Sept. 24 - 28, 2012

National and International Coverage

Study Divides Breast Cancer Into Four Distinct Types
The New York Times
In findings that are fundamentally reshaping the scientific understanding of breast cancer, researchers have identified four genetically distinct types of the cancer. ... In some cases, genetic aberrations were so strongly associated with one or the other luminal subtype that they appeared to be the actual cause of the cancer, said Dr. Charles Perou of the University of North Carolina, who is the lead author of the study. And he called that “a stunning finding.” “We are really getting at the roots of these cancers,” he said.
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Task force: Screen all adults, pregnant women for alcohol misuse
Reuters (Wire Service)
...For men, that means no more than four drinks on any one occasion and at most 14 a week. For women, the numbers are three and seven, respectively. "The really good interventions incorporate self-help materials, they incorporate an action plan made by the doctor and the patient - they're not just a prescription," said Dr. Daniel Jonas of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the research review but is not part of the USPSTF.

When Surgeons Leave Objects Behind (Blog)
The New York Times
...In a study published in the October issue of The Journal of the American College of Surgeons, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill looked at 2,285 cases in which sponges were tracked using a system called RF Assure Detection. Every sponge contained a tiny radio-frequency tag, about the size of a grain of rice. At the end of an operation, a detector alerts the surgical team if any sponges remain inside the patient. In the UNC study, the system helped recover 23 forgotten sponges from almost 3,000 patients over 11 months.

Brief counseling may curb problem drinking
...Short interventions (as brief as five minutes) and longer interventions (up to two hours) weren't as effective as 15-minute sessions, the study found. Why? Fifteen minutes may be just long enough to deliver a message, yet not so long that the patient is turned off or overloaded with information, says lead author Dr. Daniel E. Jonas, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dietary Fat & Bacteria in the Gut Related?
Ivanhoe (Wire Service)
...The senior study author John Rawls, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with colleagues fed zebrafish fatty acids tagged with a fluorescent dye. Since zebrafish are optically transparent when young, the researchers were able to observe the absorption and transport of dietary fats in the presence or absence of gut microbes. 

Demi Lovato & Eating Disorders
"Katie Couric" ABC
...According to Dr. Cynthia Bulik, Director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program, Sandy’s story is the story of many women. She talks about the growing number of women struggling with eating disorders later in life.

No Cancer for North Carolina’s Roy Williams
The Associated Press
North Carolina said Roy Williams’ surgically removed kidney tumor was not cancerous, though he will have a biopsy to ensure a second kidney tumor is also benign. ...Dr. Eric Wallen, a UNC professor of urology who led the surgical team during 3½-hour procedure, said last week that Williams should be back in plenty of time for the start of preseason practice on Oct. 13.

State and Local Coverage

UNC researchers help map the genetics of breast tumors
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Researchers studying the genetic characteristics of more than 800 breast cancer tumors have found the genetic causes of some of the most common types. ...Charles Perou, a distinguished professor of molecular oncology at UNC-Chapel Hill and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, said the result was the most comprehensive blueprint of breast cancer diversity to date.
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Diseases of aging map to ‘hotspots’ on human genome
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Researchers have long known that individual diseases are associated with genes in specific locations of the genome. Genetics researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine now have shown definitively that a small number of places in the human genome are associated with a large number and variety of diseases.

Will gluten-free diet improve your health? (Q & A)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Beth MacIntosh is nutrition research and metabolism core project director at the N.C. Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill.

UNC Hospital Celebrates its 60th Anniversary
North Carolina News Network
UNC is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its flagship hospital. What was then known as North Carolina Memorial Hospital opened in 1952 in Chapel Hill. The project was born out of a health crisis that came to light after World War II. ...UNC has grown to include five teaching hospitals and now ranks fourth in the country in federal research funding for public hospital.

N.C. nonprofit hospitals make big money on cancer drug markups
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Karen McCall, spokeswoman for UNC Health Care, said the drug markups are driven by a complex mix of factors. Hospitals provide free care to the poor and uninsured and lose money treating Medicaid patients. The hospital has to make up those losses through revenue from insured patients. “We have to provide the best and safest cancer care and recover our costs,” she said.
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Williams' tumor on right kidney not cancerous
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The tumor doctors removed last week from Roy Williams’ right kidney is not malignant, North Carolina announced Tuesday. Williams, who is preparing to enter his 10th season as the Tar Heels basketball coach, had surgery Sept. 19. Doctors removed a tumor they identified as an oncocytoma, a benign tumor of the kidney that, according to the university’s statement, “is often indistinguishable from kidney cancer on X-rays.”
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Drum circle for residents of senior living community
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...“There’s no question that music memory is one of the things most maintained by people with dementia,” said Dr. Philip Sloane, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Daniel Kaufer, a professor of neurology at UNC, said people with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases face challenges when communicating.

High Point health system joining UNC Health Care network
News & Observer
Under the agreement announced Thursday, UNC has committed $150 million over five years for capital improvements at High Point Regional. It’s also allocating $50 million to establish a new community health fund that will award grants supporting health, wellness and prevention.
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