Jackson Pollack Salad

This week. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Two weeks ago. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Three weeks ago. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 

 

Four weeks ago. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 

 

Yummy salad; we ate this all weekend. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

1/2 head red cabbage, shredded with mandolin

1/4 head green cabbage, shredded with mandolin

1 and 1/2 carrots, grated

2 heaping Tablespoons parsley, chopped

3 heaping Tablespoons dill, chopped

1 large shallot, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, pressed

1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 pinch chili flakes (optional)

1/2 teaspoon agave

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 Tablespoons sour cream

4 Tablespoons Kraft mayonnaise

 

This salad has been evolving for ten years and will continue. The next time I make it, I will add 3 mashed anchovy fillets (mashed with the garlic cloves), instead of any salt. As well as being salty, the anchovies add that umami flavor. However, I promise you, that this iteration of the Jackson Pollock salad, will be filled with awesome flavors. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

1. Do all cutting, shredding, slicing, chopping so everything is ready to add when needed.

 

Chopping the dill, parsley and shallot, at the same time. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

I wouldn’t have the patience to do this salad without the mandolin, which I got at Williams-Sonoma. The cutting board under the mandolin is specially tempered clear glass. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

I graduated from art school, before I went to Columbia Univ (grad & undergrad) and always wondered how I would combine my psychology credentials with the art degree. As the founder of THI and also of the ON TARGET newsletter, I guess that’s the combo. Anyway, I digress. I really love color, so when I had the chance to paint with veggies, as in this salad, I couldn’t resist the homage to Jackson Pollock, a wild genius, if there ever was one. I know he would’ve liked the idea and loved this salad.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

2. Put the first five ingredients in a large salad serving bowl and toss well.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Put the next eleven ingredients in a smaller bowl, starting with the chopped shallot, and mix well

 

I added all the dressing ingredients to my large measuring cup. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Added the dressing and ready for 3 minutes of tossing all ingredients so well combined. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

4. Having tossed well, refrigerate this salad for about 2 hours before serving, so all of the diverse flavors have a chance to mingle.

 

Oh, how good this combo was: very fresh shrimp (Whole Foods) sauteed in a little oil and garlic, with the Jackson Pollock salad; Yum! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This chardonnay was perfect for the seafood and JP salad at lunch and another meal of saut?ed chicken thighs & pears, with JP Salad. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Have a great week everyone!

Bon Appetit!

Date:
June 21, 2018

Source:
PLOS

Summary:
A new study shows that a caffeine concentration equivalent to four cups of coffee promotes the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria, enhancing their function and protecting cardiovascular cells from damage.

 

Coffee with caffeine.
Credit: © Romolo Tavani / Fotolia

 

 

Caffeine consumption has been associated with lower risks for multiple diseases, including type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, but the mechanism underlying these protective effects has been unclear. A new study now shows that caffeine promotes the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria, enhancing their function and protecting cardiovascular cells from damage. The work, publishing 21 June in the open access journal PLOS Biology, by Judith Haendeler and Joachim Altschmied of the Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University and the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Duesseldorf, Germany, and colleagues, found that the protective effect was reached at a concentration equivalent to consumption of four cups of coffee, suggesting the effect may be physiologically relevant.

The authors have previously shown that at physiologically relevant concentrations (i.e. levels reached after four or more cups of coffee) caffeine improved the functional capacity of endothelial cells, which line the interior of blood vessels, and that the effect involved mitochondria, the cell’s energy powerhouses.

Here, they showed that a protein called p27, known mainly as an inhibitor of the cell cycle, was present in mitochondria in the major cell types of the heart. In these cells, mitochondrial p27 promoted migration of endothelial cells, protected heart muscle cells from cell death, and triggered the conversion of fibroblasts into cells containing contractile fibers — all crucial for repair of heart muscle after myocardial infarction. They found that caffeine induced the movement of p27 into mitochondria, setting off this beneficial chain of events, and did so at a concentration that is reached in humans by drinking four cups of coffee. Caffeine was protective against heart damage in pre-diabetic, obese mice, and in aged mice.

