Oct. 11 - 15

Health Sense: Flawed pain science blurs question of he felt, she felt
The Los Angeles Times
...It's also possible that females may have evolved more acute senses than males over the eons, says Dr. William Maixner, director of the Center for Neurosensory Disorders at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Females, he notes, are more sensitive in general to changes in smell, temperature, visual cues, and other stimuli that may signal danger — traits that could have helped them in earlier times to protect the children they watched while the men were away.

Tengion’s cell therapy for kidney disease sparks interest

The Philadelphia Business Journal (Pennsylvania)
...“Chronic kidney disease is a serious medical condition affecting millions of Americans and can lead to kidney failure requiring the need for transplant or lifelong dialysis,” said Dr. David Gerber, an adviser to Tengion and chief of the division of transplantation in the department of surgery at the University of North Carolina. “A treatment approach that can increase kidney tissue and improve function would be a significant advancement in the care of these patients.”

Bible belt
The Boston Globe (Massachusetts)
...It wasn’t long ago that a prognosis of acute promyelocytic leukemia was a death sentence. As recently as 30 years ago, the mortality rate was close to 100 percent. Modern medicine has turned those odds around and the doctors at the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center went into the attack mode immediately.

Doctor's pay secures UNC heart center
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
It cost a lot for UNC Hospitals to retain heart surgeon Brett Sheridan. But letting him go would have proved far costlier. That was Bill Roper's thinking in August when he approved a $335,000 raise that brought Sheridan's salary to $600,000 - more than a heart surgeon has ever earned at UNC. To Roper, the UNC Health Care System's CEO, the raise was a no-brainer. Though he knows big raises draw scrutiny at a time when most public employees have flat salaries, Roper also knows the blow to revenue and reputation his hospital would have suffered had Sheridan, its sole heart surgeon, left.
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'Rebounds and Rhinestones' gala will kick off fundraising

The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Eighteen months after standout forward Jessica Breland was diagnosed with cancer, friends and supporters will gather at the Carolina Club in Chapel Hill next month for a very special evening kicking off a fundraising effort in her honor -- for a cause very close to her heart. UNC Women's Basketball Coach Sylvia Hatchell will host the gala "Rebounds and Rhinestones" dinner to benefit the Jessica Breland Comeback Kids Fund to support cancer research and treatment at UNC's pediatric oncology program.

Exercise may be a remedy for 'fat' genes, at least for Americans (Blog)
The Los Angeles Times
...Understanding how genes, environment and behavior intersect to cause obesity will be crucial to understanding why so many people are overweight or obese, said Penny Gordon-Larsen of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For example, she said, data show that, among married couples, if one spouse is overweight or obese the other partner is at higher risk of being overweight or obese than the average person. However, this weight influence doesn't seem to extend to couples who are dating or cohabiting.

Hospitals Lure Doctors Away From Private Practice
National Public Radio
...Last year, half of new doctors were hired by hospitals, according to the Medical Group Management Association, a professional organization for physician practices. According to a 2009 report by the American Medical Association, 1 in 6 doctors works for a hospital, and the number is quickly growing. ...Steve Burriss, senior vice president in charge of physician employment at Rex, part of the University of North Carolina's health care system, has hired about 30 physicians over the past few years and is in talks with another 55.

Breast Cancer Diagnostic Test Helps Doctors Know Which Patients Need Chemotherapy
The Hartford Courant (Connecticut)
... Earlier this year, a study out of the University of North Carolina surveyed 77 women who had been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and who received the Oncotype DX test. Researchers report "almost all" said the test gave them a better understanding of their options for treatment. But the study found room for improvement. About one-third of the women reported that they didn't completely understand the discussions they had with their doctors about the test's results. "The way the Oncotype DX results are presented by the company is really confusing," says Noel Brewer, one of the study's lead authors. "A simpler presentation, with a 'news you can use' approach, would he helpful to women, epecially lower-literacy women.''

Grant to help UNC expand pediatrics program that operates in Greensboro
The News & Record (Greensboro)
The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine has received a federal grant to expand a pediatrics residency program that includes two sites in Greensboro. This 5-year, $3.7 million grant will be used to create four more intern slots per academic year, beginning in 2011, for resident physicians in UNC’s Department of Pediatrics who plan to pursue careers in primary care.
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UNC cancer scientist appeals her demotion
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
A prominent cancer researcher at UNC-Chapel Hill is fighting the demotion and pay cut she received after a computer server she oversees was hacked, exposing about 180,000 patient files. Bonnie Yankaskas, who holds a doctorate in epidemiology, says she should not be responsible for a lapse by the school's information technology staff.

State denies UNC appeal, awards cancer center to Cary group

WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
State regulators on Tuesday approved Cary Urology's application to open a prostate cancer treatment center in southeast Raleigh, turning aside complaints from UNC Health Care.

Weekend warriors are more injury-prone

The Independent (United Kingdom)
Work hard, play hard? Doctors say people who are deskbound all week and then exercise in large bursts over the weekend might be doing their bodies more harm than good. ...Who is the biggest culprit for injury? "Weekend-warrior injuries are most common among formerly active people over age 30, whose work and family  obligations prevent weekday exercise," said Dr. Jeffrey Spang from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in the US, in a news release on October 7.

$3.7 Million For UNC Pediatrics
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
UNC’s Department of Pediatrics will be expanding in the next five years, thanks to a $3.7 million federal grant. Director of Pediatrics Residency Julie Byerly says the money will be used to train twenty new pediatric interns who plan to specialize in primary care. The project is a collaborative effort between UNC and two facilities in Greensboro: the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital and Guilford Child Health.

Foundations backing UNC Hospitals, Rex and WakeMed see signs of revival in giving
The Triangle Business Journal
Area hospitals have struggled to bring in donations in recent years, though there are signs that the drought may be easing. At the Medical Foundation of North Carolina, the fundraising arm of UNC Hospitals, donations declined from a record high of $110.8 million in fiscal year 2008 to $83.2 million during the most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2010. But foundation leaders say that year-to-date donations are up by 50 percent compared to last year.

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