UT Southwestern in the News — July 2009

July 2009

KDAF 33 – Wife of injured DPD officer speaks – meets good samaritan who paid
for air ambulance flight home (July 30, 2009)
The press conference at UT Southwestern started with a simple, declarative sentence. "This man saved my husbands life by bringing him home," said Rosa Garcia. "And I want to thank him." This man, is Eugene Knies, who footed the bill for Rosa's husband and Dallas police officer Alex Garcia, to come home. Garcia suffered a blood clot after becoming dehydrated while on a police explorers conference in Denver. Dr. Benjamin Nguyen also comments. Watch Video

The Dallas Morning News – Wife of Dallas officer who fell ill in Colorado thanks 'guardian angel' who brought him home (July 31, 2009)
Three months ago, Rosa Garcia married her childhood sweetheart. On Thursday, she tearfully thanked a stranger for giving them the ultimate wedding gift. The object of her gratitude, auto dealer Eugene Knies of McKinney, paid $7,500 to fly Garcia's husband, Dallas police Officer Alex Garcia, home from Colorado on Monday after he fell ill during a police trip there. Read More

Forbes – Snack attack: The dos and don'ts of healthful – and mindful – snacking (July 30, 2009)
Alison Dougherty's job can be hectic. Working on multiple projects at once, the learning consultant grabs what she can when she can – protein bars, chocolates, instant soup mix. But people who overdo these treats should be more concerned with the lack of nutritional value than with an unsustainable sugar high. The liver actually regulates the amount of glucose that is released into the bloodstream and only puts out what the body needs. So while the body may absorb sugar more quickly than protein once the liver does release it, avoiding sugary snacks makes more nutritional sense. Dr. Don C. Rockey comments. Read More

The Dallas Morning News – Sun protection products go beyond creams (July 28, 2009)
Long gone are the days of noses coated with sticky, bright white zinc oxide to keep them from burning in the sun. These days, you can get your protection in the laundry, in the shower or from under a beach umbrella. These new, unconventional products can offer added protection from the sun. But dermatologists caution that nobody should forgo tried-and-true measures. Dr. Sarah Weitzul comments. Read More

Daily Politics – Health care rationing and my 91-year-old dad (July 29, 2009)
Most of the arguments we're hearing about health care reform involve big numbers: Millions of people now uninsured, billions of dollars to be spent or saved. And that's probably the right place to start the discussion – in the middle of the bell curve where most people live. Several medical ethicists weighed in, including Dr. Tom Mayo, director of Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at Southern Methodist University. He also teaches at UT Southwestern and the SMU law school. Read More

WFAA-TV Ch. 8 (ABC) Dallas – Aging in America: Consider a geriatrician (July, 27, 2009)
You take your kids to a doctor who specializes in treating children – a pediatrician. So, why wouldn't you take your aging parents to a doctor who specializes in treating them? Dr. Amit Shah, a geriatrician at UT Southwestern, recommends switching to a geriatrician early – before medical problems get complex. 

USA Today – Sinusitis now can be treated with balloon procedure (July 27, 2009)
Mike Snider, along with about 14% of the U.S. population, or 37 million Americans, had chronic sinusitis, inflammation of the linings of the sinuses bad enough to block the drainage of mucus into the nose. His allergy doctor referred him to a different sinus surgeon who had been doing a new procedure called balloon sinuplasty, which uses a small, flexible balloon catheter to open nasal passages. Within the medical community there is some concern that the procedure is over-marketed. Dr. Bradley Marple comments.
Read More

Fort Worth Business Press — UTA, UT Southwestern research is magnetic (July 27, 2009)
Engineers from the UTA and physicians from UT Southwestern, with the help of Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc., are moving forward on developing tools that may be attractive to surgeons in the future. The tools, which rely on strong magnets that attract through the abdominal wall to maneuver within the body, have been the focus of collaboration between the two system sister schools for roughly 10 years, since Dr. Jeffrey Cadeddu, a professor of urology and radiology at UT Southwestern, saw that small magnets could be used to hold studs, negating the need for a piercing. Read More

ABC News — Do kids' seizures signal swine flu (July 24, 2009)
Clinicians encountering children with flu-like symptoms accompanied by neurologic symptoms should consider infection with the pandemic H1N1 (swine flu) virus in the differential diagnosis, researchers said. Since April, the Dallas County health department has detected four cases of neurological complications in children with confirmed H1N1 infection, Jane Siegel, MD, of UT Southwestern, and colleagues reported. Read More

The Dallas Morning News' Bob Miller — Dallas researcher to lead study on lung cancer in nonsmokers (July 23, 2009)
Dr. Adi Gazdar, a professor of pathology at UT Southwestern, will be a principal investigator for a $2 million study on lung cancer in people who have never smoked. Dr. Gazdar will lead the research sponsored by the National Cancer Institute through its Early Detection Research Network.