“Our results indicate a new mode of action for caffeine,” said Haendeler, “one that promotes protection and repair of heart muscle through the action of mitochondrial p27. These results should lead to better strategies for protecting heart muscle from damage, including consideration of coffee consumption or caffeine as an additional dietary factor in the elderly population. Furthermore, enhancing mitochondrial p27 could serve as a potential therapeutic strategy not only in cardiovascular diseases but also in improving healthspan.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by PLOSNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Niloofar Ale-Agha, Christine Goy, Philipp Jakobs, Ioakim Spyridopoulos, Stefanie Gonnissen, Nadine Dyballa-Rukes, Karin Aufenvenne, Florian von Ameln, Mark Zurek, Tim Spannbrucker, Olaf Eckermann, Sascha Jakob, Simone Gorressen, Marcel Abrams, Maria Grandoch, Jens W. Fischer, Karl Köhrer, René Deenen, Klaus Unfried, Joachim Altschmied, Judith Haendeler. CDKN1B/p27 is localized in mitochondria and improves respiration-dependent processes in the cardiovascular system—New mode of action for caffeinePLOS Biology, 2018; 16 (6): e2004408 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2004408

 

Source: PLOS. “Caffeine from four cups of coffee protects the heart with the help of mitochondria.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180621141008.htm>.

Date:
June 20, 2018

Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Summary:
A storm of tiny dust particles has engulfed much of Mars over the last two weeks and prompted NASA’s Opportunity rover to suspend science operations. But across the planet, NASA’s Curiosity rover, which has been studying Martian soil at Gale Crater, is expected to remain largely unaffected by the dust. The Martian dust storm has grown in size and is now officially a ‘planet-encircling’ (or ‘global’) dust event.

 

In June 2018 NASA’s Curiosity Rover used its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, to snap photos of the intensifying haziness the surface of Mars, caused by a massive dust storm. The rover is standing inside Gale Crater looking out to the crater rim. The photos span about a couple of weeks, starting with a shot of the area before the storm appeared.
Credit: NASA

 

 

A storm of tiny dust particles has engulfed much of Mars over the last two weeks and prompted NASA’s Opportunity rover to suspend science operations. But across the planet, NASA’s Curiosity rover, which has been studying Martian soil at Gale Crater, is expected to remain largely unaffected by the dust. While Opportunity is powered by sunlight, which is blotted out by dust at its current location, Curiosity has a nuclear-powered battery that runs day and night.

The Martian dust storm has grown in size and is now officially a “planet-encircling” (or “global”) dust event.

Though Curiosity is on the other side of Mars from Opportunity, dust has steadily increased over it, more than doubling over the weekend. The atmospheric haze blocking sunlight, called “tau,” is now above 8.0 at Gale Crater — the highest tau the mission has ever recorded. Tau was last measured near 11 over Opportunity, thick enough that accurate measurements are no longer possible for Mars’ oldest active rover.

For NASA’s human scientists watching from the ground, Curiosity offers an unprecedented window to answer some questions. One of the biggest: Why do some Martian dust storms last for months and grow massive, while others stay small and last only a week?

“We don’t have any good idea,” said Scott D. Guzewich, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, leading Curiosity’s dust storm investigation.

Curiosity, he points out, plus a fleet of spacecraft in the orbit of Mars, will allow scientists for the first time to collect a wealth of dust information both from the surface and from space. The last storm of global magnitude that enveloped Mars was in 2007, five years before Curiosity landed there.

In the animation, Curiosity is facing the crater rim, about 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) away from where it stands inside the crater. Daily photos captured by its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, show the sky getting hazier. This sun-obstructing wall of haze is about six to eight times thicker than normal for this time of season.

Curiosity’s engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have studied the potential for the growing dust storm to affect the rover’s instruments, and say it poses little risk. The largest impact is to the rover’s cameras, which require extra exposure time due to the low lighting. The rover already routinely points its Mastcam down at the ground after each use to reduce the amount of dust blowing at its optics. JPL leads the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity mission.

Martian dust storms are common, especially during southern hemisphere spring and summer, when the planet is closest to the Sun. As the atmosphere warms, winds generated by larger contrasts in surface temperature at different locations mobilize dust particles the size of individual talcum powder grains. Carbon dioxide frozen on the winter polar cap evaporates, thickening the atmosphere and increasing the surface pressure. This enhances the process by helping suspend the dust particles in the air. In some cases, the dust clouds reach up to 40 miles (60 kilometers) or more in elevation.

