Minimally Invasive Surgery Offers Most Effective Treatment for Lung Cancer Patients

For lung cancer surgeries, should there be an imperative to use minimally invasive techniques? 

Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomies have been available to lung cancer surgeons for two decades. Despite the benefits, only 30 to 40 percent of lobectomies in the U.S. are performed using a minimally invasive technique. And yet, compared with open surgery, lobectomies performed by the VATS approach result in a shorter length of hospital stay, fewer adverse events, less cost to the hospital, and better quality of life for the patient. Read More

Lung Transplant Program Triples its Volume in Two Years, While Shortening Length of Hospital Stay

In 2015, surgeons in the Lung Transplant Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital performed 26 lung transplants. After significant investments in surgical staff, quality and processes, the program tripled its volume over a two-year period, performing 75 lung transplants in 2017. During this period of rapid growth, many outcomes were also improved, including a decrease in the length of hospital stay from 24 days (2015) to approximately 15 days (2017) and increased one-year survival to over 90 percent. Read More

Using Bioinformatics Approaches and the PheWAS to Inform Role of Autoantibodies in RA

Along with inflammatory arthritis, overproduction of autoantibodies is a defining feature of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), particularly autoantibodies against citrullinated proteins (ACPAs). The clinical significance of these ACPAs, other than for diagnosing RA, has been unclear. Previous studies have focused on association studies between a few ACPAs and one or two specific RA phenotypes – for example, an association between anti–citrullinated histone H2B antibodies and coronary artery calcium scores in patients with RA. But such an approach cannot identify potential associations with a wider array of untested phenotypes.
Read More

Advancing Precision Medicine in Rheumatology: Big Data and Beyond

Big data will drive precision medicine in rheumatology. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the combination of massive databases with genomic and clinical data will open new capabilities for the diagnosis, care, and even prevention of rheumatic disease. BWH has invested in large-scale data collection that is now is bearing fruit. The Partners HealthCare Biobank repository of DNA, plasma, and serum samples now has more than 78,000 participants, with 20,000 genotyped samples, as well as survey data with family history, lifestyle and environmental information.
Read More

Brigham’s Spine Center Enrolling Patients in Multicenter S. aureus Vaccine STRIVE Study

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery are enrolling patients to investigate S. aureus vaccine (SA4Ag) in the prevention of postoperative S. aureus in posterior spinal fusion procedures with multilevel instrumentation.

Orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are participating in a Phase 2B, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the safety and efficacy of a staphylococcus aureus 4-antigen vaccine SA4Ag in adults (aged 18 to <86) undergoing elective open posterior spinal fusion procedures with multilevel instrumentation. Read More

Gut Bacteria Promotes Bone Growth in Mice

Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have shown that the presence of gut microbiota increases levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), and supports bone growth in mice.

“We wanted to understand how the gut microbiota regulates bone, because we’re interested in novel ways to improve bone quality and quantity, and ultimately improve the bone health of the population,” says Julia F. Charles, MD, PhD, an investigator who recently joined the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at BWH. Read More