Two researchers with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute have been awarded research grants by the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA). Hussein Tawbi, MD, PhD, and Hassane M. Zarour, MD, were two of 49 researchers at leading academic research institutions around the world to share in over $9.6 million in MRA grants to develop improved means to prevent, detect and treat melanoma, one of the fastest growing cancers. Both are members of the SPORE-funded Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program at UPCI.
Dr. Tawbi, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is one of three principal investigators awarded the Team Science Award to continue their study of the safety and efficacy of the selective BRAF inhibitor drabafenib in melanoma patients with brain metastases. Dr. Tawbi and researchers from University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Melanoma Institute Australia will receive $900,000 over three years from the MRA.
Dr. Zarour, an associate professor of medicine and immunology in the Department of Medicine and UPCI, received an Academic Industry Award for his study looking at therapy with anti-PD-1 antibody and Peginterferon alpha-2b for melanoma. He will receive $786,000 over three years from both Merck and MRA.
Tuberculosis (TB), a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), currently infects one third of the world’s population, resulting in 1.4 million deaths per annum.
Of the two billion latently infected individuals, 10% will progress to active TB during their lifetime. Unfortunately, the immune mechanisms that differ between individuals with latent and active TB remain undefined, a challenge that prevents the rational design of treatments or vaccines that may promote or improve the immune control of TB.
Using human and experimental models of Mtb infection, recent studies delineate the distinct and diverse role of different T helper cells in conferring protection against Mtb infection. In addition, these studies delineate how cytokines such as Interleukin-17, can be targeted to improve vaccine strategies against TB.
Learn more about TB research at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC from assisant professor of pediatrics, Shabaana A Khader, PhD:
Recently at the 2013 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon’s annual meeting and conference, Peter Siska, MD, and the orthopaedic trauma team at UPMC, presented research on the subject of fracture care in the geriatric patient.
Watch as Dr. Siska explains how staged open fracture care with interval negative pressure dressing usage and secondary coverage may be associated with higher rates of limb loss and amputation.
Physicians and researchers from UPMC presented a number of oral and poster presentations at the recent American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) annual meeting and conference. Included was Kanu Goyal, MD, a resident in the Department of Orthoapedic Surgery, and the orthopaedic trauma team, who presented a study that determined whether the peroneal division of the sciatic nerve may be more rigid than the tibial division, and thus more vulnerable to injury after retraction or separation.
Dr. Goyal explains that retraction of the sciatic nerve may cause injury to the peroneal division due to its stiffer biomechanical properties. In the study, researchers determined that if a constant strain is applied to the peroneal nerve, stress is more pronounced and is greater than that of the tibial division. As a result, fibular tunnel release at the knee may decrease the incidence of peroneal nerve injury, by decreasing nerve stress and strain.
View the poster presentation.
Orthopaedic surgeons recently convened in Chicago for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) annual meeting and conference.
Ivan S. Tarkin, MD, chief, Orthopaedic Traumatology at UPMC, and his team presented on a variety of related topics, including research that discussed and compared outcomes of surgical approaches to repair extra-articular distal humeral fractures.
In the study, Dr. Tarkin and his colleagues looked closely at two cohorts of patients – those who underwent the triceps-splitting surgical technique, and those whose distal humerus was repaired using the triceps-sparing technique. Dr. Tarkin concludes that when the triceps are largely avoided, by using a lateral paratricipital approach with little-to-no muscular damage, patients experienced increased elbow range-of-motion, improved triceps strength, and better overall outcomes.
View the poster presentation.
The 2013 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon’s (AAOS) annual meeting and conference was recently held, and numerous UPMC physicians and researchers were on hand to discuss their posters and studies.
At the annual meeting, Brian Klatt, MD, presented his study regarding hospital falls in the geriatric patient. The study indicated that the use of femoral nerve blocks for patients undergoing total joint replacement may lead to an increased rate of falls, especially for those over 65. Watch as Dr. Klatt talks more about the study and its findings.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute recently presented early findings of cancer studies at this year’s American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Watch Julien Fourcade, PhD, PharmD, a research instructor in the laboratory of Hassane Zarour, MD, associate professor in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, discuss the clinical trial where different immunization strategies for melanoma were tested.
Psychiatry professionals from throughout the United States will gather this May for the 166th Annual American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Francisco, Calif. Several experts from Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC will be a part of this important meeting.
Charles F. Reynolds, III, MD, UPMC Endowed Professor in Geriatric Psychiatry, discusses Western Psychiatric’s presence at the annual meeting, as well as shares a summary of his own scheduled presentations.
Additional presenters from Western Psychiatric include: A “Master Course Presentation,” by David J. Kupfer, MD; and “Symposia Presentations” by: K.N. Roy Chengappa, MD; Ellen Frank, PhD; David J. Kupfer, MD; Mary L. Phillips, MD; and Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD.
Most patients with peritoneal surface malignancies undergo extensive cytoreductive surgeries and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) for treatment. However, it is common for the disease to come back, resulting in multiple surgeries. UPMC CancerCenter is working to develop new ways to manage peritoneal surface malignancies.
Watch Haroon Asif Choudry, MD, surgical oncologist at UPMC CancerCenter, and an assistant professor of surgery and surgical oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, discuss this topic.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) are currently studying a new way to kill cancer cells using Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) knock down.
Watch Bennett Van Houten, PhD, the Richard M. Cyert Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at UPCI, discuss the progress of this study.