Tag Archives: MD

health

Banner MD Anderson names medical director

Matthew Callister, MD, recently was named the new medical director for Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Callister has been serving in an interim role as medical director since July 2014.As medical director, Dr. Callister is responsible for clinical oversight at Banner MD Anderson, and serves as a pivotal link between the cancer center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  He joined Banner MD Anderson in 2011 as the division chief for radiation oncology. In this role, he and his colleagues substantially grew the radiation oncology division, and continue to expand these services to other Banner Health campuses.

“Dr. Callister’s collaborative approach to leadership, coupled with his broad knowledge of cancer center operations and clinical expertise, make him ideally suited for this position,” said Todd Werner, chief executive officer of Banner MD Anderson.“He has demonstrated a strong understanding of programmatic development and business expansion, which will serve him well as he leads Banner MD Anderson into its next phase of growth.”

Dr. Callister graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. He then completed an internship at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education in Scottsdale and residency at the MD Anderson in Houston.
Board certified in radiation oncology, he also specializes in gastrointestinal cancer, head and neck cancer, sarcoma and skin cancer.
Banner MD Anderson, located on the Banner Gateway campus, delivers cancer care to patients in Arizona through the collaboration of Banner Health and MD Anderson. Banner MD Anderson offers focused disease-specific expertise in the medical, radiation, and surgical management of the cancer patient; an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to patient care; access to clinical trials and new investigative therapies; state-of-the-art technology for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of all types of cancer; oncology expertise in supportive care services. For more information, visit www.BannerMDAnderson.com.
pharmaceuticals

UA Arthritis Center gets $6.1M grant

Researchers at  the University of Arizona Arthritis Center at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson are working to identify treatments to slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA), supported by a recent $6.1 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.
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The most common cause of disability in the aging population, OA is a complex condition involving not only the breakdown of cartilage in joints but also changes in adjacent soft tissue and bone beneath the cartilage, leading to debilitating joint pain and stiffness and often pain in surrounding muscles and ligaments. The public health impact of knee OA, in particular, is expected to increase dramatically. No cure exists and no FDA-approved drugs are available to prevent development or halt the progression of the condition.
The study, “Risk of Incident Knee OA & Clinical Outcomes Based on Imaging Biomarkers,” builds on two ongoing studies, the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) and the Pivotal OAI MRI Analyses (POMA), an ancillary proposal to the OAI. The OAI was designed to address the lack of biomarkers (biologic features that can be used to measure the presence or progress of a disease or the effects of treatment) for the development and progression of knee OA. The POMA utilized the OAI MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) to identify imaging biomarkers of knee OA development and progression as long as 48 months prior to the onset of radiographic knee OA (ROA).
ROA symptoms may not correlate with joint damage shown by X-ray or MRI. People with ROA may have little or no pain, yet joint function still may be significantly impacted, causing difficulty performing activities of daily living.
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“Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging have improved our understanding of the relationship between pathology and the structural changes to cartilage, subchondral bone and the surrounding soft tissues of the joint in OA,” said study Principal Investigator C. Kent Kwoh, MD.
An internationally recognized expert in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other joint diseases, Dr. Kwoh is director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center; professor of medicine and medical imaging at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson; the Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Chair of Rheumatology; and chief of the Division of Rheumatology, UA Department of Medicine.
“The overall objective of this proposal is to take advantage of a time-limited opportunity to build on our prior work and leverage the wealth of longitudinal data, including high-resolution MRI imaging at 3 Tesla, which already has been accumulated in the OAI,” Dr. Kwoh continued. “We will be able test whether structural changes detectable by MRI predict the onset of ROA and the development of important clinical outcomes 24 months to 120 months later, and therefore much earlier in the disease course than currently established. A 120-month visit will be added to the OAI for participants with knees that did not have ROA at baseline.”
The 3T MRI data is a critical feature of the study. MRI—magnetic resonance imaging—scanners come in different magnetic field strengths measured in Teslas, or “T.” A 3T MRI is stronger than a usual MRI used for clinical care and provides extremely sharp images with minute details to better visualize joint structures.
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“The specific aims of this study are to identify imaging biomarkers of the development of incident ROA earlier in the disease course – and to identify the association of imaging biomarkers with changes in pain, function and performance associated with the onset of ROA,” said study Co-PI Ali Guermazi, MD, PhD, professor of radiology, section chief of musculoskeletal imaging and director of the Quantitative Imaging Center at Boston University School of Medicine.
Noted for his contributions in the diagnosis and disease progression assessment of osteoarthritis using MRI, Dr. Guermazi’s work focuses on identifying structural risk factors for developing and worsening osteoarthritis. He has been involved in developing several radiological methods to assess osteoarthritis disease risk and progression, and has been involved as an MRI reader in several large NIH-funded studies, including the OAI.
Dr. Kwoh said, “Ultimately, this line of research will help to identify key risk factors for the development of OA and OA structural disease progression, and to identify potential targets for preventative and/or therapeutic interventions.”
Study collaborators include researchers with four OAI clinical centers: University of Pittsburgh, University of Maryland, Ohio State University and Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, as well as with Northwestern University and Boston University. The University of San Francisco is providing data management.
This research is supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the NIH under Award Number R01AR066601. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
Stem Cells Give Plastic Surgery A Facelift

