Recent News Releases
Patient reports can add to efforts to identify, reduce adverse events in hospitals
July 14, 2008 — A study by a group of Massachusetts researchers finds that surveying patients about their experiences can add important information to hospital efforts to improve patient safety.
Middle Eastern families yield intriguing clues to autism
July 10, 2008 — Research has implicated a half-dozen new genes in autism and strongly supports the idea that autism stems from disruptions in the brain's ability to form new connections in response to experience.
Circulating tumor cells can reveal genetic signature of dangerous lung cancers
July 2, 2008 — An MGH-developed, microchip-based device that detects and analyzes tumor cells in the bloodstream can be used to determine the genetic signature of lung tumors, facilitating targeted therapies and monitoring genetic changes that occur during therapy.
Relaxation response can influence expression of stress-related genes
July 1 , 2008 — A new study finds that eliciting the relaxation response – a physiologic state of deep rest – influences the activation patterns of genes associated with the body’s response to stress.
Depression Ups Risk of Complications Following Heart Attack
July 1, 2008 — People who suffer from severe depression following a heart attack might be more likely to experience cardiac complications while hospitalized, according to a new study.
International team identifies 21 new genetic risk factors for Crohn’s disease
June 29 , 2008 — An international consortium of Crohn’s disease researchers has combined data from three independent studies to identify 21 new genetic variants associated with the inflammatory bowel disorder, bringing the total number of risk factors to 32.
Cardiovascular risk assessment, treatment vital for HIV patients on therapy
June 19, 2008 — Antiretroviral medications have dramatically reduced the overall death rate among patients with the human immunodeficiency virus, but those same patients may now face an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
Physician Adoption of Electronic Health Records Still Extremely Low, But Medicine May be at a Tipping Point
June 18, 2008 — Despite the promises it offers health care and quality improvement, only a small minority of U.S. physicians have embraced electronic health records as a routine part of practice.
Hormone Disorder May Contribute to Lack of Menstruation in Teenage Athletes
June 16, 2008 — Researchers have found a way to predict which teenage female athletes will stop menstruating, an important risk factor for bone thinning.
CT Lung Cancer Screening No Cure-All for Smokers
June 10, 2008 — Screening for lung cancer with computed tomography may help reduce lung cancer deaths in smokers, but it won't protect them from other causes of death associated with smoking.
Simple membranes could have allowed nutrients to pass into primitive cells
June 4 , 2008 — When the first cells developed, how could they bring molecules from the environment into their living interior without the specialized structures found on the modern cell membrane?
Report confirms increased risk of smoking, substance abuse in bipolar adolescents
June 2, 2008 — An MGH study - the largest and first controlled such investigation - supports previous reports that adolescents with bipolar disorder are at increased risk for smoking and substance abuse.
Researchers Identify Specific Genes and Family Traits Linked to Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Depression
June 2, 2008 — New findings are providing important clues into how genes work to impair various aspects of attention, memory and perception.
Harvard Medical School receives major NIH grant for galvanizing translational science
28, 2008 — HMS has received a five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award to launch a center that will transform patient-oriented medical research at the School and create an unprecedented level of unity and communication across the University’s schools and affiliated medical centers.
Experiment advances understanding of cell reprogramming
22, 2008 — Konrad Hochedlinger and colleagues from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and MGH have demonstrated that fully differentiated mouse cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state.
Determining genetic signature of lung tumors can help guide treatment
20, 2008 — The first U.S. clinical trial using genetic screening to identify lung tumors likely to respond to targeted therapies supports the use of those drugs as first-line treatment rather than after standard chemotherapy has failed.
MGH study confirms benefit of surgery for gastroesophageal reflux
19, 2008 — Despite the growing availability of prescription and over-the-counter medications for gastroesophageal reflux disease, surgical treatment remains a viable alternative for patients whose symptoms persist.
Black men appear less likely to undergo elective aneurysm repair than white men
19, 2008 — Black men are less likely than white men to undergo elective surgery to repair abdominal aortic aneurysms, even after accounting for racial differences in rates of developing the disease.
Is the future of surgery painless and scarless?
