By Dave Steger
Local researchers Awarded Grant from the DeGregorio Family Foundation for Gastric and Esophageal Cancer Research & Education
(Boston) –Tony Godfrey, PhD, associate chair of research in the department of surgery at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC), was recently awarded a two-year, $225,000 grant from the DeGregorio Family Foundation for Gastric and Esophageal Cancer Research & Education. Godfrey, who is also an associate professor of surgery at BUSM, will use the funding to study Barrett’s Esophagus (BE). People with BE are at increased risk for a type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma is an aggressive tumor that is often diagnosed after it has already spread to other sites. Currently, the only way to detect esophageal adenocarcinoma is with an endoscopy, which is an invasive procedure that requires a hospital visit, sedation and a day off work.
The research team is developing a new approach for esophageal cancer detection that could be performed simply in a primary care physician’s office or even at home. The approach uses a sponge-containing capsule attached to a string. When swallowed, the sponge expands in the stomach and can then be pulled back through the esophagus and out of the mouth. Esophageal cells are rubbed off onto the sponge as it is pulled through the esophagus and can be examined to look for cancerous changes.
“Our project, clinically conducted in our Barrett’s Esophagus Program at Boston Medical Center, will attempt to find cancer cells using a sensitive method to detect mutations that are known to cause esophageal adenocarcinoma,” said Godfrey, who is also principal investigator of the study. “If successful, this project may lead to more wide-spread esophageal cancer screening, earlier detection of tumors and improved survival,” he added. “We are grateful for the funding provided by the DeGregorio Family Foundation which will allow us to perform vital experiments to determine if this approach is feasible.”
Lincoln Stein, MD, PhD, from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Virginia Litle MD, director, Barrett’s Esophageal Program at BMC, are collaborating with Godfrey on this project.
The DeGregorio Family Foundation seeks to promote and facilitate education and collaborative research on the pathogenesis, early diagnostic and treatment of upper gastrointestinal malignancies. It was founded in 2006 after a tenth member of the DeGregorio family succumbed to stomach cancer and was found to have possessed a rare gene that causes the disease and other common cancers. Her surviving siblings, who both tested negative for the gene, created the Foundation to raise funds for research on the hereditary and non-hereditary varieties of stomach and esophageal cancer. Since its inception, the Foundation has made tremendous progress in providing the private support needed to learn more about these cancers, which has had an enormous global impact.
Founder Lynn DeGregorio looks forward towards the advancement in early detection and treatment of these diseases.
The Department of Surgery is pleased to announce that Douglas F. Kauffman, PhD, is the new Associate Chair for Education.
Dr. Kaufman graduated Cum Laude from the University Of Minnesota Institute Of Child Development with a BA in Child Psychology. He obtained an MS in Educational Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a PhD in Psychological and Cultural Studies: Cognition, Learning, and Development also from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Most recently, Dr. Kaufman was a tenured Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Assistant Professor of Education at Eastern Connecticut State University; and Assistant Professor of Measurement and Research Methods in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Kaufmann’s research interests include instructional innovations designed to improve students’ learning, cognition and self-regulation in complex learning environments. In his role as Associate Chair for Education, Dr. Kauffmann serves as a faculty member in the Department of Surgery, with specific responsibility for the development and administration of educational programs offered by and within the department to medical students, other professional students, surgery residents and department faculty and staff. His research agenda will include efforts to improve the efficiency and efficacy of our teaching and learning, thus advancing the field of Surgical Education.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston Medical Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston Hospital Trio Awarded $25 Million NIH Grant to Study Critical Limb Ischemia
Trial will provide guidance on cost-effective ways to treat this severe form of peripheral artery disease
Boston, MA – A team of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has been awarded $25 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a four-year, randomized clinical trial—the BEST-CLI Trial (Best Endovascular versus Best Surgical Therapy in Patients with Critical Limb Ischemia). The trial will compare traditional bypass surgery with the less invasive alternative of endovascular treatment for patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI).