CORE Institute expands into plastic surgery

The CORE Institute, announced the addition of Andrew Blount, MD, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with fellowship training in hand and upper extremity surgery. He specializes in hand surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery.

“We found a great need to expand our specialties to now include plastic surgery to effectively care our patients in Arizona,” said Dr. Steven L. Myerthall, Market President at The CORE Institute. “With the addition of Dr. Andrew Blount, Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgeon, our patients will benefit from his expertise in treating those patients who require skin grafts due to significant burns, skin loss due to tumors, trauma or extensive wound injuries. In addition, Dr. Blount is fellowship-trained in hand surgery, which enhances his special interest in orthopedics.”

Andrew Blount

Andrew Blount

Dr. Blount cares for a variety of clinical problems of the hand, including trauma, nerve compression, wrist injuries,  fractures, and arthritis. He has a special interest in reconstructive  surgery that assist patients in extensive wound or trauma injury, burns, areas of extensive skin loss due to infection and special surgeries that may require skin grafts or flaps for healing to occur. In addition, Dr. Blount performs surgery for benign and malignant skin lesions and soft tissue tumors, breast reduction and reconstruction, gynecomastia, Mohs facial reconstruction, facial trauma reconstruction, body contouring after massive weight loss, and aesthetic/cosmetic surgery throughout the body.

Dr. Blount received his fellowship training in orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgery at the University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida. He completed his plastic and reconstructive surgery residency program at Michigan State University, Grand Rapids Medical Educational Partners. He earned his medical degree from University of Arizona College of Medicine where he served as Class Representative and Student Body President. While earning his medical degree, Dr. Blount was involved in a variety of research grant projects and was awarded one of the Class of 2008 Outstanding Research Awards. He graduated sum cum laude from Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Blount, or any of The CORE Institute providers, please call 1.866.974.2673.

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UA doctor will direct new biorepository

image003David T. Harris, PhD, professor of immunology at the University of Arizona, has been appointed executive director of the new Arizona Health Sciences Center Biorepository.
Following a national search, Dr. Harris was selected to establish and lead the AHSC Biorepository, which will provide centralized, state-of-the-art specimen collection infrastructure and offer concierge-level technical and regulatory expertise to principal investigators engaged in research biospecimen activities.
Dr. Harris brings more than 20 years of experience in biobanking to the repository, including establishment of the first cord blood stem cell bank in the United States in 1992. He also has extensive experience in adult stem cell banking, as well as the banking of other cells and tissues.
“I am excited by the opportunity to position my scientific research and technical and regulatory knowledge in the area of biospecimen collection and biobanking toward the development of a critical research resource for AHSC faculty and trainees,” said Dr. Harris. “The AHSC Biorepository will be a catalyst for research by providing the strategic collection and timely dissemination of biospecimens to investigators.”
Dr. Harris joined the UA faculty in 1989 after four years at the University of North Carolina. He has been actively involved in stem cell research and has received extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Dr. Harris will bring an experienced team of scientists to the AHSC Biorepository, including Michael Badowski, PhD, associate research professor, and Angela Muise, research specialist senior. Dr. Badowski has 10 years of experience in biobanking, while Muise has three years of laboratory experience in the field.
“It is wonderful to have a faculty member with David’s technical expertise and applied approach to biobanking agree to lead the AHSC Biorepository,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. The AHSC Biorepository is a critical resource to the success of our translational research enterprise, our Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant application and the growth of our sponsored research portfolio.”
healthcare

Green Valley, CORE Institute sign agreement

Green Valley Hospital and The CORE Institute, announced it signed an orthopedic service line co-management agreement. Under the agreement, The CORE Institute will provide orthopedic physician call coverage and service line management services at Green Valley Hospital.

Green Valley Hospital is a new, 50-bed, full-service general acute care hospital located south of Tucson in Green Valley, Arizona. Green Valley Hospital is currently under construction and plans to open in the Spring of 2015. The CORE Institute is Arizona’s largest comprehensive musculoskeletal and neurology medical practice.