Though they are common, Martian dust storms typically stay contained to a local area. By contrast, the current storm, if it were happening on Earth, is bigger than North America and Russia combined, said Guzewich.

The dust storm may seem exotic to some Earthlings, but it’s not unique to Mars. Earth has dust storms, too, in desert regions such as North Africa, the Middle East and the southwest United States.

But conditions here prevent them from spreading globally, said Ralph A. Kahn, a Goddard senior research scientist who studies the atmospheres of Earth and Mars. These include the structure of our thicker atmosphere and stronger gravity that helps settle dust. Earth also has vegetation cover on land that binds the soil with its roots and helps block the wind and rain that wash the particles out of the atmosphere.

Story Source:

Materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

 

Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. “Martian dust storm grows global: Curiosity captures photos of thickening haze.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180620170956.htm>.

To understand human health and behavior, researchers would do better to study individuals, not groups

Date:
June 19, 2018

Source:
University of California – Berkeley

Summary:
When it comes to understanding what makes people tick — and get sick — medical science has long assumed that the bigger the sample of human subjects, the better. But new research suggests this big-data approach may be wildly off the mark.

 

Medical big data concept (stock image).
Credit: © wladimir1804 / Fotolia

 

 

When it comes to understanding what makes people tick — and get sick — medical science has long assumed that the bigger the sample of human subjects, the better. But new research led by the University of California, Berkeley, suggests this big-data approach may be wildly off the mark.

That’s largely because emotions, behavior and physiology vary markedly from one person to the next and one moment to the next. So averaging out data collected from a large group of human subjects at a given instant offers only a snapshot, and a fuzzy one at that, researchers said.

The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, have implications for everything from mining social media data to customizing health therapies, and could change the way researchers and clinicians analyze, diagnose and treat mental and physical disorders.

“If you want to know what individuals feel or how they become sick, you have to conduct research on individuals, not on groups,” said study lead author Aaron Fisher, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. “Diseases, mental disorders, emotions, and behaviors are expressed within individual people, over time. A snapshot of many people at one moment in time can’t capture these phenomena.”

Moreover, the consequences of continuing to rely on group data in the medical, social and behavioral sciences include misdiagnoses, prescribing the wrong treatments and generally perpetuating scientific theory and experimentation that is not properly calibrated to the differences between individuals, Fisher said.

That said, a fix is within reach: “People shouldn’t necessarily lose faith in medical or social science,” he said. “Instead, they should see the potential to conduct scientific studies as a part of routine care. This is how we can truly personalize medicine.”

Plus, he noted, “modern technologies allow us to collect many observations per person relatively easily, and modern computing makes the analysis of these data possible in ways that were not possible in the past.”

Fisher and fellow researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands used statistical models to compare data collected on hundreds of people, including healthy individuals and those with disorders ranging from depression and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder.

In six separate studies they analyzed data via online and smartphone self-report surveys, as well as electrocardiogram tests to measure heart rates. The results consistently showed that what’s true for the group is not necessarily true for the individual.

For example, a group analysis of people with depression found that they worry a great deal. But when the same analysis was applied to each individual in that group, researchers discovered wide variations that ranged from zero worrying to agonizing well above the group average.

Moreover, in looking at the correlation between fear and avoidance — a common association in group research — they found that for many individuals, fear did not cause them to avoid certain activities, or vice versa.

“Fisher’s findings clearly imply that capturing a person’s own processes as they fluctuate over time may get us far closer to individualized treatment,” said UC Berkeley psychologist Stephen Hinshaw, an expert in psychopathology and faculty member of the department’s clinical science program.

In addition to Fisher, co-authors of the study are John Medaglia at Drexel University and Bertus Jeronimus at the University of Groningen.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of California – Berkeley. Original written by Yasmin Anwar. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aaron J. Fisher, John D. Medaglia, Bertus F. Jeronimus. Lack of group-to-individual generalizability is a threat to human subjects researchProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018; 201711978 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1711978115

 

Source: University of California – Berkeley. “Everything big data claims to know about you could be wrong: To understand human health and behavior, researchers would do better to study individuals, not groups.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180619123112.htm>.

