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Physician Education: New Programs

Research Indicates Malignant Tumor Cells Masquerade as Endothelial Cells

Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC recently discovered that tumor cells can differentiate into endothelial cells and may compromise the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs.   Based on this observation, researchers at Children’s Hospital are now investigating cell responses in tissue culture in the hope of identifying new drugs that may be more effective in the treatment of malignant tumors.

Collaborating on New Vasculitis Research

UPMC is one of eight academic centers funded to conduct vasculitis treatment studies scheduled to begin in 2013.  The centers involved in the studies will collectively assemble the data, providing researchers with enough information to draw accurate conclusions about the treatment and management of vasculitis.

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in the Management of Bladder Cancer

Some urologists are now beginning to weigh the advantages of administering chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting to certain patients.  Dr. Jeffrey Gingrich of UPMC believes a multidisciplinary approach that involves the oncologist early on provides the patient with more complete information, and perhaps improved outcome.

Use of Technology in Stroke Rehabilitation

Increased awareness of neuroplasticity and the brain’s ability to remodel after injury has spurred a host of innovation and technology to promote recovery after stroke.   Jennifer Shen, MD, a physiatrist at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute says new technology  enables therapists to be more effective and that soon, this technology may become the standard of care in stroke rehabilitation.

Ablation Options for Atrial Fibrillation

Ablation is often used to treat atrial fibrillation when medical therapy has failed.  And while ablation has been available to patients for some time, cryoablation is a relatively new advance that has the potential to be more efficient than other ablation techniques.

Mineral Metabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease

Increased levels of calcium and phosphate in patients with chronic kidney disease may result in cardiovascular complications.  Jose Bernardo, MD, MPH, a nephrologist at UPMC says it is important for doctors to monitor these levels often and make adjustments as necessary.

Using Normal Saline to Treat the Acutely Ill Child

Michael Moritz, MD, a nephrologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC explains why, in many cases, administering normal saline solution to acutely ill children may reduce the likelihood of hyponatremia and hospital-based iatrogenic complications. 

Insight Into the Genetics of Head and Neck Cancer

Researchers at UPMC are investigating the characteristics of gene mutations in head and neck tumors and are using this information to identify genetic subsets in order to target treatments and guide therapeutic decisions.