Sept. 20 - 24, 2010

Greenfield couple still searching for an Alzheimer's miracle|dnmiss|umbrella
The Indianapolis Star (Indiana)
...Dr. Daniel Kaufer, director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a researcher who has been involved in dozens of trials for experimental Alzheimer's drugs, had briefly considered getting his patients involved with the Lilly trials. But then he looked deeper at the drug's earlier data. "It wasn't what I would call ooh-ah data that would suggest it was a profound new treatment," he said. "You would like to see a really strong signal that there are positive results, and I just didn't see it."

National Cancer Institute awards two cancer drug discovery contracts to UNC
The Chapel Hill Herald
As part of a national effort to accelerate the identification and testing of new anti-cancer drugs, SAIC-Frederick, Inc., a prime contractor to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded two contracts totaling $2.4 million to two teams of UNC scientists to initiate the discovery of drugs for the treatment of childhood leukemia and brain tumors. ...Stephen Frye, professor of medicinal chemistry and director of the UNC Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, is principal investigator. Frye is also a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. The two centers are collaborating on both projects.

Wine seller pours his gratitude into charity
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Todd Wielar believes his wife and daughter are alive today because of the staff at N.C. Children's Hospital, and he's determined to pay his gratitude forward. ..."It is becoming one of the largest single fundraising events we have," says Dr. Alan Stiles, chairman of the hospital's department of pediatrics and physician in chief. Stiles added: "Todd has been very generous with his time and his resources." The hospital, one of five University of North Carolina hospitals, provides care for the state's most critically ill children from all 100 counties regardless of their family's ability to pay. Although it is the state children's hospital, only a small portion of its funding comes from the state, Stiles says. That makes such fundraising efforts as Corks to Kids critical, he said.

UNC medical school branch for Charlotte is on again
The Charlotte Observer
After two years on hold, plans are moving forward to open a branch of UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine in Charlotte, the largest U.S. city without a medical school. The latest proposal, aimed at easing a projected doctor shortage, is scaled back from the original plan that called for sending 70 new medical students to regional campuses in Charlotte and Asheville next year. That plan lost traction in 2008 when the N.C. legislature didn't approve funding because of revenue shortfalls.
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Gene Variations May Predict Severe Osteoarthritis
HealthDay News
Genetic factors that may predict severe osteoarthritis have been identified by U.S. scientists. ..."The strong association shown in this study between progressive OA and the IL-1Ra gene variations, as well as the body of previous related published research, might suggest that this IL-1Ra genetic information could be tested as a tool to identify high-risk patients for participation in clinical trials for the development of a much-needed disease modifying OA drug," study leader Dr. Joanne Jordan, chief of the division of rheumatology, allergy and immunology at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a university news release.

Triangle hospitals raising pay
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
After freezing salaries during the recession, the Triangle's largest hospitals are reinstating pay raises to retain and attract employees. The extra pay will increase incomes for more than 30,000 local workers and provide some boost for the region's economy, giving families more money to spend as the holidays approach. ...On Monday, the board of the UNC Health Care System approved bonuses and raises for its 8,000 workers in Chapel Hill. The amounts vary by position, but will total about $22.4 million. The raises will average about 3 percent. "I believe it is a priority to reward our employees for continually providing the best care and service to our patients," said Bill Roper, CEO of the UNC Health system. "We must remain competitive with the market."

Chapel Hill going pink in support of cancer patients
The Chapel Hill Herald
Community partners have promised to help UNC Lineberger "turn the town pink" to benefit UNC's Comprehensive Cancer Support Program. More than 40 community partners have committed to turning the town pink -- through store displays, special events and promotions. "Despite this month's pink theme, this effort helps patients and families facing all different types of cancer," said UNC Lineberger's Mary Seagroves.

Bladder cancer support offered


The Chapel Hill Herald 

A new support group for bladder cancer patients has formed in the Triangle as an outgrowth of a conference last May on understanding the disease. The meeting, hosted by UNC with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) and which attracted more than 170 participants, featured UNC Lineberger members Matthew Nielsen and Raj Pruthi, UNC Urologic Oncology faculty and BCAN National Scientific Advisory Board members. The two physicians led a panel of regional bladder cancer experts in a comprehensive program outlining the detection, treatment and survivorship issues important for bladder cancer patients.

Management Training No Help in Heart Failure
Motivating patients to become more active in their heart failure treatment by teaching self-management skills was no better than basic education about the condition in improving clinical outcomes, a randomized trial showed. (Carla Sueta, MD, participated in a video interview).

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