Date:
June 18, 2018

Source:
University of New Hampshire

Summary:
Scientists have been able to prove the existence of small black holes and those that are super-massive but the existence of an elusive type of black hole, known as intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) is hotly debated. New research shows the strongest evidence to date that this middle-of-the-road black hole exists, by serendipitously capturing one in action devouring an encountering star.

 

This image shows data from NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope (yellow-white) and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple). The purple-white source in the lower left shows X-ray emission from the remains of a star that was ripped apart as it fell towards an intermediate mass black hole. The host galaxy of the black hole is located in the middle of the image.
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UNH/D.Lin et al, Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI

 

 

Scientists have been able to prove the existence of small black holes and those that are super-massive but the existence of an elusive type of black hole, known as intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) is hotly debated. New research coming out of the Space Science Center at the University of New Hampshire shows the strongest evidence to date that this middle-of-the-road black hole exists, by serendipitously capturing one in action devouring an encountering star.

“We feel very lucky to have spotted this object with a significant amount of high quality data, which helps pinpoint the mass of the black hole and understand the nature of this spectacular event,” says Dacheng Lin, a research assistant professor at UNH’s Space Science Center and the study’s lead author. “Earlier research, including our own work, saw similar events, but they were either caught too late or were too far away.”

In their study, published in Nature Astronomy, researchers used satellite imaging to detect for the first time this significant telltale sign of activity. They found an enormous multiwavelength radiation flare from the outskirts of a distant galaxy. The brightness of the flare decayed over time exactly as expected by a star disrupting, or being devoured, by the black hole. In this case, the star was disrupted in October 2003 and the radiation it created decayed over the next decade. The distribution of emitted photons over the energy depends on the size of the black hole. This data provides one of the very few robust ways to weight, or determine the size of, the black hole.

Researchers used data from a trio of orbiting X-ray telescopes, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and Swift Satellite as well as ESA’s XMM-Newton, to find the multiwavelength radiation flares that helped identify the otherwise uncommon IMBHs. The characteristic of a long flare offers evidence of a star being torn apart and is known as a tidal disruption event (TDE). Tidal forces, due to the intense gravity from the black hole, can destroy an object — such as a star — that wanders too close. During a TDE, some of the stellar debris is flung outward at high speeds, while the rest falls toward the black hole. As it travels inward, and is ingested by the black hole, the material heats up to millions of degrees and generates a distinct X-ray flare. According to the researchers, these types of flares, can easily reach the maximum luminosity and are one of the most effective way to detect IMBHs.

“From the theory of galaxy formation, we expect a lot of wandering intermediate-mass black holes in star clusters,” said Lin. “But there are very, very few that we know of, because they are normally unbelievably quiet and very hard to detect and energy bursts from encountering stars being shredded happen so rarely.”

Because of the very low occurrence rate of such star-triggered outbursts for an IMBH, the scientists believe that their discovery implies that there could be many IMBHs lurking in a dormant state in galaxy peripheries across the local universe.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of New HampshireNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dacheng Lin, Jay Strader, Eleazar R. Carrasco, Dany Page, Aaron J. Romanowsky, Jeroen Homan, Jimmy A. Irwin, Ronald A. Remillard, Olivier Godet, Natalie A. Webb, Holger Baumgardt, Rudy Wijnands, Didier Barret, Pierre-Alain Duc, Jean P. Brodie, Stephen D. J. Gwyn. A luminous X-ray outburst from an intermediate-mass black hole in an off-centre star clusterNature Astronomy, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41550-018-0493-1

 

Source: University of New Hampshire. “Best evidence of rare black hole captured.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180618141834.htm>.

2018 DIA Meeting in Boston

 

Let us know if you are attending, and if yes, visit us at Booth 2337.

This year we will feature:

 

1. CRO services: Reg Affairs, Clinical Research, Biostats, Data Management and Medical Writing

2. Our paperless clinical trial operation

3. Target e*CRF® fully integrated with Target e*CTR®, our patented web-based direct data entry solution

4. Target eICF™ fully integrated with Target e*CRF®

5. A glimpse into our next software version which will be EDC for All

 

For more information about Target Health contact Warren Pearlson (212-681-2100 ext. 165). For additional information about software tools for paperless clinical trials, please also feel free to contact Dr. Jules T. Mitchel. The Target Health software tools are designed to partner with both CROs and Sponsors. Please visit the Target Health Website.