The strategic partnership is similar to other service line co-management agreements wherein The CORE Institute leads orthopedic service improvement initiatives at more than a half-dozen hospitals in the greater Phoenix and Detroit metropolitan areas. The CORE Institute will add a large clinic in Green Valley to support patient care and service line co-management activities.

“The CORE Institute is thrilled to expand our Excellence through Evidence® platform in Southern Arizona to significantly enhance the orthopedic care available in the greater Tucson area,” said Chairman and CEO David Jacofsky, MD. “We’re excited to bring our standardized care approach, proprietary quality IT platform, and proven outcomes to Green Valley Hospital, and to help build an orthopedic program in Southern Arizona.”

“Our partnership with The CORE Institute is an investment that will ultimately shape the entire orthopedic service line and distinguish Green Valley Hospital as a leader in orthopedics delivery in Southern Arizona,” said David Wanger, CEO Green Valley Hospital. “The CORE Institute’s national reputation for excellence will help attract leading orthopedic specialists to the market and, in turn, local patients will be able to receive best-in-class care without having to travel to Tucson or Phoenix.”

“We’re excited to introduce cutting-edge care via an innovative model based on the highest level of collaboration to Southern Arizona,” said DeLyle Manwaring, Senior Vice President of Hospital Service Line Integration for The CORE Institute. “This co-management agreement brings together physicians and hospital leaders with a shared objective of excellent patient care, outcomes and enhanced patient experience.”

To support service line co-management operations, The CORE Institute will open a Southern Arizona clinic in 2015 and will add several surgeons, physician assistants and physical therapists to its team of more than 650 talented employees across Arizona and Michigan.

For more information, please visit www.thecoreinstitute.com/greenvalley, please call 1.866.974.2673.

AZ Big Media honors Most Influential Women

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They are the best business minds in Arizona. They are innovators, trailblazers and leaders of men.

They are Az Business magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2014, as selected by the editorial team at Az Business magazine and a panel of industry experts. The Most Influential Women were honored Thursday at a reception at The Venue in Scottsdale.

“While their resumes and career paths may differ, the women we selected have all procured influence in their respective fields through hard-earned track records of profitability, business ethics and leadership,” said AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green. “Az Business magazine is proud to congratulate the women who earned the right to call themselves one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business. They are changing the face of Arizona business.”

The women selected to this prestigious list for 2014 are:

Nazneen Aziz, Ph.D, senior vice president and chief research officer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Trish Bear, president and CEO, I-ology
Dr. Amy Beiter, president and CEO, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute
Janet G. Betts, member, Sherman & Howard
Kristin Bloomquist, executive vice president and general manager, Cramer-Krasselt
Delia Carlyle, councilwoman, Ak-Chin Indian Community
Luci Chen, partner, Arizona Center for Cancer Care
Mary Collum, senior vice president, National Bank of Arizona
Kathy Coover, co-founder, Isagenix International
Janna Day, managing partner, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Karen Dickinson, shareholder, Polsinelli
Michele Finney, CEO, Abrazo Health
Susan Frank, CEO, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union
Leah Freed, managing shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
Deborah Griffin, president of the board of directors, Gila River Casinos
Mary Ann Guerra, CEO, BioAccel
Deb Gullett, senior specialist, Gallagher & Kennedy
Diane Haller, partner, Quarles & Brady
Maria Harper-Marinick, executive vice chancellor and provost, Maricopa Community Colleges
Catherine Hayes, principal, hayes architecture/interiors inc.
Camille Hill, president, Merestone
Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO, Arizona Science Center
Heidi Jannenga, founder, WebPT
Kara Kalkbrenner, acting fire chief, City of Phoenix
Lynne King Smith, CEO, TicketForce
Joan Koerber Walker, CEO, Arizona Bioindustry Association
Karen Kravitz, president and head of conceptology, Commotion Promotions
Deb Krmpotic, CEO, Banner Estrella Medical Center
Jessica Langbaum, PhD, principal scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
Georgia Lord, mayor, City of Goodyear
Sherry Lund, founder, Celebration Stem Cell Centre
Teresa Mandelin, CEO, Southwestern Business Financing Corporation
Shirley Mays, dean, Arizona Summit Law School
Ann Meyers-Drysdale, vice president, Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Suns
Marcia L. Mintz, president, John C. Lincoln Health Foundation
Martha C. Patrick, shareholder, Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.
Stephanie J. Quincy, partner, Steptoe & Johnson
Barb Rechterman, chief marketing officer, GoDaddy
Marian Rhodes, senior vice president, Arizona Diamondbacks
Joyce Santis, chief operating officer, Sonora Quest Laboratories
Gena Sluga, partner, Christian Dichter & Sluga
Beth Soberg, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
Scarlett Spring, president, VisionGate
Patrice Strong-Register, managing partner, JatroBiofuels
Sarah A. Strunk, director, Fennemore Craig, P.C.
Marie Sullivan, president and CEO, Arizona Women’s Education & Employment
Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, director, UA’s Sarver Heart Center
Dana Vela, president, Sunrise Schools and Tots Unlimited
Alicia Wadas, COO, The Lavidge Company
Ginger Ward, CEO, Southwest Human Development

