Rush Ranked in Seven Specialties by U.S. News

RushTowerCloudsRush University Medical Center once again has been named one of the nation’s top hospitals, according to the new issue of U.S. News & World Report. Rush is ranked in seven of 16 categories included in the magazine’s 2014 -15 “America’s Best Hospitals” issue, which became available online on July 15, and is one of the two top-ranked hospitals in Illinois overall.

Rush’s orthopedics program was ranked No. 6 nationwide, making it the highest ranked orthopedics program in Illinois. Rush’s other ranked programs were geriatrics (No. 17); neurology and neurosurgery (No. 17); nephrology (No. 31); urology (No. 43); cardiology and heart surgery (No. 46); and cancer (No. 48).

U.S. News also noted that the following Rush specialty services are “high-performing”: diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology; gynecology; and pulmonary.

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‘Designer’ Fiber May Ease IBS Symptoms

MutluEce_edited-1A newly-developed, “designer” dietary fiber with an added potential prebiotic effect may eliminate the side effects of current treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects 10 to 20 percent of the population, disproportionately women.

The collaboration between a gastroenterologist at Rush and a carbohydrate chemist at Purdue University led to the development of the new product, a natural starch derived from a mixture of seaweed and starch in which the release of starch fiber in the gastrointestinal tract can be delayed, slowed and controlled to occur in the colon, rather than in the stomach and upper intestine.

“This new product prevents the discomfort and bloating associated with current fiber therapies, while getting our new fiber into the colon and specifically distal colon where traditional fiber products typically do not reach and where many diseases of colon-like cancers develop,” said Dr. Ece Mutlu, principal investigator the phase II trial that will begin at Rush in January 2014. “This can provide an effective treatment for IBS, decrease the risk of colon cancer and possibly inflammatory diseases like colitis,” she added. The study seeks 200 people who have been diagnosed with IBS and constipation.

In an earlier Phase I study with 60 patients suffering from constipation, the newly designed fiber was shown to be safe, better tolerated and with fewer side effects than currently available fiber treatments for constipation, and it had a positive effect on intestinal microbiota composition by promoting the growth of “healthy” bacteria in the colon.

Read the news release.

New Resource for Colorectal Conditions

OrkinBruce_2303A new clinic at Rush University Medical Center is one of few in the county to offer specialized care and alternative options for both adults and children to address various types of disorders affecting the lower intestinal tract, including complex colorectal conditions.

“We work as a dedicated team to provide timely, comprehensive and compassionate care for adults and children with all types of disorders of the lower intestinal tract, including complex colorectal problems and treatment options pertaining to permanent colostomies,” said Dr. Bruce A. Orkin, professor of surgery and chief of the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Rush. “We believe in personalized care and rapid communication with our patients and our referring providers,” he added.

The new Colon and Rectal Surgery Clinic at Rush, which opened Jan. 9, includes a program for abdominal and pelvic health for men and women to address a multitude of often complex and difficult to manage abdominal and pelvic issues such as urinary and fecal incontinence, constipation, prolapse and other pelvic floor conditions.

The clinic also provides care for children with related problems, and offers a comprehensive physical therapy program specifically for children. It is one of such programs few in the country to offer a transitional treatment program for children that will continue through adulthood.

Read the entire news release.

Rush Ranked One of America’s Best Hospitals

Rush University Medical Center has once again been named one of the nation’s top hospitals in a number of specialties in the upcoming issue of U.S.News & World Report. Rush is ranked among the best in 11 of 16 categories included in the magazine’s annual “America’s Best Hospitals” issue.

Just 152 out of 4,852 hospitals in the United States, about 3 percent, scored high enough this year to rank in even a single specialty, according to the magazine.

“High-stakes medicine calls for more than the usual brand of doctoring. When the stakes are high, you want the best care you can get for someone close to you. These are hospitals that are accustomed to seeing the sickest patients, day in and out.” —U.S.News & World Report magazine editors.

Rush is ranked higher than any other program in Illinois in orthopedics — at No. 10 in the nation — and in geriatrics at No. 22 in the nation.

The rankings of other Rush programs are: cancer, No. 43; ear, nose and throat (ENT), No. 32; gastroenterology, No. 41; gynecology, No. 41; heart and heart surgery, No. 25; kidney disorders, No. 43; neurology and neurosurgery, No. 14; pulmonology, No. 49; and urology, No. 41.

Read the entire news release.

Mind/Body Techniques May Be Key To Help Stick to A Gluten-Free Diet

Are gluten-free foods the diet fad of 2010? More and more, “gluten-free” food products are being stocked on grocery store shelves, and even with more food options being offered, those with celiac disease will tell you how hard it can be to stick to the very strict diet. 

Gastroenterologists at Rush University Medical Center are conducting a new study to see if mind/body techniques could help patients with celiac disease stick to a gluten-free diet.

Celiac disease is a lifelong, digestive disease affecting children and adults,  People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in almost all food products as well as medicines, vitamins and lip balms.  Gluten can damage the small intestine and interfere with absorptioon of nutrients from food.

“The purpose of this study is to determine whether participation in one of two mind/body courses can help patients cope with the restricted diet,” said Dr. Ali Keshavarzian, vice chairman of medicine and gastroenterologist at Rush. “It can be very hard and stressful for people with celiac disease to stick to a gluten-free diet.”

Recently, researchers reported that the prevalence of celiac disease has been increasing significantly over the past 50 years. Now, one in 133 Americans are being diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder.

Patients enrolled into the Celiac disease and mind/body study at Rush will be randomly assigned to two course assignments for eight weeks. Patients eligible for the study must be over 18 years of age, have received a diagnosis of celiac disease in the past four weeks or within two weeks of starting a gluten-free diet, and have not previously attempted a gluten-free diet.

Read more about the celiac disease and mind/body study at Rush.

Gastroenterologists Explore Relationship between Bacteria in the Gut and Breast Cancer

Doctors at Rush University Medical Center have a gut feeling that the bacteria found in the intestines may be linked to breast cancer.

That is why gastroenterologists at Rush University Medical Center are charting the presence of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa found within the gut and are exploring how microbial imbalances may impact diseases like breast cancer.

The human body contains billions of microorganisms, and microbial cells found in the human gut are estimated to outnumber human cells by ten-to-one in healthy adults.  However, little is known about the ways in which these minute life forms influence health and disease. 

“Similar to what has been done with human DNA, we want to map out the composition of these microorganisms from their DNA and analyze how they correlate to diseases and changes within the immune system,” said Dr. Ece Mutlu, gastroenterologist at Rush and principal investigator of the microbiota and breast cancer study.  “If we are able to find the microbes responsible for particular diseases, it may increase the likelihood of developing new diagnostic tests and treatments for diseases like breast cancer.”

Researchers will be using a technology for genomic sequencing called Multitag Pyrosequencing (MTPS) that allows them to examine, count and barcode hundreds of thousands of microorganisms per day within samples taken from various ecological systems including the human body.  Because of this new technology for genomic sequencing, researchers will be able to identify 50,000 or 60,000 microbes per sample.

Rush is currently recruiting study participants who are female, 30 years of age or older, and newly diagnosed with breast cancer before any treatment has begun.  Clinical data from the participant’s medical records will be taken.  Before a patient receives any cancer-related therapy, biopsies of the colon and stool specimens will be taken.