Author Interviews, General Medicine, Health Care Systems, Heart Disease, JAMA / 26.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dan P. Ly, MD, PhD, MPP Physician and an Assistant Professor Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cognitive biases, or ways of thinking that may deviate from rationality, are thought to influence physician decision-making, but there has been little large-scale evidence of their existence clinically. There is some large-scale evidence of the availability heuristic, under which the likelihood of an event is affected by how easily it comes to mind, but there’s little large scale evidence of other cognitive biases affecting physicians.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 26.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alex P. Miller, PhD TranSTAR T32 Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Psychiatry Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adolescent cannabis use is increasing in the United States. Prior research suggests that people who start using cannabis earlier are more likely to engage in problematic use and also experience greater mental health challenges and socioeconomic disadvantages overall. For example, children who begin using cannabis early are more likely to have behavioral problems and disorders and are more less likely to complete school. In our study, we used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which is following nearly 12,000 kids across the nation to track behavior and brain development as well as health from middle childhood to young adulthood. We looked at what factors are associated with the initiation of cannabis use by age 12-14. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Ophthalmology / 16.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ali Hafezi-Moghadam, Ph.D., M.D Director, Molecular Biomarkers Nano-Imaging Laboratory (MBNI) Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: “It is very easy to answer many fundamental biological questions” said Richard Feynman in his 1959 address, where he also offered his simple and ingenious solution: “you just look at the thing!”[1]. As a biologist, I am familiar with the challenges surrounding looking at things in the context of life. There is no single device or technology that lets me simply see the answers to my questions. How does diabetes harm the tissues in the body? When exactly does the pathology start and which molecules and cells are involved? Trying to answer these questions, I have spent the past two decades innovating new ways of quantifying expression of molecules in the living organism [2]. At the same time to study diabetes, we needed a realistic rodent model that mirrors the human disease. In collaboration with KC Hayes[3], we first introduced the Nile grass rat (NGR, Arvicanthis niloticus), a gerbil that recapitulates the main features of the human type 2 diabetes [4]. For visualization of early changes, the eye offers a unique site. Much of my lab’s work focused on the first effects of diabetes in the retina, the site of the neurons that perceive light in the back of the eye [5], [6], [7]. In recent studies, we focused on how diabetes affects the lens in the eye of our animals [8], [9]. Diabetes is a major risk factor for cataract formation, a condition during which the lens loses its original transparency to visible light. How diabetic cataracts are formed is not well understood. A popular and prevailing theory, termed “sugar cataracts”, has been around for over half a century. According to the sugar hypothesis of cataracts, the excess levels of the sugar molecule, glucose, in the lens are transformed through the polyol pathway into the sugar-alcohol sorbitol. The resulting osmotic dysbalance leads to swelling of the fiber cells and opacity of the lens. Even though the sugar hypothesis has never been proven, it was generally accepted and remained unchallenged for a very long time. That is where our latest experimental results became relevant. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hematology, Leukemia / 15.06.2023

Medical Research Interview: Dr. Daniel Thomas MD PhD FRACP FRCPA Program Leader, Blood Cancer Precision Medicine Theme at the South Australia Health Medical Research Institute Clinical Hematologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital Associate Professor, Adelaide Medical School, The University of Adelaide MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe the condition of CMML? Response: Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a rare, but increasingly frequent, clonal stem cell disorder that results in hyperproliferation of inflammatory monocytes, a form of white blood cells. It features both myelodysplasia and myeloproliferation. CMML is most often found in older adults and leads to anemia, decreased quality of life, and an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a cytokine that stimulates production, growth, differentiation, activation, and function of myeloid cells (monocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils). In the presence of RAS-pathway mutations, a greater sensitivity to GM-CSF contributes to the hyperproliferation of myelocytes in myelodysplastic leukemias such as CMML, juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).  In CMML, greater sensitivity to GM-CSF stimulates excessive monocytic precursor proliferation. The PREACH-M Trial, which stands for PREcision Approach to CHronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia, assesses the efficacy of lenzilumab in addition to azacitidine in treatment-naïve CMML participants with RAS-pathway mutations (KRAS, NRAS, CBL) and separately high dose ascorbate in participants with TET2 mutations who do not have RAS-pathway mutations. The study is currently underway and actively enrolling.  