16 March 2017

New FDA-Approved Drug Proven Effective in Reducing Recurrent C. diff Infections

Among the healthcare associated infections that may arise during a patient’s hospitalization, Clostridium difficile is an especially dangerous ailment due to its easy dissemination and antibiotic resistance. Transmission may occur if medical staff touch surfaces contaminated with feces during and between treatment of patients. The few available antibiotics that can be used to treat the initial infection do not prevent its recurrence in about 20 percent of those affected. To improve the efficacy of current standard-of-care antibiotic treatments, the healthcare community has long sought after an antibiotic that will further reduce the rate of C. diff infection recurrence. According to a study published in...

14 March 2017

Newly ID’d Genomic Features of Cervical Cancer May Allow Targeted Therapies

Once known as the leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States, cervical cancer has been on the decline due to advances in detection technology and medical treatments over the last four decades. The latest example of this trend is a recent study by investigators with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network, which has identified novel genomic and molecular characteristics of cervical cancer that may aid in the creation of more targeted, effective drug therapies.

Through an analysis of the genomes of 178 primary cervical cancers, TCGA researchers found that more than 70 percent of cervical tumors had genomic alterations in one or both of two important cell signaling pathway. Further,...

9 March 2017

NICU Clinical Trial Studies Probiotics Use to Prevent NEC

Sheridan Clinical Research is participating in a multicentered, randomized, double-blind clinical trial using an Investigational probiotic for the prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants. The research is sponsored by Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Sheridan’s NICU Medical Director Mitchell Stern, MD, is the Principal Investigator for the Phase Ib/IIa trial being conducted at Plantation General Hospital in Plantation, Florida, to study the safety and efficacy of once-daily dosing of STP206 in premature very low birth weight (VLBW) and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) neonates to decrease the incidence of NEC.

NEC is the most common serious acquired disease of the gastrointestinal...

7 March 2017

CDC Opioid Guideline App: A Valuable Prescribing Tool

Last March, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.” The document provides recommendations for appropriate prescribing of opioid pain relievers and other treatment options in order to improve pain management and patient safety. Recently, the agency launched the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline Mobile App to educate providers and inform clinical decision-making when prescribing opioids outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care and end-of-life care. This free mobile app puts the opioid prescribing guideline and other helpful content, tools and resources into prescribers’ palms at the point of...

2 March 2017

ID Genomics IDs UTIs and Best Antibiotics in 25-45 Minutes

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. UTIs can be quite painful, and since it usually it takes a lab about two to three days to identify the specific bacteria causing a patient’s infection, most doctors don’t want to wait that long to treat it. Instead, they make an educated guess as to which antibiotic to administer. Given that approximately 80 percent of UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, there’s a good chance the physician will choose an appropriate antibiotic. But that means that 20 percent of those patients may receive an ineffective or non-optimal antibiotic. And even if E. coli is the culprit, an increasing number of E....

28 February 2017

The Stealthy Spread of Superbug CRE in U.S. Hospitals

An alarming new study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard suggests that carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)—a new class of superbug referred to as “nightmare bacteria” by former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden—may be spreading more widely and more stealthily than was previously thought. The researchers found that CREs are growing in numbers and strength, are far more diverse than expected, and have many more mechanisms for not only resisting antibiotics but also spreading that resistance to other bacteria than have been identified to date. The study’s findings were published in January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of...

23 February 2017

What Happens When Doctors “Just Listen” to Their Patients

“Just listen to your patient; he is telling you the diagnosis.”

This medical maxim is attributed to Sir William Osler (1849–1919), widely considered to be one of the greatest physicians and diagnosticians of all time. Although Osler’s advice might seem impractical in today’s healthcare environment in which clinicians face increasing pressure to deliver care faster and more efficiently, a recent experiment by a New York City physician suggests that letting patients speak about their health problems without interruption can be both practical and beneficial for both parties. 

Studies have shown that doctors interrupt or redirect patients within the first 30 seconds after they begin...

21 February 2017

Research Recommends Continued Breast Cancer Screening Mammography for Older Women

New research about the appropriate age limit for breast cancer mammography screenings, presented at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting late last year, challenges current conventional recommendations. While the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women undergo screenings every two years until age 74, researchers from the University of California at San Francisco assert this age limit may be arbitrary after finding that the precision of breast cancer mammography screening, and thus the rate of cancer detection, increases significantly as women age.

Pulling from the American College of Radiology National Mammography Database, the research team examined 5.7 million...

16 February 2017

No Link Between Maternal Influenza and Increased Autism Risk for Children

Current research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects about 1 in 68 children in the United States. While the exact causes for ASD are not yet known, previous and now widely discredited scientific research contributed to the popular belief that vaccinations can cause the disorder. Despite new research that increasingly disproves any potential link, this belief continues to linger. To further investigate a possible connection, a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics examined the association between maternal influenza vaccination during pregnancy and an increased risk of ASD for children.

For this cohort study, researchers from Kaiser Permanente...

14 February 2017

Virtual Coaching for Patient Engagement

A recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that patients who used “virtual health coach” (VHC) technology while waiting for their physicians in the exam room were encouraged to engage in conversation with their physicians about a healthy lifestyle topic that was not discussed during previous appointments. 

Eighty-nine patients who agreed to test out “new technology” during their exam room downtime were given handheld tablet computers equipped with virtual health coaches driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language understanding (NLU) technologies, similar to Apple’s Siri or Google’s Alexa. The patients interacted with an...