Health and Medicine


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Clifton Leaf, the author of "The Truth in Small Doses: Why We're Losing the War on Cancer and How to Win It," talks with The Atlantic's Steve Clemons about the future of cancer research as part of The Atlantic Meets the Pacific 2013 conference presented by The Atlantic and UC San Diego.

Laurie Garrett, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, shares her concerns about emerging public health threats, ranging from gain of function research to the effects of climate change on the human microbiome, in an interview with The Atlantic's Corby Kummer. This program is part of The Atlantic Meets the Pacific 2013 conference presented by The Atlantic and UC San Diego.

Razelle Kurzrock, the director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy at the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego, presents breakthroughs in genomics and targeted therapies that are being used in clinics and have the potential to revolutionize the practice of oncology. However, to realize that potential, Dr. Kurzrock argues that the old paradigms for treating patients and designing clinical trials must be replaced with approaches that target the abnormal genes in individual tumors and use advanced technological tools to match each patient with the best drug for his or her specific cancer. Dr. Kurzrock was presented by the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology in San Diego.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder of NantWorks, describes his vision for turning cancer into a chronic but controllable disease by using advanced rapid gene sequencing, supercomputing and other methods of analysis to transcend the genome to the proteome. This approach has the potential to redefine how cancer is diagnosed and to develop therapies precisely tailored to the molecular profile of a particular tumor. Dr. Soon-Shiong anticipates a revolution in drug research, development and delivery of molecularly designed cancer treatments to patients.

Dr. Carl June presents a revolutionary form of targeted immunotherapy to fight cancer, a treatment that involves genetically modifying the patient's own T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) to attack cancer cells. Dr. June's team was the first to use these engineered T cells to treat Emily Whitehead, a six-year-old girl with acute leukemia, and now, two years later, she remains cancer-free. Similar results with other patients confirm that this type of T cell therapy is one of the most exciting new approaches to treating cancer, stimulating the biotechnology and pharma industries to develop the means to deliver this therapy to patients. Dr. June was presented by the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology in San Diego. Recorded on 05/14/2014.

As we age it becomes more difficult to get a good night's sleep. Failure to get adequate sleep not only affects our health but also poses a danger to society by contributing to traffic and industrial accidents. Some sleep disorders can even be life threatening. Jose S. Loredo, MD, MS, MPH, FCCP, professor of clinical medicine and medical director of the UC San Diego Sleep Medicine Center and VA Pulmonary Sleep Disorders Laboratory, discusses how these disorders can be managed and treated.

Falls are a threat to the health and independence of older adults potentially limiting their self-sufficiency. Dr. Louise Aronson, Associate Professor of Geriatrics, University of California San Francisco, explores how to try to prevent falls in older adults, and promote safety, health and independence.

From Roosevelt to Clinton, many American presidents tried to pass universal coverage but failed. Nevertheless, Obama and the Democratic leadership chose to tackle the issue again and succeeded in getting the Affordable Care (ACA) law passed. Stuart Altman, Former Assistant Secretary of the US department of Health, Education and Welfare explores health reform - what made it necessary, the competing proposals that existed before the ACA was passed, and if it will slow healthcare spending. Recorded on 02/06/2014.

For 40 million Americans 18 and older, anxiety gets in the way of their day to day life. Jeanne Blake talks with Dr. Luana Marques, the author of the book "Almost Anxious." Dr. Marques is the Director of Psychotherapy and Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School.

Early detection of Alzheimer's disease - before symptoms are visible - may be a key to stopping the disease's progression. What warning signs are researchers looking for and what tools can they use? Paul Aisen, MD joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss optimal assessments for diagnosing the disease, novel tools making earlier diagnosis possible, and the road map to developing drugs to slow, halt, and prevent Alzheimer's. Recorded on 7/29/2014.

Can lost memories be found? Is it possible to erase a memory from the brain? Roberto Malinow, MD, PhD joins William Mobley MD,PhD to discuss his recent study where memories were not only erased but restored in rats. Learn about how synapses in the brain function and how findings of this study could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Can cancer cells be killed without harming the healthy cells around them? A new clinical trial is testing that hypothesis using a virus-based treatment. Learn how vaccinia may be the key to more effective cancer fighting tools. Dr. Loren Mell joins Dr. David Granet to discuss current research and the importance of clinical trails for cancer patients.

Dr. Sanford Newmark specializes in the integrative and holistic treatment of children with autism and ADHD. He combines conventional medicine with nutrition, behavior management, and various complementary modalities. Dr. Newmark is the head of the Pediatric Integrative Neurodevelopmental Program at UCSF. Recorded on 05/08/2014.

Neuroscientists in Bochum are studying how cognitive skills decline with aging. They have carried out a study with 65 elderly people aimed at developing the profile of an 'average' senior. The participants undergo tests of concentration, memory, haptic response, reaction time, and fine motor skills, among other things. The results show that the entire brain doesn't decline in old age, just certain areas do. For example, a 70-year-old may be able to concentrate as well as, or even better than a 20-year-old, but reaction times may be very different. The researchers say their results show that aging has very individual effects on the brain - and may therefore require very individual countermeasures.

More than 2 million people die every year in the United States, almost always in the presence of life-sustaining medical technology. Sometimes the choices posed by medical technology make death the least worst alternative. Yet, choosing death, or letting go, is often a painful and contentious business. Bioethicist Dr. Stuart Youngner, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, explores some of the ways our society and others are coping with this unavoidable dilemma.

Testicular cancer is most common cancer in young men and is a model of a curable cancer. UCSF genitourinary cancer specialist Dr. Terence Friedlander reviews the basic biology of testicular cancer and discusses the management of the disease, focusing on the clinical presentation, management of early stage disease, role of multimodality treatment, survivorship and the long term effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and discuss questions facing the field today, including the role of autologous bone marrow transplantation for advanced disease. Recorded on 07/01/2014.

Barbara Abrams DrPH, RD. Professor of Epidemiology, Maternal and Child Health, and Public Health Nutrition; Head, Epidemiology/Biostatistics Program, UC Berkeley. Recorded on 05/20/2014.

Barbara Laraia PhD, MPH, RD. Associate Professor, Community Health and Human Development; Director, Public Health Nutrition - UC Berkeley. Recorded on 05/20/2014.

Wilbert Mason, MD, MPH, reviews the clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, and presents the epidemiology of Kawasaki Disease in the U.S. and across the globe.
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