KTVT-TV, Ch.11 (CBS), Dallas — Wireless device helps local MS patients walk (July 20, 2009)
For Dwight Riskey, walking can be a challenge. About 20 years ago, the 59-year-old was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after gradually noticing that his right leg was getting weaker. The Plano man started attending physical therapy at UT Southwestern. But in January, Riskey was introduced to a wireless device for patients with neurological damage. UT Southwestern has about a dozen patients currently using the device, called the Bioness L-300. "They're able to regain their life back," said physical therapist Charlotte Morrison.

The Dallas Morning News' Steve Blow — UT Southwestern tops local hospital rankings (July 16, 2009)
UT Southwestern has won local bragging rights in a national ranking of hospitals. Its news release: UT Southwestern is nationally ranked in more specialty-care areas than any other health care provider in North Texas in U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Hospitals 2009-10.

The Dallas Morning News — Parents lead crowd at rally and march against 'cheese' (July 18, 2009)
Enrique Carranza and Wendy Davalos are parents fed up with dealers peddling a potent potion to young teens: "cheese" heroin. So in outrage and grief they marched Friday evening with about 100 others in northwest Dallas "in memory of lost children." Parents listened as speakers encouraged them to unite and to talk to their children about drug dangers. Cheese heroin — a combination of nighttime cold medicine and Mexican black tar heroin — is a persistent problem in the Dallas area. Dr. Carlos Tirado comments.

KTVT-TV CH.11 (CBS), DALLAS — Exercise may hold key in shrinking breast cancer (July 16, 2009)
In March 2009, Joan Wolman was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She immediately began a chemotherapy regimen to shrink the tumor before she could have a mastectomy. Her surgeon, Dr. Roshni Rao from UT Southwestern had something up her sleeve, though. "We're going to see if we can influence the aggressiveness of the tumor along with the chemotherapy," Dr. Rao said. To do that, Dr. Rao has put Wolman on a strict, boot-camp-like exercise program. She's measuring the effect exercise can have on a tumor when done in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Los Angeles Times — Lip stud inspires idea for surgical tools (July 16, 2009)
Never underestimate the value of popular culture. Dr. Jeffrey Cadeddu, of
UT Southwestern, was watching a television show featuring teens who used magnets to hold studs on their lips instead of getting their lips pierced. Bingo! Cadeddu, an expert in minimally invasive surgery, began to think about using magnets on surgical tools during minimally invasive procedures in order to expand a surgeon's reach inside the body. Read More

KTVT-TV Ch.11 (CBS), Dallas — UTSW doctors performing new gallbladder surgery (July 16, 2009)
Gallbladder surgery used to be a major ordeal, with a lengthy recovery period, but not anymore. Doctors at Parkland Hospital in Dallas invited CBS 11 News cameras inside the operating room for an up close look at a new way of doing things that helps patients get back on their feet a lot sooner. "This is the biggest and newest evolution of surgery and laparoscopic surgery," explained Dr. Homero Rivas, a UT Southwestern surgery professor. Dr. Rivas used the operation CBS 11 witnessed to teach doctors on the other side of the world, how to do it. "A few months ago we televised to Rome and we have televised to other placed throughout the U.S." Watch Video

Houston Chronicle — Warning sounded on heart scan law (July 16, 2009)
Widespread use of a controversial heart disease test that Texas insurers will be required by law to cover could lead to thousands more cases of cancer in the United States, according to a new study. The study offers the most definitive estimate yet of the cancer risk from the radiation exposure that comes with increasingly popular CT scans, which provide pictures of the heart's arteries and quantify the risk of heart attack in people without symptoms. Dr. Amit Khera, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

WFAA (ABC-Dallas/Fort Worth) — Doctors hope genes may provide staph clue (July 15, 2009)
Erasmo Martinez, 18, has been in isolation a week, in Children's Medical Center, as doctors try corral a potentially lethal staph infection in his leg. Martinez has no clue how he got the antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. And doctors don't know why drugs can't successfully fight his infection. The case is not unique, which is why UT Southwestern researchers looked directly into the genes of pediatric patients like Martinez, infected with staph. UT Southwestern research has now discovered that the gene's first immune response is very strong to MRSA. But, for some unknown reason, the second immune response that helps the body to adapt its defense, is not working when it comes to MRSA. Dr. Monica Ardura comments.

