News

A majority of children who had received liver transplants from their parents were able to stop anti-rejection (immunosuppressant) medication in an encouraging study at three transplant centers.
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What's New in the Department of Surgery

New Cocktail Boosts Recovery from Hepatitis C

For someone with liver disease, a cocktail is normally a forbidden luxury. But in some cases, it may be just what the doctor ordered. Two recently approved medications are now being combined with traditional treatments to form a powerful new drug cocktail, improving the outcomes among patients with this challenging disease.
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Dr. Lee makes an appearance on the Dr. Oz Show to discuss how doctors detect thyroid cancer in patients.
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Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), this international, multicenter clinical study is evaluating the effectiveness of thymus gland removal (thymectomy) as a treatment for myasthenia gravis. The trial commenced in 2006 and has an expected completion date of August 2010. Joshua Sonett, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Columbia, is the surgeon for the Columbia site. Alfred Jaretzki, MD, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Surgery at Columbia is a member of the trial's Executive Committee, and in this role is an author on two articles regarding the study.
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Preserving organs on ice prior to transplantation, an approach known as cold storage or CS, has been the standard practice in liver transplant for 20 years. Now there is new evidence that a technique called hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) may offer an improvement, according to the first-ever study comparing the impact of the two techniques on transplant outcomes. The phase I study was carried out by Dr. James Guarrera and his colleagues at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Unlike cold storage, which Dr. Guarrera describes as a static technique, HMP dynamically simulates "aliveness" by providing a continuous flow of oxygen and key nutrients to the liver while diluting and removing toxins and waste products.
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Marc Bessler, MD, Director, Minimal Access Surgery Center, and his colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center are using, testing, and refining three new methods of performing surgery that leave no external scars on the body.
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This figure shows the three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) APBI technique.
What's New in the Department of Surgery

Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation

Investigational procedure may make radiation therapy accessible to more women. After undergoing a lumpectomy to remove the part of the breast affected by breast cancer, most women must undergo radiation therapy treatments. The standard course consists of six to seven weeks of therapy, five days a week. For women who live far from their radiation facilities, the burden associated with daily trips for almost two months can be too much to bear. As a result, some women have curtailed therapy, or even foregone radiation therapy altogether, despite the increased risk of their cancers recurring. A new kind of radiation therapy, Accelerated partial breast irradiation, or APBI, may now alleviate this travel burden and allow more women to complete this highly important therapy.
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