2006 News Releases
of biomarkers to predict risk of heart disease, stroke appears limited
December 20, 2006 A study of the use of biomarkers to
predict the risk of cardiovascular disease and death in a healthy
population has found that their usefulness for assessing individual
risk may be limited.
HIV control may depend on viral protein targeted by immune cells
December 17, 2006 An effective response of the immune
system's 'killer' T cells against infection with HIV may depend
on exactly which viral protein is targeted, according to an international
group of researchers.
study examines impact of infection with both HIV and hepatitis C
December 11, 2006 Beginning antiretroviral therapy earlier
than is generally recommended may help those infected with both
viruses preserve immune system control of hepatatis C virus.
leading international trial of novel breast cancer drug
December 11, 2006 A clinical trial of a new targeted
breast cancer drug, led by physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital
Cancer Center, has begun enrolling patients.
at Mass. General, University of Montreal create model of key immune-system
December 8, 2006 Researchers at MGH and the University
of Montreal, along with colleagues at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine,
have made a major breakthrough in understanding an essential aspect
of the immune system.
emergency departments vary greatly across country
December 4, 2006 A database developed by an MGH-based
research team - the first comprehensive list of U.S. emergency departments
- shows that one-third of all EDs care for less than one patient
each hour, on average.
IRB members have financial relationships with companies
November 29, 2006 More than one-third of the members
of Institutional Review Boards at medical research organizations
have financial relationships with commercial firms, which could
lead to conflicts of interest.
data from NIH lab confirms protocol to reverse type 1 diabetes in
November 23, 2006 New data provide further support for
a protocol to reverse type 1 diabetes in mice and new evidence that
adult precursor cells from the spleen can contribute to the regeneration
of beta cells.
General researchers identify master cardiac stem cell
November 22, 2006 Researchers from the MGH Cardiovascular
Research Center have discovered what appears to be a master cardiac
stem cell, capable of differentiating into the three major types
of cells that make up the mammalian heart.
physicians support community activity on health-related issues
November 21, 2006 Most U.S. physicians believe that
their responsibilities for matters related to health care extend
beyond caring for their individual patients, according to a paper
from the MGH Institute for Health Policy.
beam therapy may improve treatment of rare but aggressive tumor
November 20, 2006 Proton beam radiation therapy, a very
precise type of radiation treatment, may be an effective treatment
for advanced adenoid cystic carcinoma that has spread to the cranial
base, according to an MGH study.
technique provides improved 'virtual biopsies' of internal surfaces
November 19, 2006 A new optical imaging technique, developed
at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at MGH, can provide three-dimensional
microscopic views of the inner surfaces of blood vessels and gastrointestinal
miles help hearts of people training for marathons
November 14, 2006 People who want to run a marathon
shouldn't train halfway - that's the take-home message from an MGH
study of Boston Marathon participants.
cancer drugs may work by disrupting balance of cellular signals
November 13, 2006 Targeted cancer therapy drugs like
Gleevec and Tarceva may disrupt the balance between critical cellular
signals in a way that leads to cell death. Better understanding
these drugs could help surmount current limitations on their usefulness.
immune system control of HIV may depend on inherited factors
November 3, 2006 How well an individual's immune system
controls HIV during the earliest phases of infection appears to
depend on both the specific versions of key immune-system molecules
that have been inherited and on the fragments of viral protein those
molecules display to the T lymphocytes that usually destroy infected
factor stimulates rapid extension of key motor neurons in brain
November 3, 2006 A growth factor known to be important
for the survival of many types of cells stimulates rapid extension
of corticospinal motor neurons, the brain cells that die in motor
neuron diseases like ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).
