Are Subsequent Cardiovascular Events Associated with DMARD Use for RA, PsA or Psoriasis?

Cardiovascular (CV) disease is a major concern for patients with systemic rheumatic diseases. In a recent study, we examined disease‐modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) treatmentsand estimated the risk of a subsequent CV event among patients who experienced a first CV event and had rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) or psoriasis.

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Keyhole Surgery Through the Eyelid Expands Minimally Invasive Options

keyhole surgeryIn a rare through-the-eyelid surgery, neurosurgeon Omar Arnaout, MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Department of Neurosurgery and collaborators from the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery recently removed a recurring meningioma from the roof of the orbit. The patient, age 76, bypassed the ICU and was discharged to home the next day, with only non-prescription pain medication.
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Stroke Care Paradox: Tighter Personal Networks May Delay Hospital Arrivals

stroke imageCould understanding a patient’s personal network of friends and family provide important clues to health and illness, and even guide care? Neurologist Amar Dhand, MD, DPhil, of Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is investigating the relationship of  personal networks and stroke, with some surprising findings.
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Drug-Inducible Gene Therapy Yields Encouraging Preliminary Results in High-Grade Glioma Trial

From E. A. Chiocca, et al, Regulatable interleukin-12 gene therapy in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma: Results of a phase 1 trial. Sci. Transl. Med. 11, eaaw5680 (2019). Reprinted with permission from AAAS.Image from E. A. Chiocca, et al, Regulatable interleukin-12 gene therapy in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma: Results of a phase 1 trial. Sci. Transl. Med. 11, eaaw5680 (2019). Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

In a recent clinical trial in patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital set out to test the safety and effectiveness of controlling the powerful immunotherapy human interleukin-12 (hIL-12) by using an oral activator to control when the gene gets turned on. While hIL-12 can stimulate many branches of the immune system, previous clinical trials that leveraged it were halted because of toxicity.
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Enzalutamide Shows Survival Benefit in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

urine test tubeThe androgen-receptor inhibitor enzalutamide already has established benefit in castration-resistant prostate cancer. Now the randomized phase III trial ENZAMET is exploring the impact of adding enzalutamide to testosterone suppression for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). Interim analysis showed significantly prolonged overall survival with less cancer progression.
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Radiation No Longer Indicated for Most Retroperitoneal Sarcomas

PET scan image of Retroperitoneal SarcomaA study presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting showed that radiation therapy prior to surgery does not reduce the rate of local recurrence among most patients with retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS). Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) was the only U.S. center to participate in the European trial of 256 patients.
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Link Found Between Immune Activation and Recurrence of HER2+ Breast Cancer

A scientist looking at a DNA sequence as part of the HER2 studyDana-Farber Cancer Institute physician-researcher Ian E. Krop, MD, PhD, has uncovered a promising way to identify patients who will respond well to certain adjuvant therapies for treating HER2+ breast cancer. He presented the findings of his biomarker analysis at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting.

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Cardiovascular Genetics Center Continues to Lead the Way

DNA helix strand made of waterThe team at Brigham Health’s Heart & Vascular Center have been pioneers in cardiovascular genetics since the field’s inception in the 1980s when Jon and Christine Seidman discovered the genetic cause of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Since that time, they have continued to lead innovation and growth, both in fundamental discovery and clinical practice.
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Female, 30-years-old, Short of Breath: Could It Be LAM?

CT scan of LAM

The first-time patient at the Center for LAM Research and Clinical Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital was typical: A female in her 30s, she had experienced dyspnea on exertion, unusual chest discomfort and fatigue for years. The otherwise healthy former athlete had seen multiple physicians, who ruled out cardiac issues and prescribed asthma meds, but symptoms persisted. When a CT scan was ordered for a suspected pulmonary embolus, none was found. But the scan revealed the real problem: Lung destruction that is characteristic of lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). Read More

Minimally Invasive POEM Succeeds for Achalasia and Other Esophageal Disorders

stent illustration for POEM

Motor disorders of the esophagus present a rare but serious challenge. But experience with Per-Oral Endoscopic Myotomy in the comprehensive esophageal practice at the Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is showing benefits for its initial use in achalasia and for other motor disorders.

Jon O. Wee, MD, the section chief for esophageal surgery and co-director of minimally invasive thoracic surgery in the Division of Thoracic Surgery, was an early adopter of POEM and one of the first in New England to perform the procedure. He has performed more than 60 POEM procedures at Brigham and Women’s since 2013.

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