In addition to the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business, Az Business also selects five “Generation Next” women who are making an impact on Arizona, even though they are less than 40 years old. Those women selected for 2014 are:

Anca Bec, 36, business development officer, Alliance Bank of Arizona
Alison R. Christian, 32, shareholder, Christian Dichter & Sluga, P.C.
Jaime Daddona, 38, senior associate, Squire Patton Boggs
Nancy Kim, 36, owner, Spectrum Dermatology
Jami Reagan, 35, owner, Shine Factory Public Relations

To select the best and brightest women to recognize each year, the editor and publisher of Az Business magazine compile a list of almost 1,000 women from every facet of Arizona’s business landscape — banking, law, healthcare, bioscience, real estate, technology, manufacturing, retail, tourism, energy, accounting and nonprofits. Once that list is compiled, we vet the list, narrow it down to about 150 women who we feel are most deserving, and then submit the list to 20 of their peers — female leaders from a variety or industries — and ask them to vote. If they want to vote for someone whose name is not on the list of those submitted for consideration, voters are invited to write in the names of women who they think deserve to members of this exclusive club.

Az Business also does not allow a woman to appear on the list most than once.

health

Arizona Telemedicine Program names advisory board

The award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) at the Arizona Health Sciences Center of the University of Arizona has announced the appointment of the National Advisory Board of the Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase (SPSSM), to be held Oct. 6-7 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix.

The 24 nationally recognized thought leaders and health-care innovators have made major strides in the telemedicine arena. Members of the board are:

• Joseph S. Alpert, MD, professor of medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson; editor-in-chief, The American Journal of Medicine

• David C. Balch, MA, chief technology officer, White House Medical Group, Washington, D.C.

• Rashid Bashshur, PhD, senior adviser for eHealth, eHealth Center, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor

• Anne E. Burdick, MD, MPH, associate dean for telehealth and clinical outreach, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

• Robert “Bob” Burns, commissioner, Arizona Corporation Commission, Phoenix

• Daniel J. Derksen, MD, director, Center for Rural Health; professor of public health policy; University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Tucson

• Charles R. Doarn, MBA, editor-in-chief, Telemedicine and e-Health Journal, family medicine, University of Cincinnati, Ohio

• Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences; interim dean, UA College of Medicine – Tucson; professor of medicine, Arizona Health Sciences Center, University of Arizona

• Robert A. Greenes, MD, PhD, professor of biomedical informatics, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Phoenix

• Paula Guy, chief executive officer, Global Partnership for Telehealth, Inc., Waycross, Ga.

• Deb LaMarche, associate director, Utah Telehealth Network, Salt Lake City

• James P. Marcin, MD, MPH, professor, pediatric critical care, University of California – Davis Children’s Hospital, Sacramento

• Ronald C. Merrell, MD, editor-in-chief, Telemedicine and e-Health Journal, emeritus professor of surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

• Thomas S. Nesbitt, MD, MPH, associate vice chancellor and professor, family and community medicine, University of California – Davis Health System, Sacramento

• Marta J. Petersen, MD, medical director, Utah Telehealth Network, Salt Lake City

• Joseph Peterson, MD, chief executive officer and director, Specialists On Call, Reston, Va.

• Ronald K. Poropatich, MD, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh

• Lisa A. Robin, MLA, chief advocacy officer, Federation of State Medical Boards, Washington, D.C.

• Brian Rosenfeld, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Philips Telehealth, Baltimore, Md.

• Jay H. Shore, MD, MPH, associate professor, Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health, University of Colorado, Aurora

• Joseph A. Tracy, MS, vice president, telehealth services, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pa.

• Wesley Valdes, DO, medical director, Telehealth Services, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah

• Nancy L. Vorhees, RN, MSN, chief operating officer, Inland Northwest Health Services, Spokane, Wash.

• Jill M. Winters, PhD, RN, FAHA, president and dean, Columbia College of Nursing, Glendale, Wisc.

“This is the first national meeting addressing telemedicine service provider issues. It’s long overdue!” said Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, ATP director and SPS honorary co-chair.

SPS will focus on building partnerships for bringing quality medical specialty services directly into hospitals, clinics, private practices and even patients’ homes. The goals are to improve patient care and outcomes and to increase market share for both health-care providers and telehealth service providers they partner with.

The convention is co-hosted by the ATP, the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center and the Four Corners Telehealth Consortium, which includes the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the Utah Telehealth Network.

