Archive for February, 2010

NY Times :: ID expert, Dr Louis Rice, discusses Rising Threat of Infections Unfazed by Antibiotics

February 28, 2010

A minor-league pitcher in his younger days, Richard Armbruster kept playing baseball recreationally into his 70s, until his right hip started bothering him. Last February he went to a St. Louis hospital for what was to be a routine hip replacement.

By late March, Mr. Armbruster, then 78, was dead. After a series of postsurgical complications, the final blow was a bloodstream infection that sent him into shock and resisted treatment with antibiotics.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think my dad would walk in for a hip replacement and be dead two months later,” said Amy Fix, one of his daughters.

Not until the day Mr. Armbruster died did a laboratory culture identify the organism that had infected him: Acinetobacter baumannii.

The germ is one of a category of bacteria that by some estimates are already killing tens of thousands of hospital patients each year. While the organisms do not receive as much attention as the one known as MRSA — for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — some infectious-disease specialists say they could emerge as a bigger threat.

That is because there are several drugs, including some approved in the last few years, that can treat MRSA. But for a combination of business reasons and scientific challenges, the pharmaceuticals industry is pursuing very few drugs for Acinetobacter and other organisms of its type, known as Gram-negative bacteria. Meanwhile, the germs are evolving and becoming ever more immune to existing antibiotics.

In many respects it’s far worse than MRSA,” said Dr. Louis B. Rice, an infectious-disease specialist at the Louis Stokes Cleveland V.A. Medical Center and at Case Western Reserve University. “There are strains out there, and they are becoming more and more common, that are resistant to virtually every antibiotic we have.”

Read more at CWRUmedicine.org

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CWRUmedicine To Lead Hypertension Study

February 26, 2010

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is getting nearly 15 million dollars from the National Institutes of health to lead an important new study of hypertension.

Current guidelines recommend lowering hypertensive patients’ systolic blood pressure – that’s the first number in a blood pressure reading – to below 140 – 138 over 90, for example.  But physicians want to know if lowering that recommended systolic blood pressure to below 120 can further reduce the incidence of cardiovascular and kidney disease, or slow the decline of functional cognition.

Dr. Jackson Wright, who heads the Clinical Hypertension Program at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, says the medical school will be one of five U.S. institutions taking a leadership role in what’s called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial – dubbed SPRINT.

Wright:  “The fact that Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and Central Ohio has a very diverse population makes this an outstanding location to conduct a study such as SPRINT.”

The study will take place over 9 years, and will involve 75 hundred patients.

Wright says it will measure the benefits of reducing systolic blood pressure against risks posed by increased medication and other factors in treatment of hypertension.

Learn more at CWRUmedicine.org

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Case Western Reserve think beyond the possible

February 26, 2010

“Think beyond the possible” embodies the spirit of Case Western Reserve University.
From our faculty and students to our staff and alumni, new challenges are being met with innovative thinking and discovery that go beyond the status quo.
Learn more at CWRUmedicine.org

DNA Screening for Colon Cancer Video

February 26, 2010

It is estimated that colon cancer will kill 50,000 people in the United States this year. But found early, that number could be lowered substantially. So why do so many still die from it? The answer and the solution can be found in a medical laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio.

A team of researchers led by Sanford Markowitz, M.D., Ph.D. at the Case Western Reserve University Department of Medicine has found a way to detect colon cancer quickly and non-invasively.
Learn more at CWRUmedicine.org

CWRUmedicine Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

February 26, 2010

The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, a premier center for comprehensive care of patients with diseases affecting the heart and vascular system, has a goal to create a national center of excellence in cardiovascular research and physician education, as well as patient care.
Learn more at CWRUmedicine.org

Infectious Diseases member, Michael Lederman, elected to the American Academy of Microbiology

February 24, 2010

Seventy-eight microbiologists have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. Michael M. Lederman, M.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, was chosen to join the elite group of 78 members.

Read more on PhysOrg.com

Plain Dealer :: New cancer hospital looks good

February 24, 2010

A recent sneak peek inside Euclid Avenue’s newest hospital building reveals that patients there are going to have some pretty spectacular views to go along with what we’re sure is going to be pretty fine care.

Plain Dealer editors and reporters recently toured University Hospitals Case Medical Center’s cancer hospital that’s going up at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Cornell Drive.

The 375,000-square-foot, 120-bed hospital — as yet unnamed — will put all of UH’s cancer services in a single location, concentrating departments and services that are spread out among numerous buildings at the hospital’s main campus at University Circle.

Although the structure was topped out some months ago, much work remains to be done on the interior. The $250 million building is scheduled to open in spring 2011.

The tour took place on the day that the wrecking ball was bringing down the former home of the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center on Euclid Avenue. A 13,000-square-foot “healing garden” is planned for the spot, with sculptures, paved walks and meditation areas.

Among the tour’s highlights: bank vault-like spaces in the lower level that will house radiation treatment rooms; a gorgeous view of University Circle rooftops from a family area on a patient floor; and a sweeping entryway with room for a cafe.

The tour group included UH chief executive officer Thomas F. Zenty III, chief administrative officer Steve Standley and Ireland Cancer Center President Dr. Nathan Levitan.

Med City News:: Tour of new Cancer Hospital

February 24, 2010

Plain Dealer editors and reporters recently toured University Hospitals Case Medical Center’s 375,000-square-foot, 120-bed cancer hospital that’s going up at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Cornell Drive, according to the Cleveland newspaper. Although the structure was topped out some months ago, much work remains to be done on the interior. The $250 million building is scheduled to open in spring 2011.

Read more on Med City News

Hem Onc clinical trials

February 24, 2010

Matthew Cooney, MD, discusses the importance of clinical trials in cancer treatments.
Learn more about the Division of Hematoloy Oncology :: www.CWRUmedicine.org

The importance of Hem Onc clinical trials

February 24, 2010

Matthew Cooney, MD, discusses the importance of clinical trials in cancer treatments.
Learn more about the Division of Hematoloy Oncology :: www.CWRUmedicine.org