Diagnosis & Disease Information

Study Again Confirms High Cost of Self-Referral with No Patient Benefit

Study Again Confirms High Cost of Self-Referral with No Patient Benefit

According to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), self-referring urologists dramatically increased their usage of a more expensive, but not necessarily more effective, radiation treatment they own compared to their non-self-referring counterparts where no ownership interest exists. The study adds to the existing mountain of evidence that the in-office ancillary services loophole to the Stark Law costs the Medicare system billions without benefiting patients.

A Genetic Variation That Could Protect Skin From Sun Damage Fuels Testicular Cancer

A Genetic Variation That Could Protect Skin From Sun Damage Fuels Testicular Cancer

A Ludwig Cancer Research study published in Cell today identifies a common mutation that dramatically increases the risk for testicular cancer—and describes a likely molecular mechanism by which it exerts that effect. The researchers also suggest why, despite its potential lethality, the genetic variation has been favored by natural selection to become common in light-skinned people. It appears this mutation might aid the tanning of Caucasian skin in response to sunlight, protecting it from UV radiation, which can burn and cause cancer.

Dr. Michael Mastromarino

Michael Mastromarino: The Organ Grinder

Biomedical Tissue Services was his company’s name; being a modern-day grave robber was more his game. Dr. Michael Mastromarino was a successful oral surgeon with a practice in New Jersey. He had a beautiful home, a wife, and 2 sons. He coauthored a prominent book on dental implants, Smile: How Dental Implants Can Transform Your Life. He was highly regarded in his field. How did this seemingly successful man later become known as the Organ Grinder and the Brooklyn Bone Snatcher?

NIH Scientists Find That Proteins Involved in Immunity Potentially Cause Cancer

NIH Scientists Find That Proteins Involved in Immunity Potentially Cause Cancer

A set of proteins involved in the body’s natural defenses produces a large number of mutations in human DNA, according to a study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The findings suggest that these naturally produced mutations are just as powerful as known cancer-causing agents in producing tumors.

The proteins are part of a group called apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like (APOBEC) cytidine deaminases. The investigators found that APOBEC mutations can outnumber all other mutations in some cancers, accounting for over two-thirds in some bladder, cervical, breast, head and neck, and lung tumors.

Researchers Discover How A Mutated Protein Outwits Evolution And Fuels Leukemia

Researchers Discover How A Mutated Protein Outwits Evolution And Fuels Leukemia

Findings Suggest a Potent New Therapeutic Target for Certain Types of Cancer

Scientists have discovered the survival secret to a genetic mutation that stokes leukemia cells, solving an evolutionary riddle and paving the way to a highly targeted therapy for leukemia. In a paper published today in Cell, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center describe how a mutated protein, called Fbxw7, behaves differently when expressed in cancer cells versus healthy cells. “Fbxw7 is essential for making blood cells, so the big mystery is why a mutation on a gene so important for survival would persist,” says lead author Iannis Aifantis, PhD, chair of pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center and an Early Career Scientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “What we’ve found is that the mutation affects cancerous cells but not healthy cells.”

Preventing Skin Cancer in Children

Preventing Skin Cancer in Children Begins with the Right Sunscreen

It is well known that exposure to the sun is the key risk factor for developing skin cancer. And while most parents are aware that applying sunscreen to their children is important, many go wrong by not taking the time to choose the most effective sunscreen, or they don’t understand the limitations of sunscreen.

ASTRO and AUA Issue Joint Guideline for Radiation Therapy After Prostatectomy

ASTRO and AUA Issue Joint Guideline for Radiation Therapy After Prostatectomy

Guideline provides detailed direction on treatment options for prostate cancer patients

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Urological Association (AUA) are pleased to announce the publication of the joint guideline on radiation therapy after prostatectomy for patients with and without evidence of prostate cancer recurrence. The 81-page document represents an intensive collaboration among experts in the radiation oncology and urology fields, led by Richard K. Valicenti, MD, MA, professor and chair of the department of radiation oncology at the University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Sacramento, on behalf of ASTRO, and Ian M. Thompson, MD, director of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the Glenda and Gary Woods Distinguished Chair in genitourinary oncology, on behalf of the AUA.

Subway Not Much Healthier Than McDonald's

For Teens, Subway Not Much Healthier Than McDonald’s

In a study published May 6 in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the researchers found that adolescents who purchased Subway meals consumed nearly as many calories as they did at McDonald’s. Meals from both restaurants are likely to contribute toward overeating and obesity, according to the researchers.

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet

May is international Mediterranean diet month. And it’s worth reexamining this regimen in light of a paper recently published in JAMA. Through observational cohort studies and a secondary prevention trial, an inverse association was noted between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular risk. Among persons at high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts was found to reduce the incidence of major cardiovascular events.

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