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Category: UCLA Med Ctr

The subcutaneous ICD

The concept of applying high voltage to shock a heart out of Read more »

Robotic surgery and controversies

January 24, 2014- Dr. Dutson gives an update on the referral patterns and safety concerns over the Da Vinci system.

Produced, Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

We interviewed UCLA’s Erik Dutson, MD, surgeon and Director of UCLA’s Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT), about the Intuitive Surgical da Vinci robotic system, and recent safety controversies.

Serelaxin to treat acute heart failure

The FDA granted Novartis the coveted “Breakthrough” status for drug serelaxin to treat acute heart failure. If approved, it will be the first drug in decades to address AHF. Also, early data suggest that serelaxin might have a survival benefit, which would be unprecedented.

To learn more, we interviewed Gregg Fonarow, MD, Director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center and Co-Chief of Clinical Cardiology. He discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the Phase 3 trial upon which the FDA based the decision to grant Breakthrough status.

UCLA’s Dr. Edward Garon discusses anti-PD1 and anti-PD-L1 drugs treating NSCLC

March 26, 2013 Interviewed By Steven E. Greer, MD

UCLA’s Dr. Edward Garon discusses anti-PD1 and anti-PD-L1 drugs treating NSCLC in early trials, with remarkable tumor response rates.

Will clinical excellence finally be rewarded under ACO’s?

March 21st, 2011

Most of the respected leaders in medicine are indeed also good clinicians. However, their clinical skills were not the most important quality that allowed them to achieve tenured Professor, Chief, or Chair status. The current academic medical center paradigm rewards journal publications, rain-making NIH grant ability, and fee-for-service revenue generation above clinical skills.

To use surgery as an example, in the current fee-for-service reimbursement systems, Read more »

New therapies for Multiple Sclerosis

Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

Best viewed in full screen, 1080i HD

Barbara Giesser, MD, neurologist and Medical Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at UCLA, discusses the soon-to-be-approved new therapy for MS called BG-12 (fumarate), made by Biogen Idec. Biogen also makes Tysabri, which is known to cause the very serious adverse event of PML caused by the JC virus.

Dr. Giesser discusses whether BG-12 will be rapidly adopted as a new first-line therapy, and also replace existing options for failed first line therapy, such as Gilenya and Tysabri. She then reviews the recent NEJM publications on BG-12.

Combined BRAF and MEK inhibition to treat BRAF mutation melanoma

Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

October 5, 2012 By Steven E. Greer, MD

Half of all melanoma tumors are driven by a mutation in the BRAF gene, and Roche’s new Zelboraf drug treats those BRAF mutation tumors. GlaxoSmithKline is also developing a BRAF inhibitor drug. However, it was learned that by inhibiting just the BRAF gene to treat melanoma, this also increases squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by activating the downstream MEK pathway. By adding a MEK inhibitor, the efficacy of reducing the melanoma tumor is increased, as well as a reduction in unwanted SCC.

At the 2012 ASCO, non-randomized Phase 1 data were presented combining a BRAF and MEK inhibitor. Now, in the September NEJM, data presented randomized Phase 2 data were presented of a study with combined MEK and BRAH inhibitors, developed by GlaxoSmithKline. Larger Phase 3 trials by Roche and Glaxo are underway. UCLA’s melanoma expert Dr. Antoni Ribas gives an update of these developments.

Mechanism for squamous cell carcinoma caused by Zelboraf for melanoma

Story and video interview By Steven Greer, MD

Antoni Ribas, MD, oncologist at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses his NEJM paper that elucidated the molecular pathway that leads to squamous cell carcinoma of the skin as an adverse event after Roche’s Zelboraf (vemurafenib) is used to treat advanced melanoma. He explains how MEK inhibitor drugs in trials now can be combined with Zelboraf to treat the SCC.

He also discusses the treatment choices of the two newly approved, highly expensive, melanoma drugs: Bristol-Myers Sqibb’s Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Zelboraf. The prohibitive cost is forcing an “either-or” decision.


ASCO 2012 preview: new therapies for melanoma

Dr. Sara Hurvitz and Dr. Antoni Ribas of the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center preview the new melanoma therapies to be presented at the 2012 ASCO meeting.

ASCO preview: new breast cancer therapies

Sra Hurvitz, MD of the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center discusses her Roche T-DM1 “Super Herceptin” presentation of the phase 3 EMILIA data.

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