More information about SPS is at www.TTSPSworld.com.

cancer

UA Shows Curcumin Effect on Colon Cancer

A team of researchers led by the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center discovered that curcumin—the bioactive molecule derived from the spice turmeric—blocks the protein cortactin in colon cancer.

Cortactin, a protein essential for cell movement, frequently is overexpressed in cancer, thus facilitating cancer cell metastasis to other organs in the body.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and women. When cancer metastasizes to other organs, a patient’s chances of survival are greatly diminished. Thus, finding novel ways to prevent cancer metastasis remains an urgent need.

The National Institutes of Health-funded research recently was published in PLOS One.

The study was led by co-investigators Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, professor and head, UA Department of Pediatrics and director of the UA Steele Children’s Research Center; Pawel Kiela, DVM, PhD, associate professor, UA Department of Pediatrics; and Vijay Radhakrishnan, PhD, assistant scientist, UA Department of Pediatrics. The study was conducted in collaboration with Jessie Martinez, PhD, professor, UA Cancer Center, and Eugene Mash, PhD, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Turmeric gives curry its yellow color and flavor. It is part of the ginger family and has been used for thousands of years to treat colds, inflammation, arthritis and many other ailments, including cancer.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and has been scientifically studied in many types of cancer. It has been shown to have a chemopreventative effect—the ability to reverse, suppress or prevent the development of cancer.

“What’s novel about our research is that our study identified one of the mechanisms by which curcumin can prevent cancer cell metastasis in colon cancer,” said Dr. Ghishan.

The research team discovered that the active part of the cortactin protein, known as Phopsho Tyrosine 421 (pTyr421), is hyper-activated in malignant tumors of the colon.

“We showed that the cortactin protein was hyper-activated due to a process called excessive phosphorylation,” said Dr. Kiela.

Phosphorylation is the addition of a phosphate group to a protein, and is responsible for turning proteins on and off, altering the protein’s function and activity. Too much cortactin, and its activation by phosphorylation, has been linked with cancer aggressiveness.

The researchers treated human colon cancer tumor cells with curcumin. “We discovered that curcumin turns off the active form of cortactin,” explained Dr. Radhakrishnan, who led the experiments in the lab. “Thus, when cortactin is turned off, cancer cells lose the ability to move and can’t metastasize to other parts of the body.”

More specifically, curcumin “turned-off” cortactin by interacting with, and activating, an enzyme known as PTPN1. This enzyme acts as a phosphatase to remove phosphate groups from cortactin—a process known as “dephosphorylation.”

“This effect, essentially known as ‘dephosphorylating cortactin’ correlated with reduced ability of colon cancer cells to migrate,” said Dr. Kiela. “This suggests that curcumin reduces cancer cells’ ability to migrate, meaning the cancer can’t metastasize.”

“By identifying the mechanism of action—that curcumin activates the enzyme PTPN1, which then ‘turns off’ the active component of cortactin pTyr421, we believe that chemopreventative drugs can be developed to target cortactin in cancer cells to prevent the cancer from metastasizing,” said. Dr. Radhakrishnan.

“Treatments aimed at the suppression of cancer metastasis remain an urgent therapeutic need,” said Dr. Ghishan. “Our findings have laid the foundation for future research to develop treatments using curcumin to prevent cancer’s deadly spread to other organs.”

pt

UA Study Shows Glucosamine Is Ineffective

A short-term study led by C. Kent Kwoh, MD, director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, and a collaborative team of researchers has found that oral glucosamine supplementation is not associated with a lessening of knee cartilage deterioration among individuals with chronic knee pain.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Boston University, Texas Woman’s University in Houston and Klinikum Augsburg in Augsburg, Germany. Dr. Kwoh, who previously was with the University of Pittsburgh and VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, is corresponding author of the study.

“Our study found no evidence that drinking a glucosamine supplement reduced knee cartilage damage, relieved pain or improved function in individuals with chronic knee pain,” said Dr. Kwoh. An internationally recognized expert in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other joint diseases, he also is UA professor of medicine and medical imaging, The Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Chair of Rheumatology, and chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

The findings, published online March 11 in Arthritis & Rheumatology, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), indicate that glucosamine does not decrease pain or improve knee bone marrow lesions—more commonly known as bone bruises and thought to be a source of pain in those with osteoarthritis (OA).

According to the ACR, 27 million Americans over age 25 are diagnosed with OA—the most common form of arthritis and primary cause of disability in the elderly. Patients may seek alternative therapies to treat joint pain and arthritis, with prior research showing glucosamine as the second-most commonly used natural product. A 2007 Gallup poll reported that 10 percent of individuals over the age of 18 in the United States use glucosamine. According to the website www.nutraingredients-usa.com, global sales of the supplement in 2010 totaled more than $2.1 billion.

