Heme/Onc

From The Archives: Should My Patient with a Solid Tumor be Anticoagulated in the Absence of Venous Thromboembolism?

March 6, 2014
From The Archives: Should My Patient with a Solid Tumor be Anticoagulated in the Absence of Venous Thromboembolism?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated September 8, 2011

By David Altszuler, Class of 2012

Faculty Peer Reviewed

An empiric association between occult malignancy and thrombophlebitis has been recognized since Trousseau first reported the syndrome in 1865. The mechanism by which cancer predisposes to thrombophilia has not been fully elucidated; however, it is now clear that this is a symbiotic relationship. The second leading cause of death in hospitalized cancer patients (and a leading cause of death in ambulatory cancer patients) is…

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An antidote on the horizon? An update on the progress toward achieving reversibility for the new oral anticoagulants

February 21, 2014
An antidote on the horizon? An update on the progress toward achieving reversibility for the new oral anticoagulants

By Gabriel Schneider, MD

Peer Reviewed

The new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are an appealing alternative to the burdensome vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin. These novel agents include direct thrombin inhibitors such as dabigatran (which inhibits thrombin) and factor Xa inhibitors such as rivaroxaban and apixaban (which prevent thrombin generation). Compared to warfarin, NOACs have fewer food and drug interactions, as well as a more predictable pharmacodynamic profile that serves to obviate the need for the frequent outpatient monitoring in most patients. In addition…

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Mammograms in the News, Yet Again

February 13, 2014
Mammograms in the News, Yet Again

By Miguel A. Saldivar, MD

Peer Reviewed

Mammograms are far from strangers to the paparazzi. It was only recently that a television news reporter from a prominent broadcasting company reluctantly agreed to have a mammogram performed on live television to promote breast cancer screening and help “save lives” . That same study diagnosed her with breast cancer, which was followed by the impressive statement from her physicians: “that mammogram just saved your life”. But over the last day or two several major newspapers are presenting…

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Can we teach the immune system to fight cancer?

November 1, 2013
Can we teach the immune system to fight cancer?

By Jenny Gartshteyn

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Since the start of vaccination – we’ve eradicated smallpox and polio, saved college kids from meningitis, averted flu epidemics, and decreased the incidence of HPV-related cervical cancer … but can we teach our immune systems to actively fight existing cancer?

Here’s the mechanism for an ideal anti-cancer vaccine:

With the growth and turnover of cancerous cells, cancer-specific tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) would be recognized and processed by professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as dendritic cells and macrophages – which would…

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The DLO: Does FFP Correct INR?

September 20, 2013
The DLO: Does FFP Correct INR?

By Nicole A Lamparello, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Page from the hematology laboratory: critical lab value; INR 1.9. Liver biopsy scheduled for tomorrow. What is a knowledgeable physician practicing evidence-based medicine to do?

Fresh frozen plasma (FFP) is the liquid, acellular component of blood. FFP contains water, electrolytes, and the majority of the coagulation proteins . It is frequently transfused to patients with an elevated prothrombin time (PT), a measure of the activity of the common coagulation pathway (involving factors X, V, prothrombin and fibrinogen)…

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Confocal Microscopy To Noninvasively Detect Skin Cancer: An Emerging Technology To Avoid Unnecessary Skin Biopsy

September 6, 2013
Confocal Microscopy To Noninvasively Detect Skin Cancer: An Emerging Technology To Avoid Unnecessary Skin Biopsy

By Brian Park

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide. In the United States, the incidence is rising, with over two million people diagnosed each year . More cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. The lifetime risk of developing skin cancer is estimated to be 20% . Although nonmelanoma skin cancer is rarely fatal and associated with a very low mortality rate, melanoma can be highly fatal. Approximately 76,000…

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From The Archives: Does Heyde Syndrome Exist?

August 8, 2013
From The Archives: Does Heyde Syndrome Exist?

Please enjoy this post from the Archives dated September 29, 2010

By Lara Dunn, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

In 1958, EC Heyde published 10 cases of aortic stenosis (AS) and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the gastrointestinal tract in the New England Journal of Medicine . Thus, the association between aortic stenosis and intestinal angiodysplasia became known as Heyde Syndrome. Yet the existence of this syndrome has been controversial.

Contrasting conclusions have been obtained by studies conducted to evaluate this association. In a prospective study, Bhutani…

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Transfusions By The Numbers

July 19, 2013
Transfusions By The Numbers

By Karen Chang Kan, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Blood transfusions are one of the most common interventions seen in the inpatient setting. While hanging a unit of blood appears simple enough in day-to-day practice, many of us forget what this simple action actually entails. Taking a moment to reflect, Clinical Correlations breaks down this basic, everyday intervention by the numbers.

How much blood are we transfusing?

In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 14.65 million units of whole blood/RBCs are transfused each year.…

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From The Archives: Why Does Multiple Myeloma Treat The Kidneys So Poorly?

July 11, 2013
From The Archives: Why Does Multiple Myeloma Treat The Kidneys So Poorly?

Please enjoy this post from the Archives dated September 22, 2010

By Jon Emile Kenny, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

“You mean I’ve got cancer and my kidneys are failing, doc?” said my frail patient on the Bellevue oncology service shortly after a medical student had told him that his kidneys were damaged. Indeed, his new diagnosis of multiple myeloma was accompanied by an admission creatinine of 2.5 mg/dL.

About a quarter of patients with multiple myeloma have renal insufficiency at diagnosis . There are…

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Are We Too Hesitant to Anticoagulate Elderly Patients with Atrial Fibrillation? A Risk-Benefit Analysis

June 28, 2013
Are We Too Hesitant to Anticoagulate Elderly Patients with Atrial Fibrillation? A Risk-Benefit Analysis

By Sunny N. Shah, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Background:

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and its prevalence increases with age. In fact, the lifetime incidence of AF is approximately 25% in individuals by age 80, with the incidence nearly doubling with each decade of life after age 50. (1) Multiple randomized controlled trials have shown that oral antithrombotic therapy with warfarin or aspirin decreases the risk of ischemic stroke in patients with AF. (2-6) Meta-analyses reveal a relative risk reduction of…

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Is Personalized Medicine Really the Cure? Looking Through the Lens of Breast Cancer

May 3, 2013
Is Personalized Medicine Really the Cure?  Looking Through the Lens of Breast Cancer

By Jessica Billig

Faculty Peer Reviewed 

Although millions of dollars are spent towards cancer research every year, progress toward a cure is less than ideal. Last year the New York Times posted a piece about the burgeoning improvements on the genomic front that could lead to a new approach to cancer treatment. “The promise is that low-cost gene sequencing will lead to a new era of personalized medicine, yielding new approaches for treating cancers and other serious diseases” . Through genomic technology, physicians will be able…

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Anal cancer screening – A case for screening anal paps

January 24, 2013
Anal cancer screening – A case for screening anal paps

By Nelson Sanchez, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Case:

A 56 year-old homosexual male presents to your clinic to ask whether or not he should have an anal Pap smear. The patient is HIV positive, has been on HAART for five years, and has no history of opportunistic infections. He denies any anal pain, bleeding or masses.

While efforts to improve knowledge about colorectal cancer in various communities continues to grow, awareness of and misconceptions about anal cancer remain. Over the past couple of years…

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