Female, 30-years-old, Short of Breath: Could It Be LAM?

The first-time patient at the Center for LAM Research and Clinical Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital was typical: A female in her 30s, she had experienced dyspnea on exertion, unusual chest discomfort and fatigue for years. The otherwise healthy former athlete had seen multiple physicians, who ruled out cardiac issues and prescribed asthma meds, but symptoms persisted. When a CT scan was ordered for a suspected pulmonary embolus, none was found. But the scan revealed the real problem: Lung destruction that is characteristic of lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). Read More

Minimally Invasive POEM Succeeds for Achalasia and Other Esophageal Disorders

Motor disorders of the esophagus present a rare but serious challenge. But experience with Per-Oral Endoscopic Myotomy in the comprehensive esophageal practice at the Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is showing benefits for its initial use in achalasia and for other motor disorders.

Jon O. Wee, MD, the section chief for esophageal surgery and co-director of minimally invasive thoracic surgery in the Division of Thoracic Surgery, was an early adopter of POEM and one of the first in New England to perform the procedure. He has performed more than 60 POEM procedures at Brigham and Women’s since 2013.

Read More

New Modeling Shows Surprising Cumulative Risk of Lung Cancer among Non-Smokers

How can clinicians in the office setting identify non-smoking patients who are at risk of lung cancer – and therefore may be candidates for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) imaging?

That question has been a focus of Michael Jaklitsch, MD, a thoracic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. Jaklitsch is a long-time leader of initiatives and research in lung cancer screening and surveillance and co-creator of an online risk calculator. Read More

Connective Tissue Disorders Program Provides Comprehensive Care

Male cardiologist gestures while discussing diagnosis with an unrecognizable female patient.For more than two decades, Brigham Health has been providing comprehensive cardiac care for patients with Marfan syndrome and other connective tissue disorders, including Loeys-Dietz syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Read More

Q&A with William Sauer, MD: New Chief of Brigham’s Cardiac Arrhythmia Service

Stethoscope and ElectrocardiogramWilliam Henry Sauer, MD, the new chief of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Brigham Health, discusses his vision for the department and how an expert team of electrophysiologists are providing leading-edge care for abnormal heart rhythms that affect a variety of patients, particularly those with complex medical concerns.
Read More

Novel SEQaBOO Study of Newborn Hearing Loss Foretells Role for Obstetricians in Genomic Medicine

The ear of a newborn baby only a few weeks old.As genetic and genomic sequencing become incorporated into newborn screening for hearing loss, patients may look to obstetricians for guidance on genetic testing decisions.

Auditory screening of newborns, mandated by most states in recent decades, now reaches an estimated 98 percent of newborns in the United States and has significantly reduced the average age for identifying congenital deafness. But adding genetic testing could drive more accurate diagnosis and personalized management during infancy’s critical window when the brain’s speech and language center is developing rapidly.
Read More

Creating Healthy Families, One Embryo at a Time

embryo in a petri dishPredicting which IVF embryos are most likely to produce a healthy pregnancy is an ongoing challenge in the field. For embryologist Catherine Racowsky, PhD, it is a theme across her varied work as director of the IVF Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as a researcher of new techniques to find the healthiest embryos and as incoming president of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Read More

Stratifying Accreta Risks Before Labor to Improve Maternal Health

In the Hospital, Close-up Shot of the Doctor Doing Ultrasound / Sonogram Scan to a Pregnant Woman. Obstetrician Moving Transducer on the Belly of the Future Mother.With placenta accreta contributing to rising rates of severe maternal morbidity nationwide, the Program for Surgical Obstetrics and Placental Abnormalities at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is zeroing in on antepartum risk stratification as a tool for preserving maternal health.
Read More

Improving Survival Benefit in Glioblastoma Patients with Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy

MR images of a brain at baseline vs. ONC201A 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