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Date: Monday, August 2, 2004

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COM-Led Consortium Finds Evidence of Genetic Cause for Lung Cancer

The multi-institutions Genetic Epidemiology of Lung Cancer Consortium (GELCC),  led by Marshall Anderson, PhD, of the COM's Department of Environmental Health,  has found evidence of a genetic cause for lung cancer.  This is the first suggestion that lung cancer, long tied to cigarette smoking and other external causes, might also be an inherited disease.  "The discovery of genes for other types of cancer has led to better understanding of those diseases, which in turn can lead to better strategies for treatment and prevention," said Dr. Anderson.  "We hope that uncovering a gene or genes responsible for lung cancer will do the same for this devastating disease."  Susan Pinney, PhD, also of the COM's Department of Environmental Health, collaborated with Dr. Anderson in this research, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute.  The findings are reported in the online edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics.


Heart & Vascular Center's Research Nurses Place Second at National Conference

UC Heart & Vascular Center's Research and Publication Committee received second place for a poster presentation on medication compliance at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine's Heart Failure Management 2004 national conference last month. The Committee was formed to highlight the research work of UC Heart and Vascular Center's nurses; this presentation marked the first time the group of research nurses has been asked to present at a national meeting. Participants included: Bethany Ingram, RN, Sue Roll, RN, BSN, Jeanette Thompson, RN, Linda Baas, RN, CNP and Ginger Conway, RN, CNP, CCRN.


COM Researchers Find Better Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C in HIV Patients
Kenneth Sherman, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Digestive Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine, co-authored an article in the July 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that shows that the preferred treatment (peg-interferon and ribavirin) for hepatitis C alone is also safe for patients with both hepatitis C and HIV. Implications of this study are huge. Anti-HIV drugs are helping HIV patients live longer, but as a result they are more likely to suffer complications from hepatitis C, including severe liver damage resulting in the need for transplant. UC is participating in a study to design proper protocol for liver transplants in HIV patients, but finding a better treatment for hepatitis C may eliminate the need for this costly procedure in some patients.


Workshop Focuses on Emergency Airway Management

In another great example of collaboration, the first University Hospital multi-disciplinary Emergency Airway Workshop held last month focused on the management of emergency airway issues.  In order to improve airway management during code blues at UH, emphasis is being placed on a team concept of decision-making. This workshop is part of an ongoing effort by the University Hospital CPR Committee and the Department of Anesthesia.  It was sponsored by the Department of Anesthesia and included residents and faculty from the departments of anesthesia, internal medicine, emergency medicine and respiratory therapy.


Children's Docs Use Non-Surgical Procedures to Repair Young Hearts

Robert Beekman, III, MD, director of the Division of Cardiology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, was a lead investigator for the use of a device known as the Amplatzer® Septal Occluder, one of the most promising non-surgical devices for one of the most common causes of holes in the heart, known as atrial septal defect (ASD).  Depending on the size and the area of the septum involved, many ASDs may be closed by placement of an Amplatzer® during an interventional cardiac catheterization.  The benefits of this approach are that it can be put in place without stopping the patient's heart or utilizing cardiopulmonary bypass, it doesn't have the psychological trauma related to open-heart surgery and it doesn't create a scar across the chest the way open-heart surgery does.


COM, Drake Team Up on Spinal Cord Injury Research

A two-year grant from the Dean's Discovery Fund is funding joint research by the Medical Center and the Drake Center using the Center for Imaging Research's 4-Tesla FMRI to determine how the brain manages to "change its mind" after certain paralyzing injuries. The rerouting phenomenon is believed to occur in patients with "incomplete" spinal cord injuries, in which the cord remains connected to the brain. By studying patients with incomplete injuries, the researchers hope to be able to identify in each patient where the movement control center has shifted to, and then target the new location with interventions that stimulate muscle function.  The principal investigator is Jonathan Strayer, MD, of Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, who himself has an incomplete spinal injury.  Stephen Page, PhD, research director in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, is co-principal investigator.


COM Trivia

Daniel Drake figures prominently in not just the COM's history but Cincinnati's as well.  Drake, for example, owned a drug store on Main Street that installed the first soda fountain in Cincinnati introducing soda water as a beverage.  He purchased the fountain while in Philadelphia finishing his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1816.

Queen City 101

Cincinnati's fire department has a number of national "firsts."  Not only was Cincinnati the first to establish a municipal fire department; it also had the first practical steam fire engine and sported the first fireman's pole.

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