Archive for May, 2010

Good Morning America visits new heart imaging device in Cleveland

May 27, 2010

Dr. Marco Costa found a second blocked artery in Mack Bailey’s heart — and demonstrated to a Good Morning America audience the first vascular-imaging technology based on optical coherence tomography (OCT) — at the same time Thursday.

Costa is an interventional cardiologist and director of the cardiovascular research institute at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Bailey is a 60-year-old Clevelander with had a heart attack and is being treated by Costa.

Both agreed to be filmed and interviewed by the NBC morning news show because University Hospitals is the first — and so far only — hospital to use the C7-XR Imaging System and accompanying C7 Dragonfly Imaging Catheter made by LightLab Imaging Inc. during patient heart procedures.

While using the technology to place a stent in one of Bailey’s heart arteries, Costa found a second blocked artery that had not shown up on images of Bailey’s heart. Costa ended up placing two stents, that day.

“If he had gone home this weekend without having this procedure today, he would have gone home with a very nice, well-placed stent in the vessel that did not cause the heart attack,” Costa said during the Good Morning America segment.

The LightLab system uses near-infrared light to produce high-resolution, real-time images that are better and faster than images produced by competing ultrasound technology. The system recently was approved for sale by the Food and Drug Administration. UH Case Medical Center was the core laboratory on the FDA approval study and analyzed the study’s results, according to the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine blog.

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Impotence plus heart disease ups death risk – Dr. Sahil Parikh discusses the study

May 27, 2010

Reuters Report ::

Men with heart disease who also have erectile dysfunction die sooner than men who do not seek treatment for impotence, researchers reported on Monday.

They found that men who had both conditions were twice as likely to die from any cause and twice as likely to have a heart attack than men with heart disease alone.

The researchers expressed concern that using drugs such as Pfizer’s Viagra or Eli Lilly’s Cialis to treat erectile dysfunction could mask the symptoms that point to widespread heart and artery disease and said men complaining of impotence should be checked by a cardiologist.

“Erectile dysfunction is something that regularly should be addressed in the medical history of patients; it might be a symptom of early atherosclerosis,” Dr. Michael Bohm of the University of Saarland in Germany, who led the study, said in a statement.

His team studied 1,519 men in 13 countries taking part in some larger studies of various heart disease treatments. As part of the study the men were also asked about erectile dysfunction.

More than half of them, 55 percent, did, Bohm’s team said in a report published in the journal Circulation and also presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology.

During the two years of the study, 11.3 percent of the patients who reported erectile dysfunction died, compared to 5.6 percent of those with mild or no impotence problems.

“It has long been known that erectile dysfunction is a marker for cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Sahil Parikh at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, who was not involved in the study.

The first impotence drug, Pfizer’s Viagra, known generically as sildenafil, was at first developed to lower blood pressure, he said.

“They realized it had this other effect, which patients quite enjoyed,” Parikh said in a telephone interview.

HAPPY SIDE-EFFECT

Viagra and rival drugs such as Eli Lilly’s Cialis and Bayer AG’s BAYG.DE Levitra all work by increasing blood flow.

“In order to have proper erectile function, you have to have adequate blood flow to the genitals. If you have atherosclerosis, whether in the arteries on the neck, which can cause stroke, or the arteries of the heart, which can cause heart attack … it is the same disease.”

But while the erectile dysfunction drugs help blood flow all over the body, they do not treat the underlying hardening and narrowing in the arteries that is causing the problem.

“If patients have erectile dysfunction, we have to be very aggressive about screening and treating them for heart disease,” Parikh said.

When Viagra came onto the market, many health experts welcomed it as a way to get men who might otherwise neglect their health to go to a doctor. But Bohm and Parikh both agreed that patients — and their doctors — need to look hard at the hearts of men with erectile dysfunction.

“Men with ED going to a general practitioner or a urologist need to be referred for a cardiology workup to determine existing cardiovascular disease and proper treatment,” Bohm said.