 

Joyce Hays, Founder and Editor in Chief of On Target

Jules Mitchel, Editor

 

QUIZ

Filed Under News | Leave a Comment

Ophthalmology

Side-view of the human eye, viewed approximately 90o temporal, illustrating how the iris and pupil appear rotated towards the viewer due to the optical properties of the cornea and the aqueous humor. Photo credit: Paul Savage –https://www.flickr.com/photos/45202571@N00/60833726/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36530322

 

 

The human eye is an organ which reacts to 1) ___ and pressure. As a sense organ, the mammalian eye allows vision. Human eyes help to provide a three dimensional, moving image, normally colored in daylight. Rod and cone cells in the retina allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth. The human eye can differentiate between about 10 million colors and is possibly capable of detecting a single photon. Similar to the eyes of other mammals, the human eye’s non-image-forming photosensitive ganglion cells in the retina receive light signals which affect adjustment of the size of the 2) ___, regulation and suppression of the hormone melatonin and entrainment of the body clock.

 

The eye is not shaped like a perfect sphere, rather it is a fused two-piece unit, composed of the anterior segment and the posterior segment. The anterior segment is made up of the cornea, iris and lens. The cornea is transparent and more curved, and is linked to the larger posterior segment, composed of the vitreous, retina, choroid and the outer white shell called the sclera. The cornea is typically about 11.5 mm (0.3 in) in diameter, and 1/2 mm (500 um) in thickness near its center. The posterior chamber constitutes the remaining five-sixths; its diameter is typically about 24 mm. The cornea and sclera are connected by an area termed the limbus. The 3) ___ is the pigmented circular structure concentrically surrounding the center of the eye, the pupil, which appears to be black. The size of the pupil, which controls the amount of light entering the eye, is adjusted by the iris’ dilator and sphincter muscles.

 

Light energy enters the eye through the cornea, through the pupil and then through the lens. The lens shape is changed for near focus (accommodation) and is controlled by the ciliary muscle. Photons of light falling on the light-sensitive cells of the retina (photoreceptor cones and rods) are converted into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain by the optic 4) ___ and interpreted as sight and vision. Dimensions typically differ among adults by only one or two millimeters, remarkably consistent across different ethnicities. The vertical measure, generally less than the horizontal, is about 24 mm. The transverse size of a human adult eye is approximately 24.2 mm and the sagittal size is ?23.7 mm with no significant difference between genders and age groups. The typical adult eye has an anterior to posterior diameter of 24 millimeters, a volume of six cubic centimeters (0.4 cu. in.) and a mass of 7.5 grams (weight of 0.25 oz.).

 

The eyeball grows rapidly, increasing from about 16-17 millimeters (about 0.65 inch) at birth to 22.5-23 mm (approx. 0.89 in) by three years of age. By age 13, the eye attains its full 5) ___.

 

The eye is made up of three coats, or layers, enclosing various anatomical structures. The outermost layer, known as the fibrous tunic, is composed of the cornea and sclera. The middle layer, known as the vascular tunic or uvea, consists of the choroid, ciliary body, pigmented epithelium and iris. The innermost is the retina, which gets its oxygenation from the 6) ___ vessels of the choroid (posteriorly) as well as the retinal vessels (anteriorly). The spaces of the eye are filled with the aqueous humor anteriorly, between the cornea and lens, and the vitreous body, a jelly-like substance, behind the lens, filling the entire posterior cavity. The aqueous humor is a clear watery fluid that is contained in two areas: the anterior chamber between the cornea and the iris, and the posterior chamber between the iris and the lens. The lens is suspended to the ciliary body by the suspensory ligament (Zonule of Zinn), made up of hundreds of fine transparent fibers which transmit muscular forces to change the shape of the lens for 7) ___(accommodation). The vitreous body is a clear substance composed of water and proteins, which give it a jelly-like and sticky composition.

