UPMC Physician Resources

UPCI Physician-Researchers Find Targeted Radiation, Drug Therapy Combo Less Toxic for Treatment of Recurrent Head, Neck Cancers

Physician-researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)/ UPMC CancerCenter  report that patients with a recurrence of head and neck cancer who have previously been given radiation can be treated more quickly, safely, and with less side effects with high doses of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) in combination with the drug cetuximab.

Between July 2007 and March 2013, doctors treated 48 patients with the combination therapy. All of the patients were able to complete the treatments, which were administered in a span of about two weeks compared to traditional therapies which can take up to nine weeks. Severe toxicity was reported at 12 percent using the combination therapy, compared to upwards of 85 percent using conventional therapies.

The results of this study were presented at the 2014 American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting in San Francisco.  Watch John Vargo, MD, a radiation oncology resident at UPCI/ UPMC CancerCenter and one of the lead authors, discuss this study.

Pulmonary Grand Rounds: HIV-related Lung Diease

At the recent Pulmonary Grand Rounds, Matthew Gingo, MD, discussed the complexities of HIV-related lung disease. Dr. Gingo highlighted important clinical features of HIV pulmonary disease, guidelines for clinicians when monitoring these patients, and recent advances in HIV therapy.



Pulmonary Grand Rounds: Pulmonary Complications of Sickle Cell Disease

Enrico Novelli, MD, presented at the recent Pulmonary Grand Rounds on pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease. His talk covered diagnosis and management techniques of acute chest syndrome, screening patients with sickle cell for pulmonary hypertension, and the importance of thromboembolic complications.


Various Factors Need to be Considered When Evaluating a Tearing Patient

In the September News You Can Use column in Ocular Surgery News, Jenny Yu, MD, discusses the three causes of tearing and treatment options for each. The full article is available here

1. What are the considerations when evaluating a tearing patient?

2. What procedures are available for removing any obstructions of the drainage system?

3. What role do eyelids play in the drainage of tears and what can be done to correct the positioning?

4. How can ophthalmologists treat patients with no clear anatomical obstruction/or mal-positioned eyelid?

Questions or comments can be directed to Dr. Yu at EyeCenter@upmc.edu.

Twelfth Annual Pittsburgh Vascular Symposium

Current Vascular Therapies: What Has Changed and What is Still the Gold Standard
Oct. 10 – 11, 2014
Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA

The Twelfth Annual Pittsburgh Vascular Symposium will feature discussion and evaluation of the current and future standards in the treatment and care of cardiac and vascular patients, including endovascular and open therapies as well as medical management.This two-day conference will also include presentations and open panels, focus on new developments in technology and surgical techniques, and highlight controversies and accepted practices in the field.

This course is sponsored and organized by the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, Division of Vascular Surgery and offers CME credit for physicians and other professionals.

Hear more from course director Rabih Chaer, MD.

For more information or to register for the event, call Mark Byrne at 412-802-3034, or visit the Vascular Symposium website.

No consistent measurable gains seen with corticosteroid as adjunct in filtering surgery

In the August News You Can Use column in Ocular Surgery NewsIan Conner, MD, PhD, discusses the use of triamcinolone acetonide in glaucoma surgery . The full article is available here.

1. Historically, how has triamcinolone acetonide been used in ophthalmology?

2. What did the results of the Kahook et all and the Yuki et all studies indicate?

3. What did the Teixeira study, randomizing the injections of triamcinolone indicate?

4. What did the Hogewind study, comparing the use of MMC and intra-Tenon triamcinolone, indicate?

5. Should surgeons alter their current filtering techniques to include triamcinolone acetonide?

Questions for Dr. Conner can be sent to EyeCenter@upmc.edu

PancreasFest 2014

PancreasFest is an annual pancreas research and clinical conference designed to promote multidisciplinary clinical and translational research and to provide guidance for complex pancreatic questions. Over the last few years PancreasFest has attracted over 1,000 attendees from 12 countries.

Annual topics include:

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pancreatogenic diabetes


PancreasFest 2014 is taking place from July 24-25, 2014. Learn more. 




Nonsurgical option available for long-standing or sensory strabismus in adults

In the July News You Can Use column in Ocular Surgery News, Lea Ann Lope, DO, discusses using Botox injections as a nonsurgical option for sensory or long-standing strabismus in adults. The full article is available here.

What treatment options are available for patients with or without double vision?

What nonsurgical option is available as an alternative to surgical correction and how is it used?

How is Botox being used as a diagnostic tool?

What patient population is the nonsurgical approach viable for? 

Send any questions to Dr. Lope at EyeCenter@upmc.edu

Several Approaches Available for Vitreoretinal Disease Combined with Cataract

In June’s News You Can Use column in Ocular Surgery News,   Alexander Anetakis, MD, of the UPMC Eye Center, discussed the various approaches availible for treating vitreoretinal disease when combined with cataracts. The full article is available here.
What are the two options for managing cataracts in relation to vitreoretinal disease?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of sequential surgery?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of simultaneous surgery?

What is the third alternative approach you recommend?

Send any questions or comments to Dr. Anetakis at EyeCenter@upmc.edu

Mitral Valve Repair vs. Replacement: Indications and Problem Management

At the 2014 Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting, UPMC’s Vinay Badhwar, MD, participated in a roundtable discussion that focused on the treatment of mitral valve disease.


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