It is being conducted and funded by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research / 14.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexandra M Whiteley PhD Department of Biochemistry University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, Colorado MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: My laboratory was interested in understanding how UBQLN2 maintains cellular health. Ubiquilins facilitate protein degradation, but the precise proteins that they help to break down were not well understood. UBQLN2 is of particular interest because mutations in the UBQLN2 gene lead to a familial form of ALS. This project, which was published in eLife this year, stems from work that was published when I was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, where we found a link between UBQLN2 and the virus-like protein PEG10. Now at the University of Colorado, Boulder, my laboratory has focused on trying to understand this connection between the two proteins, and how PEG10 could contribute to ALS. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, Red Meat / 13.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Suneel Kamath MD Gastrointestinal Oncologist Cleveland Clinic Senior Author on this research       MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Colorectal cancer rates in young people under age 50 are skyrocketing and have been for the last 3-4 decades. We really don’t understand why because most cases (probably around 70%) are not genetic or hereditary, just random, unfortunate events. We suspect that it is some exposure(s) like excess consumption of red meat, processed foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, excess antibiotic use altering the microbiome, rising incidence of obesity or some other factors. We really don’t know why yet. Our study used a technology called metabolomics, the study of breakdown products and production building blocks for our bodies, to look for differences in colorectal cancer in young people versus people that are older that developed colorectal cancer. Because metabolomics measures how each individual interacts with the exposures in our environment like diet, air quality, etc., it is a way to bridge the gap between our nature (determined by genetics) and nurture (determined by our exposures). (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Nature, Prostate Cancer, UCSF / 12.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca E. Graff, ScD Assistant Professor University of California, San Francisco Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics Mission Hall: Global Health & Clinical Sciences Building San Francisco, CA 94158 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: PSA screening for prostate cancer has long been controversial. While it does seem to reduce mortality attributable to prostate cancer, it also results in the diagnosis of many cancers that never otherwise would have presented symptomatically. In addition, PSA levels are affected by factors other than prostate tumors (e.g., age, prostatic inflammation, and genetics), such that men with high PSA values are often referred for biopsy but do not end up having cancer. We hypothesized that accounting for the genetic component of PSA could yield adjusted values that better distinguish who should get a prostate biopsy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Rheumatology / 06.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: W. Benjamin Nowell PhD Director of Patient-Centered Research at Global Healthy Living Foundation Columbia University in the City of New York New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Given that lab tests are an important part of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis and monitoring, people living with the condition want and need to understand their lab results –also known as blood work – for patient-centered shared decision making about treatment. The presentation titled, “Patient Perceptions of Rheumatoid Arthritis Blood Work and Utility of a Test Predicting Response to New Medication: A Cross-sectional Survey in the ArthritisPower,” presented at the 76th EULAR European Congress of Rheumatology (June 2, 2023 in Milan, Italy) includes results from a recent ArthritisPower survey (n=405) that asked patients to share their perceptions about RA bloodwork, reasons their doctor orders these tests, and how results are used. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Stanford / 06.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison W. Kurian, M.D., M.Sc. Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Population Health Associate Chief, Division of Oncology Co-Leader, Population Sciences Program, Stanford Cancer Institute Director, Women’s Clinical Cancer Genetics Program Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA 94305-5405 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What types of cancers were in the study? Response: Genetic testing for cancer risk is increasingly important after a cancer diagnosis, to inform use of targeted therapies, secondary cancer prevention approaches and cascade genetic testing of family members. However, very little is known about how genetic testing is used after a cancer diagnosis at the population level. We leveraged a very large population-based data resource, the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registries of the states of California and Georgia, and linked data from these registries to clinical genetic testing results provided by the four major laboratories that provide such testing. We used this linked registry-genetic testing dataset to study adults (age >=20 years) diagnosed with all types of cancer in the states of Georgia and California from 2013-2019. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Lung Cancer, University of Pennsylvania / 05.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lova L. Sun, MD, MSCE Medical Oncology Assistant Professor of Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: An common clinical question for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with long-term response to immunotherapy-based treatment is how long to continue treatment. The major clinical trials stopped immunotherapy at a maximum of 2 years, but in clinical practice many patients and clinicians continue treatment beyond this time point. We conducted a retrospective study of lung cancer patients across the US with long-term response to immunotherapy, to compare survival between those who stopped treatment at 2 years vs those who continued beyond 2 years. We found that there was no statistically significant difference in survival between the two groups. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, University of Pittsburgh / 31.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bruna Bellaver PhD Postdoctoral associate Department of Psychiatry University of Pittsburgh Tharick Pascoal, MD, Ph.D. Neurologist and assistant professor of Neurology and Psychiatry University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition is considered one of the markers of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in the brain. The sequential order of this cascade includes the development of tau pathology and consequent cognitive decline. However, many people with Aβ deposition in the brain do not progress in the disease, suggesting that other biological processes are playing a role in these pathological events. In vitro evidence suggests that reactive astrocytes unleash Aβ effects in pathological tau phosphorylation. We found that, in cognitively healthy individuals, Aβ is associated with tau pathology only in individuals with increased astrocyte reactivity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Mental Health Research, Sleep Disorders / 30.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joanna Gorgol PhD Student University of Warsaw MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: People differ in the time when they prefer to wake up and fall asleep: some people prefer going to bed and waking up early, while others prefer later hours. Most of the population is somewhere between them. Research indicates that being a morning person is related to reporting higher satisfaction with life and conscientiousness. Studies also show the associations between being religious and having higher life satisfaction and conscientiousness. It seems that religiosity might mediate the relationship between morningness and higher life satisfaction. To better understand these associations we conducted two questionnaire-based studies of Polish adults, one with 500 participants and the other with 728 participants. All participants completed questionnaires measuring their chronotype, satisfaction with life, personality traits, and religiosity (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Nutrition, Vegetarians / 30.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, MACP Chief, Division of Preventive Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Professor of Medicine and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts  02215   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Any particular types of vitamins, ie with/without iron etc? Response: Preserving memory and cognitive health is a high priority for most mid-life and older adults.  However, few strategies have been rigorously tested in randomized clinical trials and shown to have cognitive benefits. Nutritional approaches hold promise because the brain requires several nutrients for optimal health, and deficiencies in one or more of these nutrients may lead to accelerated memory loss and cognitive decline. The COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS), a large-scale nation-wide randomized trial of multivitamins and cocoa flavanols had recently reported that multivitamins slowed global cognitive decline and memory loss (in COSMOS-Mind). The current study was a 2nd parallel trial, a collaboration between Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Columbia University, looking at a web-based assessment of the role of a  standard multivitamin and of cocoa flavanols in slowing age-related memory loss. The report in AJCN is on the multivitamin-cognition findings. The multivitamin tested was Centrum silver for adults (without iron). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 24.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:   Tara M Lovestead, PhD, (She/her/hers) Group Leader | Fluid Characterization Group Applied Chemicals and Materials Division National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, MD   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2012, when cannabis was decriminalized for adult recreational and medical use in Colorado, I started thinking about how a cannabis breathalyzer could work. I knew that an alcohol breathalyzer model would be pursued for a field sobriety test, but also knew that THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, was a completely different animal, chemically speaking, than ethanol, the intoxicant in alcohol. I began by measuring the vapor pressure of THC and determined that it is a million times less volatile than ethanol. This is why the main strategy for measuring THC in breath is based on collecting breath aerosols with filters (ethanol is measured as a vapor in breath and does not need to be “collected”). My colleague, Dr. Kavita Jeerage and I began working together to design a study using a simple device that samples breath aerosols that hadn’t been used before. We designed this as a small study to piggyback on a larger study with our collaborator Prof. Cinnamon Bidwell at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Bidwell’s experience studying the effects of legal market cannabis product use on psychology and behavior was leveraged to launch the pilot study. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, JAMA, MRI / 22.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ruben Smith MD, PhD Associate professor at Clinical Memory Research Division of Neurology Lund University   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since a few years it has become possible to visualize tau pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) using positron emission tomography (PET). The tau-PET radiotracer Flortaucipir (Tauvid) was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as an AD diagnostic tool. Since PET imaging is costly and exposes the patient to radioactivity we wanted to study the added clinical value of tau-PET in the diagnostic work-up of patients with cognitive symptoms, before widespread implementation in clinical practice. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Surgical Research / 22.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aloke V. Finn MD Medical Director/Chief Scientific Officer CVPath Institute Inc. Gaithersburg, MD 20878   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:Transcatheter left atrial appendageal closure (LAAC) has become an established therapeutic approach for prevention of stroke in subjects with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who are ineligible for long-term oral anticoagulation.  Device-related thrombus (DRT), developing after LAAO procedures occurs in a small proportion but patients receiving these devices but is associated with critical embolic events such as ischemic stroke. Thrombogenicity and delayed endothelialization of fabric play a role in the development of DRT.  Fluorinated polymers are known to have thromboresistant properties which may favorably modify blood biomaterial interactions of a LAAO device. In this study we compared the thrombogenicity and endothelial coverage (EC) after left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) between a novel fluoropolymer-coated Watchman (FP-WM (Watchman FLX PRO) and the conventional uncoated Watchman FLX (WM). (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, UCLA / 20.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julia Cave Arbanas Project Manager and     John N. Mafi, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLAJohn N. Mafi, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is lecanemab used for and how well does it work? Response: Lecanemab is a treatment for mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia that was approved in January 2023 as part of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) accelerated approval program. The results from a recent phase 3 clinical trial show a modest clinical benefit: the rate of cognitive decline by 27% in an 18-month study involving participants experiencing the early stage of Alzheimer’s, with an 0.45-point absolute difference in cognitive testing scores. However, due to the risk of brain swelling and bleeding (also known as amyloid-related imaging abnormalities), treatment with lecanemab involves frequent MRIs and neurology or geriatrics appointments to monitor for these abnormalities, which can be life threatening. So far, three patient deaths have potentially been tied to lecanemab. It is likely that the FDA will grant is lecanemab traditional approval later this year, prompting Medicare to reconsider its current coverage restrictions and potentially enabling widespread use. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Eli Lilly, Immunotherapy / 18.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lotus Mallbris, MD PhD Dermatologist andSenior Vice President Global Immunology Development and Medical Affairs  Lilly   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Would you briefly describe what is meant by atopic dermatitis and types treated in this study? Response: First, this study specifically evaluated lebrikizumab, a novel, investigational, monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to interleukin 13 (IL-13) with high-affinity and high potency. Inflammation due to over-activation of the IL-13 pathway plays a central role in the pathogenesis of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, commonly called eczema. This secondary analysis focused on patients treated with lebrikizumab from the 16-week induction periods of the ADvocate 1 and ADvocate 2 studies and the ADhere study. In the trials, we assessed the presence or absence of face or hand dermatitis in patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. If present at baseline, at 16 weeks, clinicians assessed the change from baseline on a scale of cleared, improved, no change, or worsened. Only patients with face and hand dermatitis were evaluated as part of the analysis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Immunotherapy / 17.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marla Dubinsky, M.D. Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine Co-director of the Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does MIRIKIZUMAB differ from other medications for UC? Response: This is a phase 2 study to assess the PK (pharamcokinetics), safety and efficacy of mirikizumab in pediatric ulcerative colitis (UC). Mirikizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to the p19 subunit of interleukin-23, a key inflammatory mediator in inflammatory bowel disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA / 15.