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Pilot program that includes video decision aids improves end-of-life care in Hawaii

Pilot program that includes video decision aids improves end-of-life care in Hawaii

A program encouraging physicians and other providers to discuss with patients their preferences regarding end-of-life care significantly increased the documented incidence of such conversations and the number of patients with late-stage disease who were discharged to hospice. [More]
Inhibiting palmitate-adding enzyme can make cancer cells sensitive to EGFR inhibitors

Inhibiting palmitate-adding enzyme can make cancer cells sensitive to EGFR inhibitors

The mistaken activation of certain cell-surface receptors contributes to a variety of human cancers. Knowing more about the activation process has led researchers to be able to induce greater vulnerability by cancer cells to an existing first-line treatment for cancers (mainly lung) driven by a receptor called EGFR. [More]
New E-Vac therapy may be promising treatment option for GI leaks

New E-Vac therapy may be promising treatment option for GI leaks

Gastroenterologists on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas are evaluating a new procedure for patients with gastrointestinal (GI) leaks and perforations, a complication that can result from laparoscopic surgery on the esophagus, stomach and small intestines—and outcomes have been promising. [More]
Moderate sedation leads to better clinical outcomes than general anesthesia for TAVR patients

Moderate sedation leads to better clinical outcomes than general anesthesia for TAVR patients

A new study finds the use of moderate sedation, in which patients do not need a breathing tube, leads to better clinical outcomes as compared to general anesthesia for patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). [More]
Novel anticoagulants on ‘as-needed basis’ could be safe alternative to lowering stroke risk

Novel anticoagulants on ‘as-needed basis’ could be safe alternative to lowering stroke risk

Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), a rapid irregular heartbeat caused by pooling blood in the heart which can lead to heart failure and stroke, are often treated with an ablation, a minimally invasive procedure used to remove the tissue which causes the pooled blood. [More]
Expanding gene panel beyond known breast/ovarian cancer genes does not add any clinical benefit

Expanding gene panel beyond known breast/ovarian cancer genes does not add any clinical benefit

Running large, multi-gene sequencing panels to assess cancer risk is a growing trend in medicine as the price of the technology declines and more precise approaches to cancer care gain steam. The tests are particularly common among breast and ovarian cancer patients. However, questions remain about the growing list of mutations and their suspected, but unproven association with breast and ovarian cancer risk. [More]
Guide to advance directives: an interview with Dr Lisa Price

Guide to advance directives: an interview with Dr Lisa Price

An advance directive is a very specific legal document that details the medical treatments you want, and, importantly, don’t want, if you’re unable to communicate with a physician. This may happen as a result of a critical illness that could make you confused or unable to speak. [More]
Implantable brain device shows promising results in animal study

Implantable brain device shows promising results in animal study

An implantable brain device that literally melts away at a pre-determined rate minimizes injury to tissue normally associated with standard electrode implantation, according to research led by a team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. [More]
Stroke Awareness Month: Meridian Neuroscience provides latest information about stroke prevention, treatments

Stroke Awareness Month: Meridian Neuroscience provides latest information about stroke prevention, treatments

In observance of Stroke Awareness Month, Meridian Neuroscience is kicking off a series of informative community events, providing expert advice, tips, and the latest information about stroke prevention and treatments. The events will take place at Meridian Health locations throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties. [More]
Discovery of shared biological properties among DNA variants may help identify new therapeutic targets

Discovery of shared biological properties among DNA variants may help identify new therapeutic targets

The discovery of shared biological properties among independent variants of DNA sequences offers the opportunity to broaden understanding of the biological basis of disease and identify new therapeutic targets, according to a collaboration between the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Arizona Health Sciences, and Vanderbilt University. The group published their findings this month in npj Genomic Medicine. [More]
New class of cancer-driver gene may serve as unique therapeutic targets, biomarkers in TNBC

New class of cancer-driver gene may serve as unique therapeutic targets, biomarkers in TNBC

The discovery of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) has dramatically changed the understanding of the biology of diseases such as cancer. The human genome contains about 20,000 protein-coding genes - less than 2 percent of the total - but 70 percent of the genome is made into non-gene-encoding RNA. [More]
New fruit fly model study reveals metabolic pathway that can be targeted to treat FXS patients

New fruit fly model study reveals metabolic pathway that can be targeted to treat FXS patients

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common genetically inherited cause of intellectual disability in humans. New research shows how the hormone insulin -- usually associated with diabetes -- is involved in the daily activity patterns and cognitive deficits in the fruitfly model of FXS, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published online this month in Molecular Psychiatry in advance of the print issue. [More]
Derivatives of female sex hormones can influence natural melanin production, study suggests

Derivatives of female sex hormones can influence natural melanin production, study suggests

When skin cells responsible for pigmentation are exposed to estrogen or progesterone, the cells respond by adjusting their melanin production, resulting in either skin darkening or lightening. Although pregnant women often experience alterations in skin pigmentation, the reason for the changes has long puzzled physicians. [More]
New study explores factors that affect Medicare patient’s adherence to psoriasis biologic therapies

New study explores factors that affect Medicare patient’s adherence to psoriasis biologic therapies

About half of Medicare patients who start taking biologic therapies for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis stop within a year, according to a new study led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. [More]
Study shows canine AD shares significant features of human version

Study shows canine AD shares significant features of human version

Atopic dermatitis (AD), a chronic inflammatory skin condition and the most common form of eczema, is estimated to afflict as much as 10 percent of the U.S. population, and is much more common now than it was 50 years ago. Veterinary clinical estimates also show that approximately 10 percent of dogs have atopic dermatitis. [More]
Wellderly study finds link between cognitive decline genes and healthy aging

Wellderly study finds link between cognitive decline genes and healthy aging

An eight-year-long accrual and analysis of the whole genome sequences of healthy elderly people, or "Wellderly," has revealed a higher-than-normal presence of genetic variants offering protection from cognitive decline, researchers from the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) reported today in the journal Cell. [More]
Microtubules affect mechanics of beating heart, study finds

Microtubules affect mechanics of beating heart, study finds

On top of the meaning and mystery that humans heap on the heart, it is first and foremost, a muscle. And one that beats about once a second for a person's entire life, with no rest. Given its vital importance, it's ironic researchers have only recently made direct observations of its subcellular parts in motion. [More]
New drug combination before surgery may improve outcomes in breast cancer patients

New drug combination before surgery may improve outcomes in breast cancer patients

Results from the I-SPY 2 trial show that giving patients with HER2-positive invasive breast cancer a combination of the drugs trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) and pertuzumab before surgery was more beneficial than the combination of paclitaxel plus trastuzumab. [More]
Health systems rely on design thinking for management and innovation

Health systems rely on design thinking for management and innovation

Current health system practices are not sufficient to address growing rates of obesity and diabetes, health and economic disparities and cost control. "A Design Thinking Framework for Healthcare Management and Innovation" argues that addressing these complex challenges will require leaders that can think, and act, more like designers. [More]
Researchers identify biological pathway that explains why current asthma therapies fail in many cases

Researchers identify biological pathway that explains why current asthma therapies fail in many cases

Asthma is an enormous public health problem that continues to grow larger, in part because scientists don't fully understand how it is caused. Existing therapies don't cure the disease and often don't even significantly alleviate the symptoms. Now, scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University have identified a biological pathway that potentially explains why current asthma therapies don't work well in many cases—and might be targeted to help those patients. [More]
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