The principal investigators of the BEST-CLI trial are Alik Farber, MD, division chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at BMC; Matthew Menard, MD, co-director of Endovascular Surgery at BWH; and Kenneth Rosenfield, MD, section head of Vascular Medicine and Intervention at MGH.
CLI is the most severe form of peripheral arterial disease, which is caused by chronic inflammation and atherosclerotic plaque build-up in the arteries of the legs. Symptoms caused by reduced blood flow to the legs and feet include ischemic leg pain, non-healing wounds and gangrene. If untreated, CLI can often lead to leg amputation. The aging of the national population and the rising rate of diabetes have led to an increase in both peripheral arterial disease and CLI.
According to the study investigators, while both open surgery and endovascular interventions are used to treat CLI, it is not clear which approach works best in patients who are candidates for both treatment options.
“Currently, there is a lack of consistency and clarity as to what approach—minimally invasive endovascular or open surgery—is best for our patients,” said Farber. “The BEST-CLI Trial will provide answers to many unanswered questions, most importantly what treatment works best for whom.”
“The CLI population is an exceptionally complex and challenging group of patients to treat,” added Menard. “In addition to providing much needed information on the functional outcomes and cost-effectiveness of the two treatment strategies being tested, the BEST-CLI Trial will provide a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration between all of the subspecialties currently providing care to CLI patients.
Added Rosenfield: “The BEST-CLI Trial will be a robust and rigorously conducted clinical trial which promises to greatly enhance our understanding of CLI—a devastating disorder that affects millions of Americans. We are grateful to the National Institutes of Health for recognizing the enormous impact of this scourge and look forward to expanding the evidence base to optimize care and outcomes for these patients with advanced cardiovascular disease.”
The BEST-CLI trial will be highly innovative in both its design and its collaborative nature. It will provide, for the first time, urgently needed clinical guidance for CLI management by using:
- a pragmatic design comparing the effectiveness of established techniques while allowing for the introduction of newer therapies as they become available;
- a novel primary endpoint that includes limb amputation rates, repeat treatments and loss of life;
- a multi-disciplinary structure that fosters cooperation among vascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, interventional radiologists and vascular medicine specialists; and
- novel techniques to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and quality-of-life outcomes of the two treatment strategies being tested.
The trial will enroll 2,100 participants and be conducted at 120 clinical centers in the United States and Canada. The New England Research Institutes (Watertown, MA) will be serving as the data coordinating center.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is a 793-bed nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of Partners HealthCare. BWH has more than 3.5 million annual patient visits, is the largest birthing center in New England and employs nearly 15,000 people. The Brigham’s medical preeminence dates back to 1832, and today that rich history in clinical care is coupled with its national leadership in patient care, quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, and its dedication to research, innovation, community engagement and educating and training the next generation of health care professionals. Through investigation and discovery conducted at its Biomedical Research Institute (BRI), BWH is an international leader in basic, clinical and translational research on human diseases, and has more than 1,000 physician-investigators and renowned biomedical scientists and faculty supported by nearly $650 million in funding. For the last 25 years, BWH ranked second in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) among independent hospitals. BWH continually pushes the boundaries of medicine, including building on its legacy in transplantation by performing a partial face transplant in 2009 and the nation’s first full face transplant in 2011. BWH is also home to major landmark epidemiologic population studies, including the Nurses’ and Physicians’ Health Studies and the Women’s Health Initiative. For more information and resources, please visit BWH’s online newsroom.
Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 496-bed, academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. Committed to providing high-quality health care to all, the hospital offers a full spectrum of pediatric and adult care services including primary and family medicine and advanced specialty care with an emphasis on community-based care. Boston Medical Center offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution. Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in the Boston HealthNet—15 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit www.bmc.org.
Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $775 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine.
The following Department of Surgery faculty and residents participated in the 60th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (MCACS).
About 90 abstracts were submitted for the MCACS annual meeting. Only 6 were selected for oral presentation, and 36 for poster presentation.
