Heme/Onc

New Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism-Part 1

April 12, 2007
New Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism-Part 1

Commentary By: Margaret Horlick, MD, PGY-3

New guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) were recently jointly issued by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians. The guidelines are based on a systematic review of the evidence and are published, along with the systematic reviews, in the 2/2007 and 3/2007 issues of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

According to the reviews, there are 600,000 cases of VTE in the US annually, and the…

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Does Screening for Lung Cancer Improve Mortality?

April 10, 2007
Does Screening for Lung Cancer Improve Mortality?

Commentary By: Anna Dvorak, MDPGY-3

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer mortality in both men and women. Screening patients at risk for lung cancer might reduce mortality if it helps find cancers at an early stage while they are still resectable. Randomized studies done in the 1970s showed that screening for lung cancer with chest x-ray did not support this theory. Chest x-rays identified more small tumors, but resecting them did not improve mortality. The question of whether screening with chest CT…

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Will my breast cancer patient need adjuvant chemotherapy? Gene Micro array technology may help answer this question��

March 20, 2007
Will my breast cancer patient need adjuvant chemotherapy?  Gene Micro array technology may help answer this question��

Commentary By Sandra D’Angelo, PGY-3

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, second only to lung cancer as a leading cause of death from cancer. Experts state that approximately 210, 000 women will be diagnosed in 2006 and about 40,000 will die from the disease.1 According to data compiled by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute, 61% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed while the cancer is still confined to the primary site (localized stage);…

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Ethics 101-How Do You Approach a Jehovah’s Witness Patient Who Needs a Transfusion?

February 5, 2007
Ethics 101-How Do You Approach a Jehovah’s Witness Patient Who Needs a Transfusion?

A 76 year old man with a history of coronary artery disease, diabetes and hypertension was brought in by his wife with two days of lethargy, slurred speech and right arm weakness. On presentation, the patient was awake and intermittently involved in conversation.  He was afebrile, with a pulse of 90 and blood pressure of 166/98  His exam was remarkable for dysarthria, orientation only to person, pinpoint pupils, left sided tongue deviation, 3/5 motor strength in the right upper extremity, 4/5 motor strength in…

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Why Are Breast Cancer Rates Trending Down?

January 9, 2007
Why Are Breast Cancer Rates Trending Down?

The recent finding of decreasing breast cancer rates made headlines throughout the media; including a NY Times article entitled, Reversing Trend, Big Drop is seen in Breast Cancer on December 15, 2006.

Striking epidemiological facts tells us that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., and only second to lung cancer as the most common cause of cancer deaths. It is estimated that approximately 212,920 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the year…

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Should we recommend mammography screening for women between the ages of 40-50?

December 22, 2006
Should we recommend mammography screening for women between the ages of 40-50?

In a recent article in the Lancet, this question was addressed by a group of investigators led by Sue Moss, Ph.D. from the University of Leeds.  Currently, the  National Cancer Institute, U.S. Preventative Health Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society all recommend screening at a younger age(those between 40-50).  The task force, however, does recommend educating your patients about the potential risks/benefits regarding mammography at a younger age.  Screening women older than 50 has been shown to reduce mortality from breast cancer by…

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The First Joint Medical-Surgery Conference

December 21, 2006
The First Joint Medical-Surgery Conference

The first monthly medical/surgery conference was a great success. Attended by resisdents and attendings from both departments the conference was a lively discussion regarding the controversies in caring for a 51 year old man who recently underwent a percutaneous coronary intervention with the placement of a Cypher stent after a non-st elevation myocardial infarction, who soon afterwards was found to have a gall bladder mass that needed to be resected. The complete slide presentation can be found here: Joint Medicine-Surgery Conference Slides
A…

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Mystery Quiz #1-The Answer…

December 20, 2006
Mystery Quiz #1-The Answer…

Before you read the answer you will probably want to review the original post of the mystery quiz from last week.

The Answer:

The chest film shows a probable mass in the area of the left hilum and associated complete collapse of the left upper lobe.  The key findings are loss of volume of the left hemithorax indicated by elevation of the left hemidiaphragm and shift of the mediastinum to the left side.  Additionally, the arrows indicate the major fissure, ordinarily not visible,…

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Epogen and Anemia-Less is More (Part 2)

December 14, 2006
Epogen and Anemia-Less is More (Part 2)

Commentary By David Goldfarb, M.D. Professor of Medicine, NYU Medical Center, Chief Nephrology Section VA New York Harbor

 

2 weeks ago we reported on 2 lead articles in the New England journal that suggested that our targets for hemoglobin values when treating with erythropoietin were too high.

Last week, the New York Times reported that based on those NEJM articles (CHOIR and CREATE), the National Kidney Foundation, which publishes…

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What Is Sezary Syndrome?

December 11, 2006
What Is Sezary Syndrome?

Morning Report-Tisch Hospital

Case Presentation: 83 year old with a past medical history of hypertension noted erytematous plaques with scale about 1 year ago.  The rash was associated with diffuse pruritis at that time.  The patient subsequently underwent several inconclusive biopsies.  She was eventially diagnosed with mycosis fungoides and treated with UV therapy.  Her rash progressed to a diffuse pruritic erythema covering the vast majority of her body, including palms and soles.  (erythroderma).  She was noted to have Sezary cells on peripheral smear and diagnosed…

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Epogen and Anemia-Less is More

November 17, 2006
Epogen and Anemia-Less is More

Singh AK et al. Correction of anemia with epoetin alfa in chronic kidney disease. N Engl J Med 2006 Nov 16; 355:2085-98.

Drüeke TB et al. Normalization of hemoglobin level in patients with chronic kidney disease and anemia. N Engl J Med 2006 Nov 16; 355:2071-84.

It’s always been unclear what target hgb we should be shooting for in our patients on epogen/aranesp.  These 2 articles in the NEJM definitely come close to answering this question.  In the CREATE study 603 patients with…

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Should We Screen All Smokers for Lung Cancer?

November 15, 2006

Commentary by Deborah Shapiro, M.D.  Attending Physician, Dept. Veterans Affairs

The International Early Lung Cancer Action Program Investigators. Survival of patients with stage I lung cancer detected on CT screening. N Engl J Med 2006;355:1763-1771

Over the last few weeks there has been major press in the lay media about this lead article in the NEJM from 10/26/06.  This study was designed to diagnose lung cancer at an earlier stage and therefore to decrease mortality rates. The authors…

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