Large genome-wide association study is first to focus on both child and adult asthma

Originally published in The Forefront on May 7, 2019 Asthma, a common respiratory disease that causes wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, is the most prevalent chronic respiratory disease worldwide. A new study, published April 30, 2019 in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, is the first large investigation to examine the differences in genetic risk factors for childhood-onset and adult-onset asthma. This genome-wide association study (GWAS) found that childhood-onset asthma was associated with nearly three times as many genes as adult-onset asthma. Genes associated with adult onset asthma were a subset of those associated with childhood-onset asthma, nearly all with smaller effects on … Read More

Treatment option to restore natural heartbeat could be on the horizon for heart failure patients

Originally published in The Forefront, May 10, 2019 A new therapy to re-engage the heart’s natural electrical pathways – instead of bypassing them – could mean more treatment options for heart failure patients who also suffer from electrical disturbances, such as arrhythmias, according to research led by the University of Chicago Medicine. In a first-ever pilot study, called the His SYNC trial, researchers compared the effectiveness of two different cardiac resynchronization therapies, or treatments to correct irregularities in the heartbeat through implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. The current standard of care, known as biventricular pacing, uses two pacing impulses in both lower chambers, whereas … Read More

Sonali Smith,MD- Named Interim Chief, Section of Hematology/Oncology

Sonali Smith,MD, the Elwood V. Jensen Professor, has been named as the Interim Chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology effective immediately.  Dr. Smith, currently the Director of the Adult Lymphoma Program,is an internationally recognized expert in lymphoma therapeutics who has made outstanding contributions to the field through her clinical care, education and clinical research. Dr. Smith serves in a number of leadership positions with national and international visibility.  She is Vice-Chair of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) Lymphoma Committee where she oversees clinical trial development at the cooperative group level and mentors faculty across the country.  She serves as chair … Read More

Walter Stadler,MD- Appointed Dean for Clinical Research

Walter Stadler,MD, the Fred C. Buffet Professor of Medicine, has been appointed as Dean for Clinical Research for the Biological Sciences Division effective immediately.  Dr. Stadler recently served as Chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology , a position he held since 2013,and was also Associate Dean for Clinical Research from 2007-2014. As Dean for Clinical Research, Dr. Stadler will oversee strategy and operations of the Office of Clinical Research and will work to expand the role of clinical research in the Biological Sciences Division.  He will continue to be involved in clinical and research activities in the Section of Hematology/Oncology … Read More

Heart pump trial points to better overall survival, fewer adverse events

Reported in The Forefront, 3/28/2019 For patients with advanced-stage heart failure, the new HeartMate 3 centrifugal-flow left ventricular assist device (LVAD) proved superior to the axial-flow HeartMate II, which was previously considered the gold standard in LVAD therapy. Both pumps are made by Abbott. The MOMENTUM 3 trial, presented as a late-breaking session at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirmed certain benefits of HeartMate 3. “HeartMate 3 has significantly improved the performance of LVAD therapy,” said cardiologist Nir Uriel, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and a … 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