18, 2008 — A sophisticated new surgical technology holds promise for future painless and scarless surgery with shorter recovery times than laparoscopic surgery.
in first-of-its-kind Healthcare Equality Index
13, 2008 — The MGH was one of 88 U.S. hospitals
nationwide and the only in Massachusetts to participate in an industry-changing
nationwide report about patient care for gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender Americans.
first in New England to offer new laser treatment
8, 2008 — Dermatologists at Massachusetts
General Hospital are using a powerful new type of laser to evaporate
patients' wrinkles and sun damage with fewer treatments.
MGH researchers report successful new laser treatment for vocal-cord cancer
6, 2008 — An innovative laser treatment for early vocal-cord cancer, developed at MGH, successfully restores patients’ voices without radiotherapy or traditional surgery, which can permanently damage vocal quality.
of HIV-specific T cells may be caused by chronic exposure to virus
5, 2008 — The "exhaustion" of
immune cells that target HIV appears to result from chronic exposure
of pathogen-killing HIV-specific CD8 T cells to viral peptides.
monitoring improves heart failure patients health, may reduce
1, 2008 — A remote monitoring program can
improve the condition of heart failure patients who are mobile and
may reduce hospital readmissions, according to an MGH pilot study.
The truth about
violent video games and children
28, 2008 — A new book by MGH researchers may
give parents the help they need for setting limits for children's
use of video games.
Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics awarded to Jack Szostak
24, 2008 — The Royal Netherlands Academy of
Arts and Sciences has awarded the 2008 H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry
and Biophysics to Jack W. Szostak, PhD, of the MGH Department of
MGH study shows
how exercise changes structure and function of heart
22, 2008 — For the first time researchers
are beginning to understand exactly how various forms of exercise
impact the heart.
arriving at hospitals in off hours get slower, less care
21, 2008 — Patients hospitalized with heart
attacks tend to get faster and more comprehensive care if they arrive
during daytime hours, according to a report in the journal Circulation.
MGH joins consortium
pursuing innovative healing for war wounded
17, 2008 — The MGH is participating in one
of two academic groups that will form the Armed Forces Institute
of Regenerative Medicine.
for continued nursing excellence
15, 2008 — The American Nurses Credentialing
Center today formally designated MGH as a "Magnet" hospital
through 2012. Magnet designation represents the highest available
honor for nursing excellence.
in the pipeline: new therapies that could change treatment strategies
15, 2008 — Studies presented at the 2008 Annual
Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research show promise
and progress against brain, colorectal, rectal and ovarian cancers
urate levels may slow the progression of Parkinson's disease
14, 2008 — Naturally elevated levels of the
antioxidant urate may slow the progression of Parkinson's disease
may slow growth and spread of liver cancer
14, 2008 —Treatment with sunitinib slows tumor
growth and reduces the risk of metastasis in patients with hepatocellular
carcinoma, an aggressive cancer of the liver, researchers report.
mechanism underlying multidrug resistance in fungi
2, 2008 —A team of researchers has identified
a mechanism controlling multidrug resistance in fungi, a discovery
that could advance treatments for opportunistic infections that
frequently plague individuals with compromised immunity.
may improve control of hard-to-treat systolic hypertension
27, 2008 —Adding the relaxation response,
a stress-management approach, to other lifestyle interventions may
significantly improve treatment of the type of hypertension most
common in the elderly.
access to antiretroviral drugs would drastically cut AIDS deaths
in South Africa
26, 2008 —More that 1.2 million AIDS deaths
could be prevented in South Africa over the next five years by accelerating
efforts to provide access to antiretroviral therapy.
suspended animation is rapid and reversible
25, 2008 —Low doses of the toxic gas responsible
for the unpleasant odor of rotten eggs can safely and reversibly
depress both metabolism and aspects of cardiovascular function in
mice, producing a suspended-animation-like state.
that cholesterol-associated gene variants can predict cardiovascular
19, 2008 —An MGH-led study confirms that a
combination of gene variants previously associated with cholesterol
levels does reflect patients' HDL and LDL levels and can signify
increased risk of heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death.
supply guides its own development
16, 2008 —A new study from MGH investigators
describes how blood vessels in the brain grow according to their
own agenda and not just to meet the needs of neural tissue.
phase I diabetes trial
13, 2008 — MGH scientists have initiated a
phase 1 clinical trial to explore whether the promising results
from the laboratory of Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, can be applied
in human diabetes.
with letrozole can reduce breast cancer recurrence risk
10, 2008 —Treatment with the aromatase inhibitor
letrozole can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence even when
initiated one to seven years after a course of tamoxifen therapy.
