Allergy/Immunology

Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

December 13, 2013
Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

Zachary Elkin

Faculty Peer Reviewed

There are more than a million cases of herpes zoster (HZ) in the US annually . The incidence of HZ, or shingles, has been rising in the US since the 1990s . One third of all people in the US will get HZ, with the highest incidence in people aged 50 to 79 . As a result of the Shingles Prevention Study (SPS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the Zostavax…

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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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Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

October 10, 2013
Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

By Zachary Elkin

Faculty Peer Reviewed

There are more than a million cases of herpes zoster (HZ) in the US annually . The incidence of HZ, or shingles, has been rising in the US since the 1990s . One third of all people in the US will get HZ, with the highest incidence in people aged 50 to 79 . As a result of the Shingles Prevention Study (SPS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the…

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Should Physicians Offer The HPV Vaccine To Men And Boys?

March 23, 2012
Should Physicians Offer The HPV Vaccine To Men And Boys?

By Kevin Burns

Faculty Peer Reviewed

On December 22, 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil; Merck, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey) for prevention of anal cancer and anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) for males and females 9 to 26 years old. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and the high-risk subtypes 16 and 18 are linked to development of cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile, and oropharyngeal malignancies. The FDA-approved uses for…

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Does the BCG Vaccine Really Work?

March 14, 2012
Does the BCG Vaccine Really Work?

By Mitchell Kim

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an acid-fast bacillus, is the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), an infection that causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. A highly contagious infection, TB is spread by aerosolized pulmonary droplet nuclei containing the infective organism. Most infections manifest as pulmonary disease, but TB is also known to cause meningitis, vertebral osteomyelitis, and other systemic diseases through hematogenous dissemination. In 2009, there were an estimated 9.4 million incident and 14 million prevalent cases of TB worldwide, with a…

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Understanding the Zoster Vaccine

July 13, 2011
Understanding the Zoster Vaccine

By Michael Cohen

Faculty Peer Reviewed

The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is well known to the majority of the population. In children, it strikes as varicella (chickenpox), characterized by pruritic, vesicular lesions in different stages of development dispersed over the body. A self-resolving and generally limited disease, this form of VZV infection is considered to be a nuisance more than a debilitating affliction, but rarely can have severe sequelae. In adults and the elderly VZV more commonly takes the form of zoster (shingles). This disease…

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The Resurgence of Pertussis: Is Lack of Adult Vaccination to Blame?

February 23, 2011
The Resurgence of Pertussis: Is Lack of Adult Vaccination to Blame?

By Ijeoma Ejigiri, Class of 2011

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Whooping cough. 100 day cough.  Pertussis.  These are the various names for the disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.  This small gram-negative coccobacillus, transmitted via respiratory droplets, is responsible for causing coughing paroxysms followed by a long inspiratory gasp, during which the characteristic high-pitched “whoop” occurs.  These coughing paroxysms can last for ten weeks or longer, hence the moniker “100 day cough.”   The paroxysmal phase is usually preceded by…

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A Vaccine Against Nicotine—New Hope or Mere Hype?

February 18, 2011
A Vaccine Against Nicotine—New Hope or Mere Hype?

By Carolan Hass, Class of 2012

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Cigarettes remain an anathema to many physicians.  Like so many unhealthy behaviors over which a clinician has little control, it can be frustrating to deal with a habit that can do so much harm to a patient, but which may be deeply entrenched in his daily life.  Although the percentage of current cigarette-smoking US adults has steadily decreased from 34.1% in 1978 to 19.8% in 2007 there remains vast…

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Which Thyroid Antibody Assays Should be Checked in Patients with Thyroid Disease?

April 14, 2010
Which Thyroid Antibody Assays Should be Checked in Patients with Thyroid Disease?

Michael Chu MD

Faculty peer reviewed

Case:

A 44-year old female presented to the emergency room with complaints of a lower extremity rash and swelling.  The patient had been in her usual state of health when she presented to her primary care physician with complaints of palpitations, weight loss and insomnia.  Lab tests were performed and she was given a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.  She was started on propranolol and methimazole, which the patient took intermittently due to…

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Wheal and Flare: Chronic Urticaria Revisited

September 9, 2009
Wheal and Flare: Chronic Urticaria Revisited

Erin Ducharme MD

Faculty peer reviewed by Rardi Feigenbaum MD

Urticaria is a common cutaneous disorder characterized by transient edematous plaques resulting from acute dermal edema and surrounding erythema. Roughly 20% of the general population will manifest urticaria at some point in their lives, qualifying it as a condition caregivers should be able to recognize and treat. When the unsightly wheal and flare reaction combined with periods of intense pruritis persists for greater than six weeks without an identifiable causative…

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Mystery Quiz- The Answer

March 10, 2009
Mystery Quiz- The Answer

Posted by Vivian Hayashi MD and Robert Smith MD, Mystery Quiz Section Editors

The answer to the mystery quiz is allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). The CXR shows right upper lobe opacities, two of which appear round (Image 3, arrow) and another tubular (Image 3, arrowhead), and a left upper lobe opacity which has the characteristics of subsegmental atelectasis (Image 3, double arrows). The CT scan, performed ten days after the CXR, shows central bronchiectasis of the RUL (Image 4, arrows); tubular branching shadows (Image 6, arrow) as…

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Grand Rounds: “Innate Immunity and Viral Pathogenesis”

December 4, 2007
Grand Rounds: “Innate Immunity and Viral Pathogenesis”

Commentary by Urania Rappo, PGY-2

This week’s Medicine Grand Rounds guest lecturer was Dr. Robert Finberg, currently Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He earned his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and trained in Medicine at Bellevue Hospital starting in 1974. He was a Fellow in Infectious Diseases at Harvard Medical School, and there established a rich research career over the ensuing twenty years. Dr. Finberg’s research focuses on host-microbial interactions, defining the cell surface proteins…

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