Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Journal Clinical Oncology, University of Pittsburgh / 03.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristine Gade, MD Hematology/Oncology Fellow UPMC Hillman Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe the “surprise question”?  Response:  Via Oncology Pathways, a cancer care platform used by UPMC and other institutions across the country, asks physicians to answer the surprise question – “Would I be surprised if this patient died in the next 12 months?” – whenever a new treatment plan is implemented.   This question has been widely adopted by many oncology and palliative care frameworks and has been shown to be modestly predictive of mortality in multiple studies.  We know that advanced cancer patients have a high utilization of the emergency department, even near end of life.  Our group wanted to see if we could use the results of the surprise question to easily and quickly communicate to emergency department providers the expected prognosis for our advanced cancer patients.  First, we set out to assess the surprise question’s ability to predict survival among our UPMC Hillman Cancer Center patients with select stage IV cancer diagnoses.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Stem Cells, Surgical Research, University of Pittsburgh / 18.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. David Okonkwo, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurological surgery Director of the Neurotrauma Clinical Trials Center University of Pittsburgh Dr. Okonkwo discusses the results from the STEMTRA Phase 2 trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of SB623 in patients with chronic motor deficit from traumatic brain injury. The results were presented at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), April 2019 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the US and around the globe. The effects of TBI are often long-lasting, with more than one-third of severe TBI patients displaying a neuromotor abnormality on physical examination 2 years following injury and, yet, there are no effective treatments. The public health implications are staggering: there are approximately 1.4 million new cases of TBI in the US annually, resulting in over 50,000 deaths and 80,000 disabilities; over 5 million Americans currently suffer from long-term disability caused by TBI. A successful neuroregenerative or neurorestorative therapy, such as stem cell implantation, would have significant impact. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 15.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: JOÃO L. CAVALCANTE, MD, FASE, FACC, FSCCT, FSCMR Director, Cardiac MRI and Structural CT Labs Director, Cardiovascular Imaging Research Core Lab Minneapolis Heart Institute Abbott Northwestern Hospital Minneapolis, MN, 55407 MIHO FUKUI MD Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Heart & Vascular Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Minneapolis Heart Institute, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recent study by Généreux et al (1), using the Placement of Aortic Transcatheter Valves (PARTNER) 2A and 2B data, provided the first framework of a staging system for severe aortic stenosis (AS) that quantifies the extent of structural and functional cardiac change associated with AS and importantly its association with 1-year mortality in patients receiving either surgical or transcatheter AVR (TAVR):
  • Stage 0: No other cardiac damage;
  • Stage 1: LV damage as defined by presence of LV hypertrophy, severe LV diastolic, or LV systolic dysfunction;
  • Stage 2: Left atrium or mitral valve damage or dysfunction;
  • Stage 3: Pulmonary artery vasculature or tricuspid valve damage or dysfunction; and
  • Stage 4: right ventricular damage.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Schizophrenia, University of Pittsburgh / 22.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hayley D. Germack PHD, MHS, RN Assistant Professor, School of Nursing University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As nurse scientists, we repeatedly witness the impact of having a serious mental illness (i.e. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression disorder) on patients’ inpatient and discharge experience. As health services researchers, we know how to make use of large secondary data to illuminate our firsthand observations. In 2016, Dr. Hanrahan and colleagues (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163834316301347) published findings of a secondary data analysis from a large urban hospital system that found 1.5 to 2.4 greater odds of readmission for patients with an  serious mental illness diagnosis compared to those without. We decided to make use of the AHRQ’s HCUP National Readmissions Database to illuminate the magnitude of this relationship using nationally representative data. We found that even after controlling for clinical, demographic, and hospital factors, that patients with SMI have nearly 2 times greater odds of 30-day readmission.  (more…)