Nov. 15 - 19

Team of UNC cancer scientists awarded $2.3 million grant
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
A team of UNC scientists has received a five-year, $2,308,800 grant from the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Nanotechnology Platform Partnerships to address the critical need for early diagnosis of and more effective treatments for pancreatic cancer. Wenbin Lin, professor of chemistry and pharmacy, and Jen Jen Yeh, assistant professor of surgery and pharmacology, are the principal investigators. Leaf Huang, Fred N. Eshelman Distinguished Professor and chair of molecular pharmaceutics in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, is the co-investigator. All are members of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Lin is a faculty member in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences.

'Dollars for Docs' hits home
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
.Duke and UNC officials said this week they have looked into the ProPublica report and had already begun reform efforts. Both universities are revising their conflict of interest policies. UNC spokeswoman Karen McCall said none of the three UNC doctors on the Top Earners list violated current conflict of interest rules.

New Heart Medications Gain Clout
The Wall Street Journal
...Another concern is cost. Warfarin costs just pennies a day, compared with $6.75 a day for dabigatran. Even when the cost of frequent testing is factored in, for many patients switching will be a choice between cost and convenience, doctors say. "In an era where cost is so important, patients in systems where monitoring is simple and effective will probably continue on warfarin," said Sidney Smith, cardiologist at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

New pill prevents strokes with less bleeding risk for atrial fib patients
USA Today
A major study out Monday promises to transform stroke prevention for millions of people with atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder that often sends blood clots swirling to the brain, researchers reported Monday. ...Sidney Smith, of the cardiovascular science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, said that the new drug is likely to be expensive, so "we're left with a question of cost versus convenience."

Ethics for physicians (Editorial)
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
...The hospitals and practices where these doctors work are in the best position to decide. Duke Medical Center and UNC Hospitals get no kickback when their physicians go on speaking junkets, but they bear the black eye from the ProPublica report that shows how many compromised physicians have privileges, or are on staff, at their facilities. Both universities are redrafting their conflict-of-interest statements. They should be broad in scope and specific in detail -- "reasonable honoraria" is not a reasonable definition.

Locals Continue To Provide Support In Haiti
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
Local community members continue to fly to Haiti to help the earthquake and illness ravished country to recover and deal with the multiple ordeals that continue to affect the area. UNC Professor of Family Medicine Dr. Adam Goldstein flew into Haiti earlier this week and says witnessing the cholera outbreak has been a unique experience.

Inmate flees in patrol car
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
A state prison inmate at UNC Hospitals for medical treatment Tuesday afternoon escaped from his guards, stole a patrol car and led police on a chase that ended only when he hit a delivery truck on Interstate 40 near Mebane, authorities said. ...The UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety received a call at 12:49 p.m. about the escape, department spokesman Randy Young said.
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Can you prevent Alzheimer's disease by doing crossword puzzles?
The Wilmington Journal
...It's little wonder, then, that Alzheimer's-prevention tips proliferate on the Web and in the media. Many urge older people to stay mentally agile by doing crossword puzzles, learning new languages, or remaining socially engaged. Unfortunately, there is no strong evidence that such activities actually prevent the disease, said Philip Sloane, MD, MPH, a professor of family medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Duke, UNC, Rex hospital bottom lines robust, but free care bulge feared
The Triangle Business Journal
...Chris Ellington, UNC Hospitals CFO, says that over the past six months the hospital has seen greater demand for free care. Ellington expects the charity care numbers to be worse in fiscal 2011, though he is not sure how much demand will grow through the last nine months of the fiscal year.

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