“The medication works and the patient doesn’t show up any more,” he added. “These men are being treated for the ED, but not the underlying cardiovascular disease.”

The drugs are wildly popular. Viagra alone had sales of nearly $2 billion in 2009.

Ohio Third Frontier approves biomedical project, investing grants

May 27, 2010

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission on Wednesday approved $20 million in Wright Project grants, including nearly $9 million for three biomedical projects.

During their first meeting since voters approved an extension and expansion of the Ohio Third Frontier through fiscal 2015, commissioners also approved $11 million in entrepreneurial support and pre-seed investment fund grants, as well as a fiscal 2011 budget between $125 million and $143 million.

Third Frontier is the 10-year, $1.35 billion program to re-energize Ohio’s economy by investing in projects in five industry clusters, including biomedical. Early this month, voters added $700 million in bond proceeds and four years to the program.

The five commissioners who attended Wednesday’s meeting voted unanimously to fund seven Wright Project grant proposals, including:
Cleveland Clinic: $3 million for its Clinically Applied Rehabilitation Engineering project, which aims at developing, testing, manufacturing and commercializing advanced, rehabilitative medical products for patients suffering from cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, metabolic and musculoskeletal diseases. Collaborators: Parker Hannifin Corp., Bertec Corp., Case Western Reserve University and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland: $2.1 million for its Development of a Quantitative Analysis System for Stem Cells project, which focuses on research commercialization of non-embryonic stem cells from umbilical cord blood as part of a Food and Drug Administration-licensed therapy to help some transplant patients and for testing. Collaborators: Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cleveland Cord Blood Center, BioInVision, Athersys (NASDAQ: ATHX), PerkinElmer, Thermogenesis (NASDAQ: KOOL), GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE), Hospira and Lakeland Community College.

University of Cincinnati: $3 million for its project, The Ohio Center for Microfluidic Innovation — New Products and Competitive Manufacturing of Emerging Biomedical Applications. The project wants to study, make and commercialize microfluidics technology, which could generate more valuable test results from a much smaller fluid sample than current technology. National Academies reviewers suggested the project be scaled back to just its biomedical applications. Collaborators: Siloam Biosciences, Gamma Dynamics, Sun Chemical and EnMonT.

Third Frontier advisers and commissioners spent a lot of time Wednesday debating “continuity” issues among entrepreneurial support and pre-seed investment funds that already have received grants. Facing state budget challenges, the program limited awards to only organizations that have received past money:

Cleveland Clinic was awarded $2 million for its Ohio BioValidation Fund III, which will invest in promising early stage biomedical companies.

JumpStart Inc., the venture development organization in Cleveland that has invested in several biomedical and healthcare companies, will receive $4 million for operations and investments. JumpStart gets an additional $1.8 million for its bioscience and entrepreneurial network, which will provide entrepreneurial services to bioscience start-ups in the Northeast Ohio region. Collaborators: BioEnterprise, Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise and the Akron Global Business Accelerator.

North Coast Angel Fund II in Mayfield Heights is getting $2 million to invest in high-potential, early stage technology companies.

Ohio TechAngel Fund III in Columbus was awarded $825,000 to invest in early stage Ohio-based technology companies, with a strong emphasis on healthcare innovations and information technology.

TechColumbus is getting $500,000 to continue investing in early-to-late-stage technologystart-ups in Central Ohio. Focus areas of the fund are bioscience, information technology and advanced materials.

Third Frontier commissioners put off votes on three more entrepreneurial support and pre-seed fund grant proposals, asking for more information with plans to vote on those proposals in June.

As for next year’s fiscal budget, the commissioners plan to award $20 million to entrepreneurial support and pre-seed funds, as well as $7 million to both biomedical and medical imaging grant-seekers. The commissioners also budgeted $8 million for a new Wright Center Success Fund, which will invest operating dollars in existing centers of innovation.

