Improving Survival Benefit in Glioblastoma Patients with Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy

MR images of a brain at baseline vs. ONC201 A new study featured on the cover of the March issue of Nature Medicine offers hope for treating patients with glioblastoma. In a small randomized controlled clinical trial, patients with recurrent glioblastoma lived nearly twice as long if they received an immunotherapy drug prior to and following surgery, compared to patients who only received the drug after surgery.
Read More

MR-Guided Radiation Therapy: A More Precise Way to See, Track and Treat Tumors

New MR-Imaging (Left) – Traditional Cone-beam CT (Right)
New MR-Imaging (Left) – Traditional Cone-beam CT (Right)

For the first time, cancer patients in New England will have a cutting-edge option for radiation treatment of soft-tissue tumors. The new MR-Guided Radiation Therapy (MR-RT) treatment at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), launching this summer, will give physicians real-time, pinpoint accuracy for radiation planning and treatment.
Read More

New Hope for Late-Stage Endometrial Cancer Patients

drawing of DNA double helix with the phrase Novel therapies in Endometrial CancerWhen diagnosed and treated in its early stages, endometrial cancer is largely curable. However, for the 10 to 15 percent of patients diagnosed with late-stage disease, standard therapy does not lead to a cure.
Read More

Can Your Patient’s Smartphone Signal Early GBM Recurrence?

cartoon of a smartphone and a map of a human brainWhen following a patient for brain tumor recurrence, standard assessments fall short:  Imaging and clinical exams each occur only a few times per year, and patient questionnaires capture only a moment in time and may be unreliable due to the challenge of accurate self-assessment amidst insidious decline.
Read More

Expanded Autonomic Testing Helps to Pinpoint Causes of Orthostatic Intolerance

drawing of a tilt tableUsing expanded, state-of-the-art capabilities in autonomic testing, Peter Novak, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Autonomic Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is driving better understanding of hard-to-diagnose patients with orthostatic intolerance.
Read More

New Strategy Fights Tumor Resilience in Glioblastoma

glioblastomaTo address the challenge of glioblastoma (GBM) recurrence and treatment resistance, a research team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital has reported success using a novel method to co-opt the tumor cells’ molecular machinery. The result makes the tumor more vulnerable to treatment. By delivering molecules that modify gene expression in the tumor, investigators have shown a significant survival benefit in a mouse model of GBM.
Read More

Hepatitis C-Infected Hearts and Lungs Safely Transplanted

As the number of patients in need of heart or lung transplants continues to exceed the number of donor organs that are viable and available, many patients die while waiting for a transplant. Through the DONATE HCV Trial, a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is expanding the donor pool by enabling transplantation from hepatitis C-infected donors.

In a recent publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, a multidisciplinary team of experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported a 100 percent success rate for transplant recipients who received lungs or a heart infected with hepatitis C (HCV).

Six months after transplantation, patients remained hepatitis C free and had functioning transplanted organs. The trial showed that a four-week antiviral treatment regimen started immediately following organ transplantation prevented HCV infection in all patients and led to excellent outcomes. Given the success of the trial, enrollment continues.

The DONATE HCV Trial is the largest clinical trial to date for HCV thoracic organ transplantation. “If even half the other centers in the United States were to adopt the Brigham protocol, we would, in fact, shorten the time to transplantation by nearly half,” says Mandeep Mehra, MD, medical director of the Heart & Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The team has enrolled 69 participants to date.

In the above video, hear more from the investigators pioneering this trial, including:

Enhancing the Care of Frail Older Adults With Complex Needs Through Home Visits

In this bird's eye view, a female doctor sits on a living room couch with a senior female patient. She holds a clipboard as the patient gestures and speaks. There is a doctor's bag and medical equipment on the coffee table.As a primary care physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Laura N. Frain, MD, MPH, saw firsthand the challenges of caring for older adults, particularly those living with frailty, cognitive impairment/dementia and multiple geriatric syndromes within the primary care system. Now, as a geriatrician in the Brigham’s Division of Aging, she leads collaborations with primary care to develop and implement new models for co-managing outpatient geriatric patients.
Read More

Pushing the Boundaries of Robotic-Assisted Colorectal Surgery

3D illustration of surgical robot on white backgroundIn 2017, nearly 700,000 robotic-assisted procedures were performed in the United States. Robotic surgery is fast becoming the preferred method for procedures in gynecological, thoracic, urologic, colon and rectal surgery. Today, a wide range of colorectal problems can be treated with robotic surgery.
Read More

A Biopsychosocial Treatment Model for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Closeup showing a hand checking off goals that were accomplished.Absent of a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have pioneered a broader approach to improving the health of patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s by focusing on lifestyle, health education and psychosocial aspects of disease.
Read More