Project Lifetime Cost and Life Expectancy for Current HIV Care in
the United States
November 1, 2006 A study appearing in the November 2006
Medical Care, projects the cost of treatment for HIV-infected
adults using current standards of care. The study provides guidance
for policy makers so that appropriate funds are allocated for HIV
care and prevention.
scan identifies chest pain patients who may be discharged from hospital
October 31, 2006 A 15-second, non-invasive heart scan
may help physicians determine which patients with chest pain can
be discharged from the hospital because their symptoms are unlikely
to be heart related.
cancer patients may benefit from new accelerated treatment
October 31, 2006 Women with early-stage breast cancer
may benefit from a new, accelerated approach to radiation therapy
making their course of treatment shorter.
and MGH team up to help people and pets in need
October 23, 2006 To meet the ever-increasing demand
for safe blood supplies for both human and canine patients, the
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals -
Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and the MGH are hosting the
Human and Hound community blood drive on November 4.
discovered to be key to pain sensitivity
October 22, 2006 Sensitivity to pain and the risk of
developing chronic pain appear to be influenced by levels of a molecule
known to be required for the production of major neurotransmitters.
Vineyard Hospital and Nantucket Cottage Hospital Explore Possible
Affiliation with Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare
October 19, 2006 The boards of trustees of Nantucket
Cottage Hospital, Martha's Vineyard Hospital and Massachusetts General
Hospital are scheduled to vote this week on agreements that may
pave the way for the two island hospitals to become affiliates of
The Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare System.
miniature endoscope opens new diagnostic possibilities
October 18, 2006 MGH researchers have developed a new
type of miniature endoscope that produces three-dimensional, high-definition
images, which may greatly expand the application of minimally invasive
diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
gas' induces suspended animation without decreasing blood pressure
October 9, 2006 Hydrogen sulfide gas can induce a state
of suspended animation in mice while maintaining normal blood pressure,
a finding that researchers hope will one day help treat critically-ill
Results Indicate Radiofrequency Ablation Useful In Treating Ovarian
October 8, 2006 Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation,
a procedure that uses a high frequency electric current to kill
tumor cells, is effective in achieving local control in selected
patients with metastasis from ovarian cancer.
identifies possible mechanism for brain damage in Huntington's disease
October 5, 2006 Researchers from the MassGeneral Institute
for Neurodegenerative Disease have identified a possible mechanism
underlying how the gene mutation that causes Huntington's disease
leads to the degeneration and death of brain cells.
slow to integrate information technology into patient practice
October 2, 2006 A survey of physicians across the U.S.
has found that fewer than half of them incorporate e-mail and other
Internet-based and computerized information resources into routine
named a 2006 Working Mother 100 Best Company
September 25, 2006 Working Mother magazine today announced
that Massachusetts General Hospital is a 2006 Working Mother 100
Cancer Treatment Increases Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease
September 20, 2006 A treatment mainstay for prostate
cancer puts men at increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular
disease, according to a large observational study published in the
Journal of Clinical Oncology.
General researcher Szostak shares Lasker Award for Basic Science
September 17, 2006 Jack W. Szostak, Ph.D., of the MGH
Department of Molecular Biology and Harvard Medical School is a
co-recipient of the 2006 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research.
identifies potential new marker for heart failure diagnosis, prognosis
September 15, 2006 A collaborative study by researchers
from Massachusetts General Hospital and the University Hospital
of Maastricht, The Netherlands, has identified a new candidate biomarker
for heart failure.
can track survival of pancreatic islets after transplantation
September 12, 2006 Magnetic resonance imaging with an
approved contrast agent may provide a practical way of monitoring
the survival of transplanted pancreatic islets.
reduce impact of aging on blood stem cells
September 6, 2006 A multi-institutional team of researchers
may have advanced our understanding of physiological aging with
a new study in which they greatly reduced the impact of aging on
blood stem cells.
resident physicians not trained in the use of medical interpreters
September 5, 2006 A significant number of resident physicians
receiving training in U.S. hospitals report they have not received
instruction in key aspects of communicating with patients who do
not speak English.
not doing enough to stop parental smoking
August 31, 2006 Parental smoking is a pediatrician's
business, experts say, yet many are reluctant to tell parents to
stop smoking and offer little support for efforts to quit, a new
Names MIT, Mass. General 2006 Best Employers for Workers Over 50
August 30, 2006 The two Bay State employers join a list
of 50 companies and organizations from across the country that demonstrate
significant commitment to the aging workforce.
