, and induce considerable local skin reactions that were not well tolerated by patients. The Phase 3 studies demonstrated that a short 5-day once daily course of tirbanibulin ointment 1% is an efficacious and safe topical treatment of actinic keratosis. (more…)