Posted on August 31st, 2009 No comments
The incidence of esophageal cancer is increasing at an alarming rate. Worse still, more than 90 percent of patients diagnosed this year will die from it. Researchers in Thoracic Surgery at the University of Michigan’s Department of Surgery are working to understand what causes this deadly type of cancer and are pioneering new strategies to detect it early and treat it more effectively.
One of the world’s leading experts on the disease, Dr. David Beer, and his team are currently investigating the specific molecular changes that occur in esophageal cancer patients and have already discovered a number of potentially critical genetic alterations that are involved in the development and progression of this devastating disease.
August 18, 2009 – University of Michigan B Cell Biology and Transplantation Conference, September 17 & 18, 2009Posted on August 18th, 2009 No comments
The most significant problem facing organ transplant recipients is their own immune system’s response to develop antibodies to destroy the transplanted organ, which it perceives as a foreign invader. To mediate this response, transplant recipients are treated with immunosuppressive drugs, often for the rest of their lives.
It is understood that a key component to the immune system’s response are B Cells, responsible for identifying foreign substances (antigens) and developing antibodies to destroy them. But the overall body of knowledge on immune system transplantation is relatively small and very few transplantation immunologists have trained in the fundamental biology of B Cells.
The University of Michigan has developed what is arguably the leading research program in the world for addressing the B Cell biology of transplantation, and will host the B Cell Biology and Transplantation Conference on September 17th and 18th, 2009, chaired by Marilia Cascalho, MD, PhD.
The conference will consist of an educational program for students, trainees and faculty, a mini-symposium in which new basic insights are communicated, and a workshop in which current concepts will be directed at the most vexing questions in transplantation immunology. It will bring together those University of Michigan scientists working on this issue with the leading B Cell biologists from 10 other major institutions. At focus will be the key lines of investigation to be pursued in the identification and control of immune system response to transplantation.
* Hans-Martin Jack, Nikolaus-Fiebiger Center, Erlangen Germany
* Anne Durandy, Necker Hospital, Paris, France
* Matthias Wabl, UCSF, San Francisco
* Marilyn Diaz, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
* Patrick Wilson, University of Chicago, Illinois
* Thomas Tedder, Duke University, North Carolina
* Garnett Kelsoe, Duke University, North Carolina
* Martin Flajnik, University of Maryland
* David Raulet, University of Berkeley, California
* Lori West, University of Alberta, Canada
For information on attending the B Cell Biology and Transplantation conference, please visit the B Cell conference website (http://surgery.med.umich.edu/bcb)
Posted on August 17th, 2009 No comments
The Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative (MBSC) is a voluntary group of hospitals and surgeons that perform bariatric (weight-loss) surgery in Michigan. Members of this group submit patient data to the MBSC clinical outcomes registry, and through analysis identify trends and suggest changes that result in better outcomes for bariatric surgery patients.
The project is funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and coordinated by the Michigan Surgical Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (M-SCORE) at the University of Michigan.
Weight-Loss and Disease Trends
Newly released data in the registry indicate the largest weight-loss by procedure occurs with traditional gastric bypass, with the average patient losing 124 pounds one-year post-surgery. Minimally invasive Lap-Banding offered the lowest average weight-loss of 55 pounds in the first year following surgery.
Sleeve gastrectomy has been identified as the fastest growing surgical procedure in the category producing an average weight loss of 94 pounds one-year post-surgery.
Diabetic symptoms were also relieved in more than a third of all patients who underwent a major form of bariatric surgery.
The registry also identified promising trends in complication rates with death rates, which have always been uncommon in weight-loss surgery, down from 0.3% in 2007 to less that 0.1% in 2009.
About the Registry
Participating hospitals and surgeons submit data from a review of the medical records for all of their bariatric surgery patients. Each patient reviewed is assigned a unique study identification number by the participating site prior to submission of the data to the coordinating center so that the clinical registry contains no sensitive, identifiable personal information such as name or social security number.
This review, which is conducted for each patient at the end of 30 days following their surgery, includes information regarding their pre-operative health. Patients are also welcomed to participate via a survey prior to surgery and another annually for three years post-surgery.
For more information, visit the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative website at:
Posted on August 16th, 2009 No comments
Parathyroid cells, often damaged in surgery, can be developed from undifferentiated stem cells.
Gerard Doherty, M.D., chief of endocrine surgery, and his team of researchers at the University of Michigan Health System have taken a significant leap forward in stem cell research. Doherty’s team has been able to transform embryonic stem cells into parathyroid producing cells.
The parathyroid glands are responsible for helping to control the body’s calcium levels. Damage to the parathyroid glands resulting from surgery or other trauma may create hypoparathyroidism, or an underproduction of parathyroid hormone (PTH). Patients with decreased levels of PTH possess significantly greater risk for diseases related to bone loss.