switch may turn off immune cells that target HIV
August 20, 2006 One of the primary mysteries of the
AIDS epidemic - why the immune system is unable to control HIV infection
- may have been solved. A molecular pathway involved in the immune
cell "exhaustion" that characterizes several chronic viral
infections could play a similar role in AIDS.
researchers report successful new laser treatment for injured singers
August 17, 2006 A new type of laser for voice surgery,
utilized for the first time at MGH, has allowed Aerosmith singer
Steven Tyler to resume performing after a tour-ending vocal injury.
seek to solve mystery of natural HIV control
August 16, 2006 An international, multi-institutional
research consortium is seeking to discover how a few HIV-infected
individuals are naturally able to suppress replication of the virus.
uncover how a molecular switch regulates fat and cholesterol metabolism
August 2, 2006 Researchers at Harvard Medical School
and MGH have identified how a molecular switch regulates fat and
cholesterol production, a step that may help advance treatments
for metabolic syndrome.
identifies potential drug target for Huntington's disease
July 28, 2006 An enzyme known to be critical for the
repair of damaged cells and the maintenance of cellular energy may
be a useful target for new strategies to treat Huntington's disease
and other disorders characterized by low cellular energy levels.
N. Louis, MD, To Lead Pathology Service at Massachusetts General
July 26, 2006 David N. Louis, MD, a neuropathologist
and a pioneer in deciphering the complex molecular structure of
tumors, has been named chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital
Pathology Service, effective Sept. 1.
An Increasing Obstacle To Medical Diagnosis
July 25, 2006 The increase of obesity in the United
States doubled the number of inconclusive diagnostic imaging exams
over a 15-year period, according to a study featured in the August
issue of Radiology.
Skeptics Benefit Equally From 12-Step Programs
July 24, 2006 New research suggests that addiction recovery
programs like Alcoholics Anonymous help people stay away from booze
even if theyre skeptical of spirituality or suffer from mental
General study finds potential ovarian cancer stem cells
July 21, 2006 MGH researchers have identified potential
ovarian cancer stem cells, which may be behind the difficulty of
treating these tumors with standard chemotherapy.
of women leading medical research studies rises, but still lags
July 19, 2006 The number of women with leadership roles
in research studies published in major medical journals has increased
significantly over the past three decades, but women remain under-represented
among medical science investigators.
Variant Increases Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
July 19, 2006 Researchers have confirmed that a gene
variant confers susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in participants
of the Diabetes Prevention Program, a large clinical trial in adults
at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
link allows paralyzed patient to manipulate devices by thought
July 12, 2006 A patient with a spinal cord injury was
able to produce brain signals associated with intending to move
his paralyzed limbs, signals translated into electronic impulses
that allowed him to control a computer cursor and manipulate mechanical
cardiac MRI pinpoints closed arteries without surgery
June 27, 2006 A new cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
technique can noninvasively demonstrate blockage of the coronary
arteries with high diagnostic accuracy.
Helps Physicians Launch Careers in Research
June 27, 2006 Two MGH researchers are among the first
13 recipients of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Physician-Scientist
Early Career Awards.
stem cell researcher receives funding from Stowers Medical Institute
June 23, 2006 Chad Cowan, PhD, a member of the MGH Center
for Regenerative Medicine and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, has
been named an assistant investigator by the Stowers Medical Institute.
Women Have Far Fewer Mammograms Than They Report
June 20, 2006 What older American women say about receiving
regular mammograms and what they actually do are two different things,
suggests a new study.
copy of Parkinson's-risk gene mutation may lead to earlier symptom
June 12, 2006 Mutations in a gene already known to play
a role in causing an inherited form of Parkinson disease may also
influence the age at which symptoms of the neurological disorder
Rage Disorder More Prevalent than Previously Thought
June 5, 2006 A seldom-studied mental illness called
Intermittent Explosive Disorder, characterized by recurrent episodes
of angry and potentially violent outbursts has been found to be
much more common than previously thought.