Hearts in Chelsea and Revere
5, 2008 — Last month MGH cardiologist Malissa
Wood, MD launched a program designed to improve the heart health
of women served by the MGH-Revere and Chelsea HealthCare Centers.
Hospital receives Gates Foundation grant to expand HIV controllers
4, 2008 — The MGH has received a five-year,
$20.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
to expand an international program investigating the biological
factors underlying immune system control of HIV.
may increase risk of anxiety disorders
3, 2008 —MGH researchers have discovered perhaps
the strongest evidence yet linking variation in a particular gene
with anxiety-related traits.
treatment for ADHD has no effect on risk of future substance abuse
1, 2008 —A new study finds that the use of
stimulant drugs to treat children with ADHD has no effect on their
future risk of substance abuse.
trial offers hope for patients with severe ischemic heart disease
26, 2008 —A clinical trial at the MGH Heart
Center is using patients' own stem cells to improve circulation
in hearts damaged by inadequate blood flow, by promoting the growth
of new, microscopic blood vessels.
another strategy for normalizing tumor blood supply
20, 2008 —Manipulating levels of nitric oxide,
a gas involved in many biological processes, may improve the disorganized
network of blood vessels supplying tumors, potentially improving
the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy.
MGH study identifies
enzyme that protects against intestinal bacterial toxin
18, 2008 —How the lining of the small intestine,
through which nutrients are absorbed, also prevents bacteria from
entering the bloodstream has been a mystery. Now researchers have
found that an intestinal enzyme may block the action of a key bacterial
step forward in understanding cell reprogramming
14, 2008 — Harvard Stem Cell Institute and
MGH researchers have taken a major step toward being able to reprogram
adult cells to an embryonic stem cell-like state without the use
of viruses or cancer-causing genes.
needed to conflicts presented by institutional relationships
12, 2008 — A new study indicates that many
U.S. medical schools do not have policies that govern conflicts
of interest related to financial relationships the institutions
have with public or private companies.
research may help explain autistic savants
12, 2008 — Mice lacking a certain brain protein
learn some tasks better but also forget faster, according to new
research from that may explain the phenomenon of autistic savants
reveals rapid formation of Alzheimer's-associated plaques
6, 2008 — The amyloid plaques found in the
brains of Alzheimer's disease patients may form much more rapidly
than previously expected.
compound may help combat hepatitis C infection
4, 2008 — A compound that naturally occurs
in grapefruit may be able to block the secretion of hepatitis C
virus from infected cells, a process required to maintain chronic
Drug based on
MGH discovery may significantly improve treatment of dangerous blood
31, 2008 — Two clinical trials of the novel
drug romiplostim show that it significantly improved platelet levels
in patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura, a hematologic
disorder that can cause uncontrolled bleeding
adult stem cells may help repair bone
25, 2008 — The use of a drug to activate stem
cells that differentiate into bone appears to cause regeneration
of bone tissue and be may be a potential treatment strategy for
procedure induces tolerance to mismatched kidney transplants
23, 2008 — Four of five patients participating
in a trial of a protocol designed to induce immune tolerance to
HLA-mismatched kidney transplants have been able to discontinue
significant differences in protocols hospitals use to determine
17, 2008 — A survey of some of the top hospitals
in the country has found that protocols followed to determine brain
death differ significantly among those institutions.
associate six new genetic variants with heart disease risk factor
15, 2008 — Using new techniques for rapidly
scanning the human genome, researchers have associated levels of
cholesterol and triglycerides to 18 genetic variants, six of which
represent new DNA regions never before associated with the traits.
abnormality appears to increase risk of autism
9, 2008 — A multi-institutional study involving
MGH researchers has identified a chromosomal abnormality that appears
to increase susceptibility to autism.
may elevate risk of liver tumor in patients with cirrhosis
1, 2008 — A particular gene variation appears
to significantly increase the risk that individuals with cirrhosis
will go on to develop hepatocellular carcinoma, the third leading
cause of cancer death.