Program and Abstracts | Posters – Awards
Michael Cassidy, MD, won the Clinical Abstract of Distinction Award for the abstract: Reducing Postoperative VTE Complications with a Risk-Stratified Protocol and Mobilization Program
Michael R Cassidy, MD, Pamela Rosenkranz, RN, BSN, MEd, David McAneny, MD, FACS
Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Joanna Ng, MD, won the Joseph E. Murray Resident Research Basic Science Award for the project: A Photochemical Tissue Bonding Approach for Sutureless Microvascular Anastomosis in an Arterial Graft Model
Joanna H. Ng-Glazier, MD, Neil G. Fairbairn, MD, Amanda M. Meppelink, BS, Hatice Bodugoz-Senturk, PhD, Mark A. Randolph, MS, Orhun K. Muratoglu, PhD, Jonathan M. Winograd, MD, Robert W. Redmond, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, Boston, MA
Additional Program and Abstracts | Posters
Episomal Reprogramming of Amniotic Mesenchymal Stem Cells: A Step Towards Translational Application
Elliot C Pennington, MD, Fabienne L Gray, MD, Azra Ahmed, MD, Alexander L. DeVine, MD, Kelly Fitzgerald, MD, George Q Daley, MD1, Dario O Fauza, MD
Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Valproic Acid (VPA), a Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor (HDACi) that Reduces Intraabdominal Adhesions
Matthew Brady, MD, Elizabeth King, MD, Michael Cassidy, MD, Stanley Heydrick, PhD, andArthur Stucchi, PhD
Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Sustaining Momentum in Quality Improvement: Lessons from a Postoperative Pulmonary Care Program
Michael R Cassidy, MD, Pamela Rosenkranz, RN, BSN, MEd, David McAneny, MD, FACS
Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Miniaturization Does Not Impair the Ability of ESS to Assess Malignancy in Human Thyroid Nodules
Jennifer E. Rosen, MD, Nicholas J. Giordano, MD, Hyunsuk Suh, MD, Faris Azar, MD, Eladio Rodriguez-Diaz, MD, Ousama M. A’Amar, MD, Irving J. Bigio, MD, Stephanie L. Lee, MD
Department of Surgery, Department of Biomedical Engineering Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Boston, MA
Top Gun Competition
Matt Brady, MD, Melanie Gainsbury, MD and Jian Zheng, MD, represented BUSM/BMC in the Resident Top Gun Competition. The competition consisted of teams of three residents from each institution participating in a series of tests where laparoscopic skills such as intracorporeal knot tying, transferring of objects from one hand to another, and pattern cutting were timed and graded. They placed first in the qualifying round of ten teams and second place overall in the final standings.
A number of our faculty members also participated in the meeting:
Tracey Dechert, MD, FACS, and Jonathan Woodson, MD, FACS (Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs) participated on the panel devoted to: “Examining The Marathon Bombing Response – Why It Was Different Than Other Mass Casualty Events“.
David McAneny, MD, FACS, delivered the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors Report during the Business Meeting.
David McAneny, MD, FACS, discussed “Grassroots Advocacy in the American College of Surgeons” during a session devoted to MCACS highlights from 2013.
Jane Mendez, MD, FACS, presented a talk on the “ACS Foundation” as a designated Chapter Philanthropic Champion for Massachusetts.
Boston Magazine’s 2013 “Top Docs” issue recognizes 11 Boston Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine Department of Surgery faculty members. Congratulations to the following providers for being recognized as “tops” in their respective fields:
Peter Burke, MD (Surgery)
Gerard Doherty, MD (Surgery)
Michael Ebright, MD (Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery)
Alik Farber, MD (Vascular Surgery)
Hiran Fernando, MBBS, FRCS (Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery)
Donald Hess Jr., MD (Surgery)
Russell Jennings, MD (Pediatric Surgery)
Maureen Kavanah, MD (Surgery)
Harold Lazar, MD (Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery)
David McAneny, MD (Surgery)
Stephen Sentovich, MD (Colon & Rectal Surgery)
Jeffrey Kalish was walking down Boylston Street to cheer for his wife as she heaved toward the finish line of the Boston Marathon. When the bombs detonated and the fleeing crowds began rushing toward him and his 9-year-old daughter, the doctor realized he had to get to work immediately.