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Zirwas, MD Founder, Bexley Dermatology Research Clinic Bexley, OH 43209 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does Roflumilast differ from other treatments for seb derm? Response: Seborrheic dermatitis affects up to 5% of the population globally and can have major impacts on quality of life. Treatment regimens are often complicated given the association of seborrheic dermatitis to hair bearing areas of the body, requiring multiple treatments for different parts of the body. Our phase 2 study aimed to understand the efficacy and safety of once-daily roflumilast foam 0.3% in adults with seborrheic dermatitis on their scalp, face and trunk. Roflumilast foam is a selective and highly potent phosphodiesterase (PDE) 4 inhibition that is being studied for a range of inflammatory skin conditions. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 10.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Greenhawt, MD, MBA, MSc Professor of Pediatrics Section of Allergy and Immunology Director, Food Challenge and Research Unit Children’s Hospital Colorado University of Colorado School of Medicine Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora, CO 80045   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Is the incidence of peanut allergy in toddlers stabilizing with the earlier introduction of peanuts? Response: There exists an urgent unmet medical need for infants and toddlers living with peanut allergy. Peanut allergy affects approximately 2% of U.S. children and has been a growing public health problem over the past 20 years. In fact, the number of kids affected by peanut allergy has tripled in that time span. Peanut allergy is not likely to be naturally outgrown, and reactions can be severe. However, there is hope. There is growing evidence that the allergic immune system is more modifiable early in life. The EPITOPE study evaluated Viaskin Peanut in children ages 1 – 3 years of age. Viaskin Peanut is an investigational epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT) product, which uses the skin as a route to desensitize a patient to be less reactive to peanut. This is a daily therapy, worn between the shoulders on the back, which allows for non-oral peanut desensitization, which many parents find highly appealing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, NYU, USPSTF / 09.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health Director, Division of Health & Behavior Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change Department of Population Health NYU Langone Health NYU School of Medicine Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that is spread through the air from one person to another and usually affects the lungs. It’s a significant public health concern in the U.S. People can be infected with TB bacteria but not have any symptoms or be contagious, which is known as a latent TB infection or LTBI. If LTBI is left untreated, it can progress to active TB, which can cause serious health problems and become contagious. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mediterranean Diet, Mental Health Research / 08.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yuan Changzheng ScD, MSc, B.M. Research Professor Doctoral supervisor, School of Medicine Zhejiang University School of Public Health Adjunct assistant professor Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The prevention of all-cause dementia is important as it poses substantial burdens on healthcare systems and threatens the well-being of older adults, and lack of effective treatments makes its prevention crucial. The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, and it emphasizes natural plant-based foods, limited intake of certain animal foods and foods high in saturated fat and encourages consumption of berries and green leafy vegetables rich in vitamins and antioxidants. The MIND diet has previously been associated with lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and slower cognitive decline but few studies have examined its association with all-cause dementia or AD with inconclusive results. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gastrointestinal Disease / 04.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Celine B. E. Busch, Research Associate Gastroenterology and Hepatology Standard PhD Candidate Dr. Jacques Bergman Professor, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Amsterdam UMC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you describe the ReCET procedure? Response: Currently more than 400 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes (T2D) and these numbers are rapidly increasing. At the moment there is no treatment option available that effectively treats the root cause of T2D, i.e. insulin resistance, the increasing loss of response to our body’s own insulin. T2D is generally treated with drug therapy, yet drug therapy can be expensive, requires the patient to take their drugs every day, and at best “controls” the disease without actually resolving it. Despite the availability of many T2D drugs, less than 50% of all T2D have adequately controlled blood glucose levels. The duodenum (the first part of the small bowel, immediately distal to the stomach) has proven to play a crucial role in glucose homeostasis in T2D. We know from bariatric surgery, that bypassing the duodenum by an Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass has an