May 2016 — Big Data Researchers Aim to Build Better Models to Predict Cancer Outcomes
A team of “big data” researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with UPMC and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, are working to develop better methods for integrating, analyzing and modeling large volumes of diverse data on cancer patients. The ultimate goal of this project, which is supported by a $5 million, three-year Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, is to produce more accurate predictions of patient outcomes and to enable clinicians to tailor care for each patient.
Watch Gregory Cooper, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair of Biomedical Informatics and Contact Principal Investigator for this Big Data for Better Health (BD4BH) grant, discuss the ongoing work of their collaborative team, and read the initial press release here.
April 2016 — E-Cigarettes: Helpful or Harmful?
Brian Primack, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Clinical and Translational Science; Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research on Health and Society; and Director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health, is a top tobacco-use expert whose research examines the effects of certain media and technology exposures on health outcomes. Watch as he discusses the upward trend of e-cigarette use, especially among youth, in the video below.
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.