The vascular surgeon found a friend to look after his daughter and hailed a pedicab, the only vehicles, aside from ambulances and police cruisers, moving down Massachusetts Avenue.
“I’m a surgeon at Boston Medical Center, and I need to get there very quickly,” he told the driver.
Dr. Hiran Fernando, Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery at Boston Medical Center and Professor of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine discusses a new acid reflux treatment now being offered at BMC.
Donald Hess, MD : Collaborator of the Year Award: Clinical Collaborator for his work with members of the Department of Medicine in studying the physiology and biochemistry of obesity and weight loss. Generous and insightful collaboration of Dr. Hess with members of the Evans Center Affinity Research Collaborative (ARC) on METABOLIC DISEASES AND INSULIN RESISTANCE: STUDIES IN PATIENTS UNDERGOING BARIATRIC SURGERY has contributed to advancing cutting edge translational research.
Karl Karlson, MD: Collaborator of the Year Award: Clinical Collaborator for his co-leadership of the Evans Center Affinity Research Collaborative ARC on NANOTHERANOSTIC PLATFORMS FOR CANCER AND VASCULAR DISEASE, for most valuable insights on animal surgery in the context of drug delivery to the cardiovascular system, and for leading by example much sought after collaborations among basic and clinical researchers.
About the Award
The Department of Medicine Evans Center Collaborator of the Year Award: Clinical Collaborator is given yearly to investigators affiliated with Boston University (BU) or outside of BU, who have contributed to the research mission of the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research (ECIBR) by creating and/or significantly enhancing webs of interdisciplinary collaborations within the Evans Center and BU.
Working at Boston’s largest Level One Trauma Center, the staff at Boston Medical Center care for patients with complicated medical issues every day. But as we all have come to understand, April 15, 2013, was not like any other day, and the events that our nation observed have forever changed the way many of us approach medicine.
All of us at BMC who were involved with Marathon Monday and its aftermath think about that day while moving forward with our daily lives and work. We all had different reactions and adjustments to the violence that transpired six months ago. While many of us are still working through our personal challenges associated with the tragedy, many more have likely placed the incident in a mental storage compartment in order to facilitate forward progress. However, not a day goes by when we do not think about the Marathon and how we can take the lessons learned and apply them to our future trauma victims and patients.
To read the full opinion, please click here.
Dr. David McAneny, Associate Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine and Associate Chair for Clinical Quality and Safety, Boston Medical Center Department of Surgery is the new Vice Chair in the Department of Surgery. In this role, he will also serve as Division Chief of General Surgery and Section Chief of Surgical Oncology.
A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. McAneny completed his residency at Boston University Medical Center and Boston City Hospital and a Fellowship in Gastrointestinal Surgery at Lahey Clinic Medical Center. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons, and an active member of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the New England Surgical Society and the Boston Surgical Society. He is also a Past-President of the Medical-Dental Staff of Boston Medical Center, a Past-President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and former Massachusetts state chairman of the Commission on Cancer.
Dr. McAneny’s practice is devoted to endocrine surgery, surgical oncology, and general surgery, especially gastrointestinal surgery. His fellowship training was in upper GI surgery, with emphasis on the pancreas and the biliary tract. His surgical expertise is in tumors and other diseases of the endocrine organs, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, hepatobiliary system and spleen.
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. McAneny has received numerous teaching awards. He is the recipient of the 2005 Grant V. Rodkey Award, bestowed by the Massachusetts Medical Society for “outstanding contributions to medical education and medical students.” He is the 2008 Boston University faculty selection for Alpha Omega Alpha, the national honor medical society, and he is currently Councilor of the AOA chapter at BUSM. He received the 2008-2009 Erwin F. Hirsch, MD Teaching Award from the graduating Boston University Surgery chief residents, The Stanley L. Robbins Award for Excellence in Teaching, conferred at the 2010 graduation to the “outstanding educator at the Boston University School of Medicine,” and the Educator of the Year Award in Clinical Sciences, conferred at the 2013 BUSM graduation ceremony.