CAR T-cell update: therapy improves outcomes for patients with B-cell lymphoma

In their phase-2 study of tisagenlecleucel (marketed as KYMRIAH®), published on-line Dec. 1, 2018 in the New England Journal of Medicine, an international team of researchers evaluated 93 patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). They found that 52% of those patients responded favorably to the therapy. Forty percent had a complete response and 12% had a partial response. Sixty-five percent of those patients—recruited from 27 sites in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia—were relapse free one year later, including 79% of the complete responders. The median progression-free survival for patients in this trial, known as JULIET; NCT02445248, … Read More

Dr. Marshall Chin and researchers from Google are working to make sure software algorithms used in health care result in better treatment for everyone.

Machine-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence software help organizations analyze large amounts of data to improve decision-making, and these tools are increasingly used in hospitals to guide treatment decisions and improve efficiency. The algorithms “learn” by identifying patterns in data collected over many years. So, what happens when the data being analyzed reflects historical bias against vulnerable populations? Is it possible for these algorithms to promote further bias, leading to inequality in health care? Marshall Chin, MD, MPH, the Richard Parrillo Family Professor of Healthcare Ethics at the University of Chicago Medicine, is working to ensure equity across all areas of … Read More

Michelle Le Beau,PhD- Elected to ACS Board of Directors

The American Cancer Society has named Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, to its board of directors, with a term beginning on Jan. 1, 2019. Directors are elected for a two-year term. The all-volunteer board is responsible for setting policy, establishing long-term goals, monitoring general operations, and approving the organizational outcomes and allocation of resources. “I am honored to join the board of the American Cancer Society – a key partner in the global fight against cancer,” said Le Beau. “I look forward to working with ACS leadership on our shared mission … Read More

Mapping genetic differences in breast cancer can improve care for underserved populations

A study comparing DNA and RNA data from Nigerian breast cancer patients to patients in a United States database found that certain aggressive molecular features were far more prevalent in tumors from Nigerian women than in black or white American women. In the Oct. 16, 2018 issue of Nature Communications, the study’s authors say those differences in multiple molecular features could in part explain disparities in breast cancer mortality for women from Nigeria, and perhaps other West African nations. “In the era of precision medicine our data provide insights that could reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer across … Read More

RNA splicing plays major role in genetic variation linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Over the past decade, genetic sequencing tools have been very successful at identifying variations in the human genome that are associated with traits such as height or complex conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Despite these successes, 90 percent of genetic variants found to be linked to disease are located in noncoding DNA, or parts of the genome that don’t encode proteins involved in biological processes. Instead, these noncoding regions likely carry out utilities that regulate the expression of functional genes. These variants are often located in sections of DNA containing several genes, so it’s difficult for scientists to pin down the … Read More

Data analysis uncovers differences in drug prescription rates in the U.S.

A new analysis of prescription rates of 600 commonly-used drugs across the United States reveals influences of racial composition, state-level health care laws, and wealth on prescription choices. The study, published October 9 in Nature Communications, also shows that some regions consistently prefer more expensive drugs, even when they have not been proven more effective than cheaper alternatives. The United States is socially and culturally heterogeneous, with significant disparities and inequality in health metrics such as life expectancy. However, it’s not clear to what extent these disparities extend to health care. Andrey Rzhetsky, PhD, the Edna K. Papazian Professor of … Read More

Welcome to the New Department of Medicine Website

Check out our new look. Feel free to let us know what you think. We will be continuing to update the site throughout the coming weeks. We are striving to make this new site as user friendly and intuitive as possible. Allowing both staff and faculty to access the necessary apps and links in the quickest way possible. Currently some of the apps and links only work if you are logged into or on the local school network. We will be updating that shortly to display apps for those who are logged in and for those who are not. Social … Read More