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Jefferson Award Winner Dr. Rochelle Dicker Helps Young Offenders Move Away From Violence

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) - April 14, 2014

"San Francisco General Hospital said a third of the shooting, stabbing and beating victims it treats return to the emergency room, injured from yet another crime. But one doctor has come up with a way to stop the revolving door of violence. This week’s Jefferson Award winner, (Rochelle Dicker, M.D.), said there is a teachable moment when a badly injured young offender is open to change." The Jefferson Award is given for public service. 
Note: Quoted text from KPIX article other than the supplied link.

UCSF Lung Transplant Program Ranked No. 1 in U.S. for Outcomes

UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Department of Surgery - April 09, 2014

The UCSF Lung Transplant Program, has once again achieved "statistically significant" higher than expected outcomes for both patient survival and graft survival*, according to the newest data just released by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR). Last year, SRTR ranked UCSF among the top three lung transplant programs in the U.S. for higher than expected outcomes. This year, however, UCSF was ranked first.The UCSF program is a true multi-disciplinary collaboration that includes surgeons, pulmonologists, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, social workers, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, administrative staff and others. "Teamwork is critical to the success of our program," said Jasleen Kukreja, M.D., MPH, Surgical Director of the Lung Transplant program. “The success is multifactorial and a multidisciplinary effort that starts with excellent anesthetic management, meticulous surgical technique and perioperative surgical care, and long-term close surveillance.” 

* Graft survival is an indicator of the number of patients who are re-transplanted in a program within a specific timeframe.

New Breast Cancer Results Illustrate Promise and Potential of I-SPY 2 Trial

UCSF News - April 07, 2014

"In an innovative clinical trial led by UC San Francisco, the experimental drug neratinib along with standard chemotherapy was found to be a beneficial treatment for some women with newly diagnosed, high-risk breast cancer.Additionally, researchers learned that an algorithm used in the adaptive, randomized trial known as I-SPY 2 was highly effective at predicting the success of the treatment regimen in the patients who have HER2-positive/HR-negative disease"...............“What is so exciting about the graduations is that we’re proving unconditionally that the standing trial mechanism can efficiently evaluate multiple drugs and identify the specific populations for which the agents are most effective,” said Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, professor of surgery and director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer CenterEsserman is the co-principal investigator of I-SPY 2, which is underway at 20 cancer research centers in the United States and Canada.  * Quoted excerpts above from UCSF News Story by Elizabeth Fernandez

At Google, Bid to Put Its Glasses to Work

NY Times - April 06, 2014

"SAN FRANCISCO  At the 500 Club bar in the heart of the Mission district here, patrons are banned from wearing Google Glass. Two miles up the hill at the hospital at the University of California, San Francisco, a lung surgeon wears Glass to assist him as he operates. The contrast illustrates both the challenge and opportunity for Google as it plans to sell its Internet-connected headwear to the public later this year. Consumers have been wary of Glass.......The lung surgeon at U.C.S.F., Dr. Pierre Theodore, uses Glass when he performs minimally invasive surgery that requires the doctor to rely on imagery to guide the surgical instruments. By using Glass, Dr. Theodore can see the images from scans and the live images at the same time. “There’s relatively little shift of attention between seeing the patient in front of you and seeing critical information in your field of vision,” he said. “I believe it can be and will be revolutionary.” Excerpts above from NY Times   

Transplant Drug Sirolimus May Help Eliminate Lingering HIV infections

UCSF Department of Surgery, LA Times - April 01, 2014

"Researchers studying the effects of immune suppressant drugs on  transplant patients with HIV have made a surprising discovery: A drug intended to hobble the body's defense system may actually help destroy dormant reservoirs of the virus that causes AIDS In a paper published this week in the American Journal of Transplantation, authors found that when a small group of transplant patients received the drug sirolimus, they experienced a two- to threefold drop in HIV levels, whereas patients who received other immunosuppressants did not." While encouraged, lead author Peter G. Stock, M.D., Ph.D. urged caution in interpreting the findings, "We saw a very important, statistically significant signal, but I wouldn't jump on this bandwagon that sirolimus is going to cure HIV," said coauthor Dr. Peter Stock, a transplant surgeon and professor at UCSF.  "It does require a bigger study." Also because the study from which the data was analyzed was not designed specifically to examine the effects of sirolimus, the authors said further research was needed to confirm its effects on HIV. Such a study is in the planning stages. *Quoted excerpts from LA Times article

Mechanical Forces Driving Breast Cancer Lead to Key Molecular Discovery

UCSF Department of Surgery - March 27, 2014

"The stiffening of breast tissue in breast-cancer development points to a new way to distinguish a type of breast cancer with a poor prognosis from a related, but often less deadly type, UC San Francisco researchers have found in a new study. The findings, published online March 16 in Nature Medicine, may lead eventually to new treatment focused not only on molecular targets within cancerous cells, but also on mechanical properties of surrounding tissue, the researchers said.In a mouse model of breast cancer, scientists led by Valerie Weaver, PhD, professor of surgery and anatomy and director of the Center for Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration at UCSF, identified a biochemical chain of events leading to tumor progression..............."  * Quoted excerpts above from UCSF News

Valerie Weaver, PhD Inducted into Prestigious AIMBE College of Fellows

UCSF Department of Surgery - March 25, 2014

Valerie Weaver, PhD, Director of the UCSF Center for Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration, was recently inducted into the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2014. The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) reserves this distinction for scientists "who have made outstanding seminal contributions clarifying the role of mechanical forces on tumorigenesis and for promoting engineering to the cancer community." Dr. Weaver, a Professor in the Departments of Surgery, Anatomy, and Bioengineering & Therapeutics Sciences, is also Co-Director, Bay Area PSOC Co-Director, UCSF Brain TMEN Program