“The Joints on Glucosamine (Jog) Study: The Effect of Oral Glucosamine on Joint Structure, A Randomized Trial” is the first study to investigate whether the supplement prevents the worsening of cartilage damage or bone marrow lesions.

For the double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, Dr. Kwoh and colleagues enrolled 201 participants with mild-to-moderate pain in one or both knees. Participants were randomized and treated daily for 24 weeks with 1,500 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride in a 16-ounce bottle of diet lemonade or a placebo. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to assess cartilage damage.

Trial results showed no decrease in cartilage damage in participants in the glucosamine group, compared to the placebo group. Researchers report no change in bone marrow lesions in 70 percent of knees, 18 percent of knees worsened and 10 percent improved.

The control group had greater improvement in bone marrow lesions compared to treated participants, with neither group displaying a worsening of bone marrow lesions. Glucosamine was not found to decrease urinary excretion of C-telopeptides of type II collagen (CTX-II)—a predictor of cartilage destruction.

In addition to Dr. Kwoh, researchers who contributed to the study included Ali Guermazi, MD, Boston University; Frank W. Roemer, MD, Boston University, Mass., and Klinikum Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany; Michael J. Hannon, John M. Jakicic, MD, Stephanie M. Green, Rhobert W. Evans, PhD, and Robert Boudreau, PhD, University of Pittsburgh; and Carolyn E. Moore, PhD, Texas Woman’s University, Houston.

The study was funded by the Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness, The Coca-Cola Company and the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (P60 AR054731).

Dr. Nader Sanai, Barrow Neurological Institute

Ivy Foundation grants $885K to Barrow

The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation  has awarded an $885,294 grant to Barrow Neurological Institute for brain cancer research.

The Ivy Foundation is the largest privately funded brain cancer research foundation in North America. Catherine Ivy is the founder and president of the Ivy Foundation, which has a research funding focus on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadliest of malignant primary brain tumors in adults.

The Barrow brain cancer research program is summarized by the following:

  • In glioblastoma, cancer stem cells are thought to be the driving force of tumor progression and recurrence.
  • The research team has identified a reservoir of cancer stem cells in humans that is undetectable by conventional MRI.
  • This study is the world’s first brain tumor clinical trial targeting cancer stem cells with focused radiotherapy beams.
  • With this strategy, the team hopes to eliminate a source of glioblastoma recurrence, as well as cut off its outlet for its spread to other brain regions.
  • The hope is to turn glioblastoma from a multi-focal disease to a self-contained process that can be controlled with localized therapy.

“With support from the Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation, we can now finally take the steps necessary to develop and test this strategy in newly-diagnosed glioblastoma patients,” says Nader Sanai, MD, director of the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center. “Our hope is that it will not only be a relatively safe strategy, but one that starkly impacts the ability of glioblastomas to recur or move beyond its site of origin in newly-diagnosed patients.”

The progress only continues.

“We are encouraged and remain strongly committed to moving the progress forward for patients diagnosed with brain cancer,” said Ivy. “Barrow Neurological Institute is an important strategic partner in our objective to double the life expectancy of people diagnosed with GBM within the next seven years.”

stroke

Deer Valley Hospital Now Primary Stroke Center

John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital in North Phoenix has become the Valley’s newest hospital certified as a Primary Stroke Center by DNV Healthcare, an international certifying agency approved by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to John Harrington Jr., hospital CEO and senior vice president, Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network.

John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital was accredited as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations in 2007 and by DNV Healthcare in 2011.

“Deer Valley Hospital demonstrated that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients,” said Chief Medical Officer Mary Ann Turley, DO, Deer Valley Hospital, who led the stroke certification task force that started preparing the hospital for stroke certification last year.

“We received only one finding when the surveyors visited from DNV and awarded John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital certification as a Primary Stroke Center,” Turley added. “I could not be more proud of our entire stroke certification team and hospital co-workers who all jumped at the opportunity to earn this recognition for our caregiving capability.”

Strokes are the third most prevalent cause of death, the leading cause of adult disability, and affect 700,000 Americans every year. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted by a blood clot (ischemic) or by bleeding from a burst blood vessel (hemorrhagic), either of which impairs the brain’s ability to function, but which require opposite treatments.

Because diagnosing the cause is key to ensuring appropriate and effective care, it’s important for patients and families to insist that EMS providers take them to a Primary Stroke Center, said Donna Sells, administrator for the Health Network’s Neurosciences/Orthopedic Service Line. “A Primary Stroke Center is where staff is trained not only to recognize symptoms of stroke, but more importantly, to correctly identify the cause,” she explained.
When people have strokes, time is of the essence. Rapid medical treatment – started less than 3 hours after onset of symptoms and completed within 45 minutes of the patients arrival at the hospital – can save many stroke patients from a lifetime of disability.
“Time loss equals brain loss,” said Sells. When stroke symptoms begin, people should call 9-1-1 without delay.

