A rare genetic mutation discovered by a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital could hold the clues to developing new management strategies for pancreatic cancer. Sahar Nissim, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine in the Brigham’s Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy & Genetics Divisions, found the mutation in a single family with a strong history of pancreatic cancer and published his findings in Nature Genetics. He said the discovery may have broader implications for all patients with pancreatic cancer, regardless of whether or not they have the mutation.
A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School has uncovered a molecular mechanism that may help to explain why type 2 diabetes goes into remission in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. Published in Nature Chemical Biology in August, the study is the first to identify an anti-diabetic small molecule whose levels are increased by bariatric surgery.
Scott Alan Shikora, MD, FACS, FASMBS, director of the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was recently named president-elect of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO). Dr. Shikora’s official appointment will begin in July at the 25th IFSO World Congress in Miami. He is the first Brigham physician to serve as President of IFSO.
Appendiceal cancers are rare, with an estimated 1,500 people diagnosed per year in the United States. The rarity of these cancers and their diverse manifestations can make accurate diagnosis challenging.
Over the past decade, Brigham and Women’s Hospital has led the way in investigating fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). The FMT Program at the Brigham was the first to conduct clinical trials on FMT for the treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis and, most recently, obesity.
Can insulin be given to patients without injection through the skin? This is the problem that Brigham and Women’s gastroenterologist, C. Giovanni Traverso, MD, PhD, is trying to solve. Daily injections require training and can be painful for patients living with diabetes. As a result, physicians may hesitate to prescribe insulin for years—despite its immense therapeutic value—selecting alternatives that may not work as well but which can be taken orally instead.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital is developing new ways to resect or biopsy intraabdominal tumors by incorporating cutting-edge imaging technology within the operating room. Specifically, the Brigham’s state-of-the-art Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite—a 5,700-square-foot operating room that integrates an array of advanced imaging technologies—allows physicians to more easily identify and more accurately biopsy or resect lesions in the mesentery of the bowel and retroperitoneum.
In 2017, nearly 700,000 robotic-assisted procedures were performed in the United States. Robotic surgery is fast becoming the preferred method for procedures in gynecological, thoracic, urologic, colon and rectal surgery. Today, a wide range of colorectal problems can be treated with robotic surgery.
Absent of a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have pioneered a broader approach to improving the health of patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s by focusing on lifestyle, health education and psychosocial aspects of disease.