March 2016 — Depressed Patients at Higher Risk for Complications and Hospital Readmission after Complex Cancer Surgery
Cancer patients who report significant symptoms of depression before undergoing a complex abdominal surgery are at increased risk of postoperative complications and unplanned hospital readmissions, according to a UPCI study published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The study examined the relationship between preoperative symptoms of depression and 30-day complications and readmissions, as well as overall survival for patients undergoing hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy with cytoreductive surgery (HIPEC+CS), a complex surgical procedure during which abdominal tumors are removed and the area is "washed" with high doses of heated chemotherapy.
After statistically adjusting the findings to take into consideration possible effects of demographic and disease-specific risk factors, patients who reported significant symptoms of depression before surgery were more than five times more likely to have a complication or an unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days of hospital discharge.
Watch the study's lead author, Carissa Low, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Psychology and member of UPCI's Biobehavioral Oncology Program, discuss these findings in the video below, and read the press release here.
February 2016 — Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni Celebrate the Nicole Meloche Memorial Breast Cancer Fund at the UPCI/MWRI Women's Cancer Research Center
Members of the Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni Association showed their support for breast cancer research as they toured the Women’s Cancer Research Center (WCRC) at Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI). The research center is a collaboration between the MWRI and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). Nicole Meloche, wife of retired Penguins goalie, scout and coach Gilles Meloche, lost her brave battle with breast cancer in 1993. The Pens Alumni Association established the Nicole Meloche Memorial Breast Cancer Fund at MWRI to raise money to fund metastatic breast cancer research.
Former Pittsburgh Penguins players and their wives, including Gilles and Sophie Meloche, Mario and Nathalie Lemieux, Jay and Alicia Caufield and Randy and Heather Hillier, met with UPCI researchers and clinicians to learn about recent advances that have been made as well as ongoing studies in the field of breast cancer research. Those in attendance included: Steffi Oesterreich, PhD, Director of Education at the WCRC; Adrian Lee, PhD, Director of the WCRC and Co-Leader of the UPCI Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program; Shannon Puhalla, MD, Medical Oncologist; and Adam Brufsky, MD, PhD, Co-Leader of the Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Center and Associate Director for Clinical Investigation at UPCI.
January 2016 — Pediatric BMT and Cellular Therapies Research at UPCI
Clinicians and researchers within the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapies at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC work alongside those in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and have specific expertise in the areas of immunity and immune reconstitution, graft-versus-host disease, tolerance, alloreactivity, and other related topics that affect children with leukemia and other disorders.
Watch Paul Szabolcs, MD, Chief of the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapies and Professor of Pediatrics, discuss ongoing research endeavors in this field.