DNV Primary Stroke Center certification is based on submitted documentation and a site visit by DNV surveyors, during which the hospital staff demonstrates its commitment to excellence, Harrington said. DNV’s PSC Certification program incorporates elements from federal CMS hospital standards as well as requirements from the guidelines of the Brain Attack Coalition and recommendations of the American Stroke Association.

Members of the Deer Valley Stroke Team Include: Alice Montoya, RN, Nelson Faux, MD, Anil Goud, MD, Patrick Sciara, MD, Clark York, DO, Bonnie Fuerst, MT, Kevin Veale, DO, Patty Erickson, RN, Danny Blanco, RN, Lalit Mansukhani, PharmD, Peter Burrows, RT, Linda DeLuca, RN, Lawrence Finkel, MD, Renee Featherly, David Price, Linda Ott, RN, Donna Sells, RN, Karrie Smith, RN, Lisa Hughes, RN, Susan Hoffmeister, RN, Holly Grems, RN, Maria Soriano, MD, Tracy Moroney, RN, Jennifer Gallegos, MA, Mary Ann Turley, DO, Victor Zach, MD, Jessica Rivas, MSN, Matt Sainsbury, MHA, and Joanne Motley, RN.

breast.cancer

John C. Lincoln offers state's 1st Low Dose 3D mammograms

John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center in North Phoenix is now Arizona’s first site to offer low dose 3-D mammography, the latest innovation in breast cancer screening.

The new low dose 3-D system from Hologic requires less compression time and reduces radiation exposure. It does this by creating 2-D images from the 3-D data set, thus eliminating the separate digital X-ray that was part of the original 3-D imaging process.

“Even though groundbreaking 3-D mammograms met FDA safety standards while providing never-before seen image clarity, some patients worried about the level of exposure,” said breast radiologist Linda Greer, MD, medical director of the John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center. “This new low dose technology completely eliminates that concern.”

Hologic’s new ‘C-View’ imaging software was approved May 16 by the FDA. The new, low dose 3-D mammograms are now available at the same cost as conventional 2-D mammography at John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center, 19646 N. 27th Ave., #205. Also, the new technology is clinically proven to significantly reduce unnecessary patient recalls while simultaneously improving cancer detection.

“Lower dose 3-D mammography is an important evolution in breast cancer screening,” Dr. Greer says. “Large-scale clinical studies in the U.S. and Europe have shown that screening with 3-D mammography allows radiologists to visualize the breast in greater detail than with 2-D mammography alone. That results in earlier detection of cancers, while at the same time reducing the false positives associated with conventional 2-D mammography.”

False positives are unclear results that require patients to return for additional medical imaging to rule out cancer and can cause unnecessary anxiety and cost. “No matter how you look at it,” Dr. Greer said, “lower dose 3-D breast cancer screening provides a better patient experience.”

Being first to offer low dose 3-D mammography is typical for John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health Center, which has a history of being at the forefront of breast cancer screening. It was first in the Valley to offer breast imaging in a spa-like setting; first in Arizona to offer 3-D screening that is rapidly becoming the worldwide standard of care; and one of the first in the nation designated a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

For more information, visit JCL.com/breasthealth.

breast.cancer

John C. Lincoln offers state’s 1st Low Dose 3D mammograms

John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center in North Phoenix is now Arizona’s first site to offer low dose 3-D mammography, the latest innovation in breast cancer screening.

The new low dose 3-D system from Hologic requires less compression time and reduces radiation exposure. It does this by creating 2-D images from the 3-D data set, thus eliminating the separate digital X-ray that was part of the original 3-D imaging process.

“Even though groundbreaking 3-D mammograms met FDA safety standards while providing never-before seen image clarity, some patients worried about the level of exposure,” said breast radiologist Linda Greer, MD, medical director of the John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center. “This new low dose technology completely eliminates that concern.”

Hologic’s new ‘C-View’ imaging software was approved May 16 by the FDA. The new, low dose 3-D mammograms are now available at the same cost as conventional 2-D mammography at John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center, 19646 N. 27th Ave., #205. Also, the new technology is clinically proven to significantly reduce unnecessary patient recalls while simultaneously improving cancer detection.

“Lower dose 3-D mammography is an important evolution in breast cancer screening,” Dr. Greer says. “Large-scale clinical studies in the U.S. and Europe have shown that screening with 3-D mammography allows radiologists to visualize the breast in greater detail than with 2-D mammography alone. That results in earlier detection of cancers, while at the same time reducing the false positives associated with conventional 2-D mammography.”