 

The Greek roots of the word ophthalmology are (ophthalmos, “eye”) and (logia, “study, discourse”) i.e., “the study of eyes”. The discipline applies to all animal eyes, whether human or not, since the practice and procedures are quite similar with respect to disease processes, while differences in anatomy or disease prevalence, whether subtle or substantial, may differentiate the two. Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine and surgery (both methods are used) that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the 8) ___ and orbit. An ophthalmologist is a specialist in medical and surgical eye disease. Their credentials include a doctorate degree in medicine, followed by an additional four years of Ophthalmology residency training. They may or may not receive residency training in internal medicine, pediatrics, or general surgery before the ophthalmology residency. Additional training may be sought through a fellowship in a particular specialty of eye pathology. Ophthalmologists are allowed to medically treat eye disease, prescribe glasses or contact lenses, implement laser therapy, and perform surgery when needed. Ophthalmologists may participate in academic research on the diagnosis and treatment for eye disorders.

 

Ophthalmologists are physicians (MD/MS after MBBS or D.O./DOMS/ DNB, not OD or BOptom) who have completed a college degree, medical school, and residency in ophthalmology. Ophthalmology training equips eye specialists to provide the full spectrum of eye care, including the prescription of glasses and contact lenses, medical treatment, and complex microsurgery. In many countries, ophthalmologists also undergo additional specialized training in one of the many subspecialties. Ophthalmology was the first branch of 9) ___ to offer board certification, now a standard practice among all specialties. In the United States, ophthalmologists must complete four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school, one year general surgical residency, three years of ophthalmology residency and optional one to two years of speciality training. Physicians must complete the requirements of continuing medical education to maintain licensure and for recertification. Professional bodies like the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery organize conferences, help physician members through continuing medical 10) ___ programs for maintaining board certification, and provide political advocacy and peer support.

 

ANSWERS: 1) light; 2) pupil; 3) iris; 4) nerve; 5) size; 6) blood; 7) focusing; 8) eyeball; 9) medicine; 10) education

 

Patricia Bath MD, Inventor (1942 to Present)

Patricia Bath MD – Inventor of Laserphaco Probe – Photo credit: National Library of Medicine; www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine; Public Domain, Wikipedia Commons

 

Patricia Era Bath is an American ophthalmologist, inventor, and academic. She broke ground for women and African Americans in a number of areas. Bath was the first African American to serve as a resident in ophthalmology at New York University. She is also the first African American woman to serve on staff as a surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center. And finally, Bath is the first African-American woman physician to receive a patent for a medical purpose. The holder of four patents, she also founded the non-profit American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness in Washington, D.C.

 

Dr. Bath was born on November 4, 1942, in Harlem, Manhattan. Her father, an immigrant from Trinidad, was newspaper columnist, a merchant seaman and the first African American to work for the New York City Subway as a motorman. Her father inspired her love for culture and encouraged Bath to explore different cultures. Her mother descended from African slaves. It was evident by Bath’s teachers that she was a gifted student and pushed her to explore her strengths in school in science. With the help of a microscope set she was given as a young child, Bath knew she had a love for math and science. Bath attended Charles Evans Hughes High School where she excelled at such a rapid pace that she obtained her diploma in just two and a half years.

 

Inspired by Albert Schweitzer’s work in medicine, Bath applied for and won a National Science Foundation Scholarship while attending high school; this led her to a research project at Yeshiva University and Harlem Hospital Center on connection between cancer, nutrition and stress which helped her interest in science shift to medicine. The head of the researched program realized the significance to her findings during the research and published them in a scientific paper that he later presented. In 1960, still a teenager, Bath won the “Merit Award” of Mademoiselle magazine for her contribution to the project. Bath received her Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Manhattan’s Hunter College in 1964 and relocated to Washington, D.C. to attend Howard University College of Medicine where she received her doctoral degree in 1968. During her time at Howard, she was President of the Student National Medical Association and received fellowships from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Mental Health.

 

Bath interned at Harlem Hospital Center, subsequently serving as a fellow at Columbia University. Bath traveled to Yugoslavia in 1967 to study children’s health which caused her to become aware that the practice of eye care was uneven among racial minorities and poor populations, with much higher incidence of blindness among her African American and poor patients. She determined that, as a physician, she would help address this issue. It was also not easy for her to go to medical school since her family did not have the funds for it. She persuaded her professors from Columbia to operate on blind patients at Harlem Hospital Center, which had not previously offered eye surgery, at no cost. Bath pioneered the worldwide discipline of “community ophthalmology”, a volunteer-based outreach to bring necessary eye care to underserved populations.