Drugs Have Saved 3 Million Years of Life in the United States
June 2, 2006 Increasingly effective HIV therapyincluding
a decade of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)has
provided 3 million years of extended life to Americans with AIDS
vaccine to be tested at Mass. General Hospital
May 30, 2006 A novel approach to helping smokers kick
the habit - a vaccine - will be tested at Massachusetts General
Hospital. The nicotine vaccine NicVax is designed to keep nicotine
from reaching the brain where it produces its rewarding effects.
learn more about ways to regenerate the ear's hearing cells
April 28, 2006 MGH researchers have made important progress
in their ongoing effort to regenerate the inner ear's hair cells,
which convert sound vibrations to nerve impulses.
key protein reduces inflammatory markers in metabolic sundrome
April 24, 2006 Blocking the action of a critical protein
can improve multiple inflammatory pathways in patients with the
metabolic syndrome - a cluster of symptoms associated with increased
risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
damage to brain structure may lead to heart attack
April 24, 2006 MGH researchers using a new method of
analyzing brain images have identified an area of the brain that,
when affected by a stroke, may also cause damage to the heart muscle.
molecular "signature" marks DNA of embryonic stem cells
April 20, 2006 Scientists have discovered unique molecular
imprints coupled to DNA in mouse embryonic stem cells that help
explain the cells' rare ability to form almost any body cell type
and suggest ways to understand why ordinary cells are so limited
in their abilities to repair or replace damaged cells.
Laser Targets Fat
April 10, 2006 Fat may have finally met its match: laser
light. Researchers at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at MGH
and the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator
Facility have shown for the first time that a laser can heat lipid-rich
tissues in the body without harming the overlying skin.
examines risk for misuse of ADHD stimulant medications
March 30, 2006 MGH researchers have found that a small
percentage of young people with ADHD are likely to abuse or to sell
prescribed stimulants and have identified factors that may characterize
those most likely to misuse their medications.
create pigs that produce heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
March 26, 2006 Researchers report they have created
pigs that produce omega-3 fatty acids, representing the first cloned
transgenic livestock in the world that can make the beneficial compound.
Enzymes May Wear White Hats After Stroke
March 26, 2006 Enzymes that can harm the brain immediately
after a stroke may actually be beneficial days later, according
to new research.
RNAi tools enable systematic studies of gene function
March 23, 2006 An international public-private research
team announced today the construction and availability of an extensive
library of molecular reagents to silence most human and mouse genes.
stimulant used to treat ADHD may be less subject to abuse
March 1, 2006 A team led by MGH researchers has found
that a delayed-release stimulant used to treat attention-deficit
hyperactivity disorder may be less likely to be abused than other
test can predict long-term risk of death in patients with shortness
13, 2006 A blood test previously found useful for diagnosing
heart failure and determining prognosis in several cardiovascular
conditions can also predict the risk of death among patients coming
to hospital emergency departments with shortness of breath.
protein aids creation of brain cells
13, 2006 Researchers from Whitehead Institute for Biomedical
Research and MGH have discovered that the normal form of the protein
ultimately responsible for mad cow disease may actually help the
brain create neurons.
antidepressants during pregnancy may lead to symptom recurrence
31, 2006 Women who stop taking antidepressant medications
during pregnancy are at a five times greater risk for recurrence
of depression than are women who continue taking their medication
throughout their pregnancies, according to a new study.
finds nerve damage in previously mysterious chronic pain syndrome
30, 2006 MGH researchers have found the first evidence
of a physical abnormality underlying the chronic pain condition
called reflex sympathetic dystrophy or complex regional pain syndrome-I.
examine withholding of scientific data among researchers, trainees
25, 2006 Researchers from the MGH Institute for Health
Policy examine a broad range of data withholding behaviors among
life scientists and describe how withholding affects researchers
in several fields during their training years.
therapy may be safe for some survivors of brain hemorrhage
23, 2006 A study from the MGH Stroke Service has found
that some patients who have survived an intracerebral hemorrhage
may be safely treated with aspirin to prevent future heart attacks
or strokes caused by blood clots.
identifies molecule essential for proper localization of blood stem
13, 2006 Scientists at the MGH Center for Regenerative
Medicine and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have defined a molecule
that dictates how blood stem cells travel to the bone marrow and
establish blood and immune cell production.