Donald Hricik discusses new hypertension study published in the Journal of American Medical Association

May 27, 2010

Half of Americans are in control of their blood pressure. But the number of new cases has gone up according to a new study out published in the Journal of American Medical Association which finds that one out of every three people had their hypertension under control 20 years ago compared to 50% of patients now. However, the number of people diagnosed with the condition has continued to go up.

Dr. Donald Hricik of CWRUmedicine Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at University Hospitals Case Medical Center is interviewed for the story. Watch the video.

Joseph Baar selected as Komen Pink Tie Guy 2010

May 25, 2010

Congratulations to Dr Joseph Baar on being selected as one of the 2010 Komen Northeast Ohio Pink Tie Guys. This special initiative was developed to get more men involved in the breast cancer movement. Men are often the people supporting breast cancer survivors through diagnosis, treatment and beyond. In addition, over 2000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year.

The eight prominent businessmen and celebrities are selected to be Pink Tie Guys represent the one in eight women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. At Komen, we realize the smallest act can make a powerful impact. By simply wearing a pink tie, you may prompt a conversation that could literally save a life! Whether it be at a board meeting, social affair, or sporting event, this symbolic yet eye catching accessory may help others become proactive in learning the risk factors and how early detection is the best defense against breast cancer.

2010 Health Care Hero, Dr Joseph Baar, presented by Crain’s Cleveland Businesss

May 25, 2010

Congratulations on Joseph Baar on selection as a 2010 Health Care Hero presented by Crain’s Cleveland Business. We are pleased to recognize him as a Winner in the category of Advancements in Health Care.

The nomination submitted on Dr Baar’s behalf is a testament to the impact he has had on patients, colleagues and Northeast Ohio’s medical community.

Again, congratulations to Joseph Baar on his selection for this very special honor. As one of Northeast Ohio’s Health Care Heroes, he plays a vital role in the quality of our everyday lives and the economic future of the region.

Dr Sarah Augustine honoured with Clinical Gender Equity Award

May 20, 2010

Dr. Sarah Augustine was honoured with the American Medical Women’s Association Clinical Gender Equity Award.

This award is supported by the Women Faculty of the School of Medicine but decided upon by the senior year medical student body to honour a faculty member who the students feel exemplify the principle of gender equality in their teaching and who promote a gender-fair environment for education and training of physicians.

Learn more at CWRUmedicine.org

CWRUmedicine’s Dr Marco Costa feature on ABC’s Good Morning America

May 20, 2010

Marco Costa, MD, PhD, Medical Director, Cath Lab, Director, Center for Research & Innovation, will be featured in an exclusive segment tomorrow on ABC’s Good Morning America between 7:30 and 8 am.

Dr. Costa was filmed in the Stereotaxis Lab in Lerner Tower conducting the United States’ first ever Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) procedure using the newly FDA approved C7-XR Imaging System made by LightLab. A pair of Dr. Costa’s patients will be featured in the story highlighting the speed, accuracy and new imaging technology that provides doctors faster operating times and improved accuracy.

This breakthrough intravascular imaging technology allows the clinician to readily see and measure important vessel characteristics otherwise invisible or difficult to observe with older intracoronary imaging modalities. UH Case Medical Center served as the core lab in the study prior to its FDA approval and was responsible for analyzing the study results. To date, UH Case Medical Center is the only hospital in the country where this procedure is available for patients.

Katie Couric Tours Case Western Reserve Research Lab

May 19, 2010

Katie Couric visited Sanford “Sandy” Markowitz, MD, PhD, professor and researcher of cancer and genetics, and his research team in his lab to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day research necessary for advancements in colon cancer.

The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric anchor and managing editor received a warm welcome from the researchers, who provided Couric with hands-on training. They also informed her of the various research projects being conducted in the Markowitz lab at Case Western Reserve University Department of Medicine.

The touching visit brought together Couric and Markowitz, who have been working together for years to improve colon cancer screening, and ultimately the disease. Couric’s late husband, Jay Monahan, succumbed to the disease in 1998.

Couric went on to help co-found The Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, which has raised awareness and funding for colon cancer research.

Learn more at CWRUmedicine.org