United Press International — Staphylococus infection genetically mapped (July 14, 2009)
U.S. scientists have mapped the genetic profiles of children with Staphylococcus aureus infections, showing how the immune system responds to the pathogen. The infectious disease specialists at UT Southwestern said their findings might lead to improved therapeutic interventions and show why some people are apt to get more severe staphylococcal infections than others. The results pinpointed how an individual's immune system responds to a S. aureus infection at the genetic level. "The beauty of our study is that we were able to use existing technology to understand in a real clinical setting what's going on in actual humans — not models, not cells, not mice, but humans," Dr. Monica Ardura, lead author of the study, said. Read More

Dallas Business Journal — UTA, UT Southwestern ink deal on magnetically controlled surgical instruments (July 10, 2009)
A new agreement between UT Southwestern, the University of Texas at Arlington and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. will provide the two research organizations with the financial backing they need to continue developing magnetically controlled surgical instruments that researchers hope to eventually market to the medical community. Dr. Dennis Stone, vice president of technology development at
UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

Fort Worth Star-Telegram — Study at Dallas hospital to test whether estrogen protects brain after traumatic injury (July 9, 2009)
A single dose of the female hormone estrogen could protect the brain after a traumatic injury, but researchers won’t know for sure until they test it on humans. That’s what they’re doing beginning this week as part of a clinical trial at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. The rapid administration of estrogen holds promise as a way to reduce neurological deficits and increase survival after a devastating injury, said Dr. Jane Wigginton, assistant professor of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern.

Time — The FDA and painkillers: What's safe now? (July 7, 2009)
The June 30 vote by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee to lower the maximum dose of over-the-counter drugs containing acetaminophen and to eliminate prescription acetaminophen-combination painkillers raised questions about what changes consumers should expect in the availability of the popular drug. Comments include those from Dr. William Lee, director of the Clinical Center for Liver Diseases at UT Southwestern, who presented data to the committee on liver damage due to acetaminophen overdose. Read More

KTVT-TV CBS Ch. 11 Dallas — Science teachers are students in Dallas class (July 2, 2009)
Many students across North Texas are currently facing a hot session of summer school. But there is also a group of high school educators who are taking some special classes of their own. It's a science program for adults looking for ways to motivate young high schoolers. UT Southwestern calls the program STARS, for Science Teacher Access to Resources. STARS director Joel Goodman comments.

ABC News — Black box, mixed message? FDA panel delivers acetaminophen recommendations (July 1, 2009)
If a U.S. Food and Drug Administration expert panel has its way, prescription pain killers like Vicodin and Percocet that contain acetaminophen will be eliminated from the country's formularies. Yet, the very same panel voted to keep over-the-counter combination pills containing acetaminophen on the shelves. Dr. William Lee comments. Read More

CNN — Study suggests C-reactive protein doesn't cause heart disease (July 1, 2009)
High levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood probably don't cause hardening of the arteries or heart disease, according to the largest study of its kind to focus on the long-suspected culprit. The current findings, as well as past research that used similar techniques, "strongly challenge" a causal role for CRP in heart disease, Dr. Svati H. Shah of Duke University Medical Center, and Dr. James A. de Lemos of UT Southwestern, wrote in an editorial published with the new study. Read More

Wall Street Journal — Study: C-reactive protein doesn’t cause heart disease (July 1, 2009)
The inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein, or CRP, doesn’t appear to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, though it has long been thought to be one. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association today finds that CRP is associated with the disease but doesn’t appear to cause it. James de Lemos, the coronary care unit director at UT Southwestern, who wrote an editorial to accompany the studies, told the Health Blog that while CRP remains a marker of heart disease, “I think that spending a lot of time and money looking at CRP pathways probably isn’t wise." Read More

Reuters — Protein a signal of heart risk, not a cause-study (July 1, 2009)
Measuring a compound called C-reactive protein helps identify people with heart disease, but a study on Tuesday concluded there is no reason to think that elevated levels of the substance itself cause heart problems. "This study puts the nail in the coffin ... in the question about (C-reactive protein): does it cause cardiovascular disease?" said Dr. James de Lemos of UT Southwestern, who helped write a commentary in the journal about the studies. It clearly does not, he said. Read More