Scientists Transform Skin Cells into Functioning Liver Cells

UCSF News - February 23, 2014

Willenbring and Harbell News Storyrecent paper in the journal Nature by a research team including Associate Professor Holger Willenbring, M.D., Ph.D. and Senior Resident Jack Harbell, M.D., a former postdoctoral fellow in the Willenbring lab, reports a new method of cellular reprogramming with potential for treating liver disease:

"The power of regenerative medicine now allows scientists to transform skin cells into cells that closely resemble heart cells, pancreas cells and even neurons. However, a method to generate cells that are fully mature – a crucial prerequisite for life-saving therapies – has proven far more difficult. But now, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and UC San Francisco have made an important breakthrough: they have discovered a way to transform skin cells into mature, fully functioning liver cells that flourish on their own, even after being transplanted into laboratory animals modified to mimic liver failure..............."
* Excerpt above from UCSF News Center article

Julius Guccione "Mesmerized" by Virtual 3D Image of Beating Heart - January 16, 2014

Dr. Julius Guccione, a biomedical engineer and co-director of the UCSF Cardiac Biomechanics Lab, lauded the development of technology rendering a virtual image of a beating heart by Dassault Systèmes, a French design and simulation software company. Dassault has developed a complete, three-dimensional view of the electrical impulses and muscle-fiber contractions that enable the human heart to function seamlessly. Guccione, a Professor in the Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCSF and Principal Investigator on multiple NIH grants developing virtual tools to aid cardiac surgeons in better treating heart disease, spoke enthusiastically to Forbes Magazine, "This is something doctors have been trying to get to since before the 1900s”. He described the advent of technologies like MRI and echocardiography as a “dream come true” for measuring abnormal motion in a patient’s heart.

Obama Signs Bill Lifting Research Ban on HIV Organ Transplants

UCSF Department of Surgery - December 05, 2013

Hope -act -signing

clincial investigation by UCSF transplant surgeon Peter G. Stock, M.D., Ph.D. led to the passage of the Hope Act lifting the ban on research for transplanting organs between HIV-positive donors and recipients. Click here to enlarge image.

Serious Bicycle Accidents May Be Dramatically Underreported

New York Times Health & Science - October 21, 2013

Many in the bicycling and public health community view bicycling as no more dangerous than other sports. Rochelle Dicker, M.D. a trauma surgeon in the UCSF Department of Surgery at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) decided to put the conventional wisdom to the test. She and colleagues, who treat some of  the worst bicycling injuries, reviewed hospital and police records for 2,504 bicyclists treated at SFGH. Notably, they found an underreporting of serious bicycling accidents in police records, the primary source of statistics on injury data. 

Ankit Sarin, M.D., MHA Joins Department of Surgery Faculty

UCSF Department of Surgery - October 08, 2013

Ankit Sarin, M.D., MHA recently joined the Department as a member of the Division of General Surgery and Section of Colorectal Surgery. Dr. Sarin is colorectal surgeon specializing in the surgery of the colon, rectum, anus and related GI tract. His surgical practice is based primarily at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Care Center at UCSF Mt. Zion. His areas of expertise include colon and rectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease, benign anal & rectal disease and pelvic floor disorders. He also specializes in advanced minimally invasive techniques including  laparoscopy, robotics, transanal endoscopic microsurgery and sacral nerve stimulation in the treatment of such disorders. 

Gene Breakthroughs Spark a Revolution in Treatment for Lung Cancer

Wall Street Journal Online - August 13, 2013

The Wall Street Journal today highlighted major breakthroughs in the treatment of lung cancer, a disease with an historically poor prognosis. By using precision medicine, each mutation-driven variant of lung cancer is treated a unique disease and then matched to a therapy that targets that mutation. Trever G. Bivona, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and member of the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Program, discussed the challenges of acquired resistance when using a drug that attacks only a single mutation. "The tumor will keep evading our best therapies," ...... "Ultimately we're going to have to get to combination approaches." The WSJ discussed the difficulty of finding an appropriate trial given that only two lung-cancer mutations, the ALK and EGFR-gene mutations, have FDA-approved drugs targeting them. Patients with different mutations must then find a drug in development and try to join its trial. Dr. Bivona told how he treated a patient this year who died a month before the launch of a clinical trial for a drug that matched the patient's mutation. "We were in a black hole," he says. "Getting drugs to the patients who need them will take an entire remodeling of the drug-development system."

Rajalingam Raja, Ph.D., D(ABHI) Appointed Director of Immunogenetics and Transplantation Laboratory

UCSF Department of Surgery - August 09, 2013

Rajalingam Raja, Ph.D., D(ABHI) was recently named Director of the Immunogenetics and Transplantation Laboratory. ITL provides cutting edge histocompatibility testing service for solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Dr. Raja's current research centers on understanding the complex relationship between polymorphic NK cell receptors and HLA class I ligands in human health and disease.

"Inside Surgery", Summer 2013 Issue

UCSF Department of Surgery - August 08, 2013

"This issue of Inside Surgery highlights the UCSF Lung Transplant Program and the new technology called ex vivo lung perfusion that will help to increase the availability of donor lungs. It also features the Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program as well as the Pediatric Heart Failure and Pediatric Heart and Lung Transplant Program. Read an update by Nancy Ascher, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery.........."

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