 

After completing her education, Bath served briefly as an assistant professor at Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science before becoming the first woman on faculty at the Eye Institute. In 1978, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, for which she served as president. In 1983, she became the head of a residency in her field at Charles R. Drew, the first woman ever to head such a department. In 1993, she retired from UCLA, which subsequently elected her the first woman on its honorary staff. She served as a professor of Ophthalmology at Howard University’s School of Medicine and as a professor of Telemedicine and Ophthalmology at St. Georges University. She was among the co-founders of the King-Drew Medical Center ophthalmology training program.

 

In 1981, she conceived the Laserphaco Probe, a medical device that improves on the use of lasers to remove cataracts, and “for ablating and removing cataract lenses”. The device was completed in 1986 after Bath conducted research on lasers in Berlin and patented in 1988, making her the first African-American woman to receive a patent for a medical purpose. The device, which quickly and nearly painlessly dissolves the cataract with a laser, irrigates and cleans the eye and permits the easy insertion of a new lens, is used internationally to treat the disease. Bath has continued to improve the device and has successfully restored vision to people who have been unable to see for decades. Three of Bath’s four patents relate to the Laserphaco Probe. In 2000, she was granted a patent for a method she devised for using ultrasound technology to treat cataracts. Bath has been honored by two of her universities. Hunter College placed her in its “hall of fame” in 1988 and Howard University declared her a “Howard University Pioneer in Academic Medicine” in 1993. A children’s picture book on her life and science work, The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath (The Innovation Press, ISBN 9781943147311) was published in 2017, and was cited by both the National Science Teachers Association and the Chicago Public Library’s list of best kids books of the year.

 

ONCOLOGY

Filed Under News | Leave a Comment

TAILORX Trial Finds Most Women With Early Breast Cancer Do Not Benefit From Chemotherapy

 

Editor’s note: This is government sponsored research at its best, and for the believers, bless the NIH for doing what no one else would do!!!

 

According to new data released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago last week, findings from the Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (Rx), or TAILORx trial, show no benefit from chemotherapy for 70% of women with the most common type of breast cancer. The study found that for women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node – negative breast cancer, treatment with chemotherapy and hormone therapy after surgery is not more beneficial than treatment with hormone therapy alone. The trial was supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and designed and led by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. Findings from the study will be published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

 

TAILORx, a phase 3 clinical trial, was opened in 2006 and was designed to provide an evidence to the question of whether hormone therapy alone is not inferior to hormone therapy plus chemotherapy. The trial used a molecular test (Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score) that assesses the expression of 21 genes associated with breast cancer recurrence to assign women with early-stage, HR-positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node — negative breast cancer to the most appropriate and effective post-operative treatment. The trial enrolled 10,273 women with this type of breast cancer at 1,182 sites in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Peru. When patients enrolled in the trial, their tumors were analyzed using the 21-gene expression test and assigned a risk score (on a scale of 0 to 100) for cancer recurrence. Based on evidence from earlier trials, women in the trial who had a score in the low-risk range (0 to 10) received hormone therapy only, and those who had a score in the high-risk range (26 and above) were treated with hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Women in the trial who had a score in the intermediate range (11 to 25) were randomly assigned to receive hormone therapy alone or hormone therapy with adjuvant chemotherapy. The goal was to assess whether women who received hormone therapy alone had outcomes that were as good as those among women who received chemotherapy in addition to hormone therapy.

 

The study found that the primary endpoint of the trial, invasive disease-free survival — the proportion of women who had not died or developed a recurrence or a second primary cancer — was very similar in both groups. Five years after treatment, the rate of invasive disease-free survival was 92.8% for those who had hormone therapy alone and 93.1% for those who also had chemotherapy. At nine years, the rate was 83.3% for those with hormone therapy alone and 84.3% for the group that had both therapies. None of these differences were considered statistically significant. The rates of overall survival were also very similar in the two groups. At five years, the overall survival rate was 98.0% for those who received hormone therapy alone and 98.1% for those who received both therapies, and at nine years the respective overall survival rates were 93.9% and 93.8%. The investigators also found that women with a score of 0-10 had very low recurrence rates with hormone therapy alone at nine years (3%). This confirmed similar findings from earlier studies. In addition, they found that women with a score of 26-100 had a distant recurrence rate of 13% despite receiving both chemotherapy and hormone therapy. This finding indicates the need to develop more effective therapies for women at high risk of recurrence.