False positives are unclear results that require patients to return for additional medical imaging to rule out cancer and can cause unnecessary anxiety and cost. “No matter how you look at it,” Dr. Greer said, “lower dose 3-D breast cancer screening provides a better patient experience.”

Being first to offer low dose 3-D mammography is typical for John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health Center, which has a history of being at the forefront of breast cancer screening. It was first in the Valley to offer breast imaging in a spa-like setting; first in Arizona to offer 3-D screening that is rapidly becoming the worldwide standard of care; and one of the first in the nation designated a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

For more information, visit JCL.com/breasthealth.

Americas Taco

America’s Taco Shop Expands, Plans Future Growth

America’s Taco Shop is growing throughout the country with new locations opening in Bethesda, Md., Lake Forest, Calif., Corpus Christi, Texas and inside terminal 4 at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. In late 2012, America’s Taco Shop announced a partnership through Scottsdale-based Kahala, a franchise development company. Led by the vision of entrepreneurial industry leaders and an experienced support team, Kahala has spent more than two decades building a company that allows its franchisees independence through interdependence.

“It is important to us to keep our product authentic and Kahala has allowed us to do that,” says Terry Bortin, co-founder of America’s Taco Shop with his wife America Corrales-Bortin. “We are excited for the growth that comes with the franchise concept. Sharing America’s mother’s quality recipes with the entire country has always been a dream of ours.”

Started in 2008 by the Bortin’s, this fast-casual concept specializes in authentic carne asada and al pastor, which is used in their tacos, burritos, tortas and more. America’s Taco Shop has been dubbed “the home of the greatest carne asada” through many accolades in the Phoenix market including 20 Favorite Places for Tacos, 2011 Five Favorite Mexican Restaurants, Best Phoenix Mexican Food, Top 10 Mexican Restaurants, Best Sandwiches, Best New Restaurants, 2009 Best BBQ, Best Carne Asada, and more.

America Corrales-Bortin grew up in the city of Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico. As a young child she would watch her mother prepare the dishes that became the recipes at America’s Taco Shop. After years of cooking authentic meals for her family and friends, America and her husband decided to open their first location in Phoenix 2008.

Visit www.americastacoshop.com for more information and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americastacoshop. For franchising opportunities call 855-55-CARNE (855-552-2763).

medical.research

A Saliva Gland Test for Parkinson’s Disease?

Described as a “big step forward” for research and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, new research from Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Banner Sun Health Research Institute suggests that testing a portion of a person’s saliva gland may be a way to diagnose the disease.

The study was released Friday and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16–23.

“There is currently no diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease,” says study author Charles Adler, MD, PhD., a neurologist with Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “We have previously shown in autopsies of Parkinson’s patients that the abnormal proteins associated with Parkinson’s are consistently found in the submandibular saliva glands, found under the lower jaw. This is the first study demonstrating the value of testing a portion of the saliva gland to diagnose a living person with Parkinson’s disease. Making a diagnosis in living patients is a big step forward in our effort to understand and better treat patients.”

The study involved 15 people with an average age of 68 who had Parkinson’s disease for an average of 12 years, responded to Parkinson’s medication and did not have known saliva gland disorders.

Biopsies were taken of two different saliva glands: the submandibular gland and the minor saliva glands in the lower lip. The surgical team was led by Michael Hinni, MD, and David Lott, MD, at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and the biopsied tissues were tested for evidence of the abnormal Parkinson’s protein by study co-author Thomas Beach, MD, with Banner Sun Health Research Institute.

“This procedure will provide a much more accurate diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease than what is now available,” Dr. Beach says. “One of the greatest potential impacts of this finding is on clinical trials, as at the present time some patients entered into Parkinson’s clinical trials do not necessarily have Parkinson’s disease and this is a big impediment to testing new therapies.”

The abnormal Parkinson’s protein was detected in nine of the 11 patients who had enough tissue to study. While still being analyzed, the rate of positive findings in the biopsies of the lower lip glands appears much lower than for the lower jaw gland.

“This study provides the first direct evidence for the use of submandibular gland biopsies as a diagnostic test for living patients with Parkinson’s disease,” says Dr. Adler. “This finding may be of great use when needing definitive proof of Parkinson’s disease, especially when considering performing invasive procedures such as deep brain stimulation surgery or gene therapy.”

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. No tests exist to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Now diagnosis is made based on medical history, a review of signs and symptoms, a neurological and physical examination, and by ruling out other conditions. Yet up to 30 percent of patients may be misdiagnosed early in the disease.

Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications may markedly improve symptoms.This study was funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.