immediate and profound effect on T2D by improving the sensitivity to the body’s own insulin resistance. However, performing invasive bariatric surgery for many T2D is not feasible. But we can reach the duodenum easily via upper GI endoscopy. ReCET is a single endoscopic procedure, performed under deep sedation. The ReCET catheter is advanced next to the scope, and once it is placed in the duodenum the flex circuit is unfolded until it touches the full circumference of the duodenum. The flex circuit contains the electrodes that create a pulsed electric field which “electroporates” the cells. Electroporation irreversibly makes small, that cause the cell to die of natural cell death, or apoptosis. This process can be precisely titrated for its depth of damage and does not generate heat thus avoiding damage to deeper wall layers, a major hurdle for standard endoscopic ablation techniques. The ReCET procedure lasts about 60 minutes to treat a 10-15 cm segment of the duodenum. The procedure does not cause significant side-effects and patients are discharged the same day. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility / 02.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arshia Sandozi, DO, MPH Urology Resident at Maimonides Medical Center Interested in health disparities, equity, and policy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Infertility affects 12-15% of heterosexual couples and can be a devastating diagnosis.  Healthcare for infertility can be costly, and is not always covered by insurance. This is troubling because the median cost for a procedure like in vitro fertilization is more than nineteen thousand dollars per cycle and most people require more than one cycle before a live birth. (more…)
Lung Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 02.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andres Kohan MD MHSc. in Translational Research Joint Department of Medical Imaging University Health Network Mount Sinai Hospital and Women's College Hospital University of Toronto Toronto, Canada   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Inequalities in access to healthcare for oncologic patients and its impact on quality of life and survival have been previously described. However, there also exists reports pointing out that when factors contributing to socioeconomic inequality are accounted for differences in outcome between races remain identifiable. In this context, we sought to evaluate the presence of disparities in imaging in a selected population of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) within AACRs Project GENIE Biopharma Consortium (BPC) dataset v 1.1. This database is the largest in existence that has not only the patients’ imaging and clinical staging/follow-up, but also the genetic profile of the patients’ tumors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Technology, UCSD / 01.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zechariah Zhu, B.S. Affiliate Scientist with the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego and study co-author First author: John W. Ayers, PhD, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In today’s day and age (especially after the COVID-19 pandemic), an increasing number of people are turning to virtual options for healthcare. Most notably, there was a 1.6-fold increase in electronic patient messages, which significantly increased the burden on physicians, with a record-high proportion of physicians (62%) reporting burnout symptoms. On the other hand, we also see the rise of AI technologies like ChatGPT—an AI chatbot assistant that has taken the world by storm recently with its ability to provide lengthy response essays to many questions it is asked. Our objective for this study, then, was to evaluate the ability of ChatGPT to provide quality and empathetic responses to patient questions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Melanoma, USPSTF / 27.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John M. Ruiz, Ph.D Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology Department of Psychology University of Arizona Dr. Ruiz is the incoming editor-in-chief of the American Psychological Association (APA) journal, Health Psychology Dr. Ruiz joined the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in January 2022     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, but it often does not cause serious complications or death. The Task Force’s recommendation on screening for skin cancer focuses on the effectiveness of visual skin exams for children and adults who do not have any symptoms. When reviewing the latest research, we found that there is currently not enough evidence to tell us whether or not screening people without signs or symptoms is beneficial. This is an I statement. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Lifestyle & Health, Orthopedics / 26.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ridge Maxson M.D. Candidate, Class of 2024 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Dog walking is an increasingly popular mode of physical activity for adults in the US, but its injury burden and associated risk factors are not fully understood. This study found that the 3 most common injuries sustained by adult dog walkers in the US were finger fracture, TBI, and shoulder sprain or strain. Dog walking-related injuries sent approximately 423,000 adults to US EDs between 2001 and 2020, with an annual average of more than 21,000 visits. During that 20-year period, the estimated annual injury incidence increased by more than 4-fold. Among injured dog walkers, older adults and women were particularly vulnerable to serious injury, such as fracture and TBI. (more…)