 

According to the authors, the new findings suggest that chemotherapy may be avoided in about 70% of women with HR-positive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer:

 

– older than 50 and with a recurrence score of 11-25 (45%)

– any age with a recurrence score of 0-10 (16%)

– 50 years old or younger with a recurrence score of 11-15 (8%)

 

The findings suggest that chemotherapy may be considered for the remaining 30% of women with HR-positive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer:

 

– any age with a recurrence score of 26-100 (17%)

– 50 years old or younger with a recurrence score of 16-25 (14%)

 

The new results demonstrated that chemotherapy is not beneficial for most women in the intermediate-risk group. This data adds to findings from a TAILORx analysis published in 2015 that provided prospective evidence that the gene expression test could identify women with a low risk of recurrence who could be spared chemotherapy.

 

There is however, one caveat to the new findings. When the study analyzed premenopausal women and those younger than 50 years old at the higher end of the intermediate-risk range (16-25) separately, the results showed there may be a small benefit from chemotherapy, and thus these women should consider chemotherapy with their doctor. However, it is unclear if this benefit is due to the effect of chemotherapy or to endocrine suppression caused by chemotherapy-induced menopause. According to the authors, before TAILORx, there was uncertainty about the best treatment for women with a mid-range score of 11-25 on the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test. The authors added that now we know that any woman with early-stage breast cancer age 75 or younger should have the 21-gene expression test and discuss the results with her doctor to guide her decision to the right therapy.

 

In addition to the NIH, the study was supported in part by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Komen Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Research Stamp. The stamp funding provided more than $5 million to the trial. Since 1998, when the charity stamp was authorized by Congress and first issued by the United States Postal Service, more than $86 million has been raised for breast cancer research. The net proceeds from sales of the stamp are transferred to NIH and the Medical Research Program of the Department of Defense to fund breast cancer research.

 

The genomic assay used in the trial was the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test from Genomic Health, Inc., Redwood City, California.

 

ONCOLOGY

Filed Under News | Leave a Comment

New Approach to Immunotherapy Leads to Complete Response in Breast Cancer Patient Unresponsive to Other Treatments

 

According to an article published online in Nature Medicine (4 June 2018), a novel approach to immunotherapy, developed at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has led to the complete regression of breast cancer in a patient who was unresponsive to all other treatments. The new immunotherapy approach is a modified form of adoptive cell transfer (ACT). ACT has been effective in treating melanoma, which has high levels of somatic, or acquired, mutations. However, it has been less effective with some common epithelial cancers, or cancers that start in the lining of organs, that have lower levels of mutations, such as stomach, esophageal, ovarian, and breast cancers.

 

In an ongoing phase 2 clinical trial, the investigators are developing a form of ACT that uses tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) that specifically target tumor cell mutations to see if they can shrink tumors in patients with these common epithelial cancers. As with other forms of ACT, the selected TILs are grown to large numbers in the laboratory and are then infused back into the patient (who has in the meantime undergone treatment to deplete remaining lymphocytes) to create a stronger immune response against the tumor.

 

A patient with metastatic breast cancer came to the trial after receiving multiple treatments, including several chemotherapy and hormonal treatments, that had not stopped her cancer from progressing. To treat her, the authors sequenced DNA and RNA from one of her tumors, as well as normal tissue to see which mutations were unique to her cancer, and identified 62 different mutations in her tumor cells.  The authors then tested different TILs from the patient to find those that recognized one or more of these mutated proteins. TILs recognized four of the mutant proteins, and the TILs then were expanded and infused back into the patient. She was also given the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab to prevent the possible inactivation of the infused T cells by factors in the tumor microenvironment. After the treatment, all of this patient’s cancer disappeared and has not returned more than 22 months later. According to the authors, this is an illustrative case report that highlights, once again, the power of immunotherapy, and if confirmed in a larger study, it promises to further extend the reach of this T-cell therapy to a broader spectrum of cancers.”

 

The investigators have seen similar results using mutation-targeted TIL treatment for patients in the same trial with other epithelial cancers, including liver cancer and added that results like this in patients with solid epithelial tumors are important because ACT has not been as successful with these kinds of cancers as with other types that have more mutations.

 

← Previous PageNext Page →