Fusion Technology Increases Prostate Cancer Detection Accuracy to 97 Percent

Dr. Ajay Nehra

Dr. Ajay Nehra

Urologists at Rush University Medical Center are the first in Chicago to offer a powerful new tool for visualizing and monitoring the prostate in men who have high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and in detecting prostate cancer more accurately.

The new technology combines or “fuses” magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound images uses electromagnetic tracking/guidance, similar to your car’s GPS system. A tiny tracking sensor is attached to an ultrasound probe and generates a small, localized electromagnetic field that helps determine the location and orientation of the biopsy device. A sophisticated computer program maintains the fusion of MR and ultrasound images, even when a patient moves.

“This is a new way of identifying and specifically targeting suspicious prostate lesions. We believe it may have the potential to be a new standard in prostate care,” said Dr. Ajay Nehra, chairman of urology at Rush University Medical Center.

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Alzheimer’s Disease May Be More Prevalent Among African-Americans

A new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center reviews research that suggests that the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease among older African-Americans may be two to three times greater than in the non-Hispanic white population and that they differ from the non-Hispanic white population in risk factors and disease manifestation. The study results are published in the April issue of Health Affairs.

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Lisa Barnes, PhD

“The older African-American population is growing at a rapid pace, and the burden of aging-related cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease will continue to present a tremendous challenge,” said Lisa Barnes, PhD. “This study highlights the importance of research among minority groups within the communities in which hospitals serve.”

Barnes is the primary author and director of the Rush Center of Excellence on Disparities in HIV and Aging in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and professor of Neurological Sciences and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center.

“The lack of high-quality biologic data on large numbers of racial and ethnic minorities poses barriers to progress in understanding whether the mechanisms and processes of Alzheimer’s disease operate the same or differently in racial and ethnic minorities and, if so, how, particularly in the high-risk African-American population,” said Barnes.

In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that 20 percent of the population ages 65 and older was a racial or ethnic minority member. Current projections suggest that by 2050, 42 percent of the nation’s older adults will be members of minority groups. Among those ages 85 and older, 33 percent are projected to be a minority.

Read the entire release for more information on the study.

New, Comprehensive, State-of-the-Art Center for Women and Infants to Open at Rush

The New Rush Family Birth Center to Be the City’s Most Advanced Facility for Women’s and Children’s Services

Ivy's Story

Ivy’s Story

The opening of the new Rush Family Birth Center will offer every service related to delivery and caring for a baby on the same floor.

“As part of the Rush Transformation plans that led to our new Tower building, the new Rush Family Birth Center was designed with the mindset of meeting families’ needs and providing patient safety and optimal outcomes,” said Dr. Larry J. Goodman, CEO at Rush.  “We have always provided advanced, quality care that is evidence based.  Now, we have a new facility that matches the type of care we provide mothers and their newborns.”

The new Rush Family Birth Center is located on a single floor at Rush and scheduled to open on March 9.

The space was designed with four key care concepts, which were to provide adjacency, privacy, family space and mother baby bonding. The new center has large, individual rooms to keep moms, babies and families together throughout their journey.

No other hospital in Illinois has located its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit immediately adjacent to labor and delivery to afford newborn infants in distress specialty care in the first minutes of life. Patient safety as well as convenience inspired the design.

“The first 10 minutes of life are critical to newborns who come into the world in distress,” said Dr. Robert Kimura, neonatologist at Rush.  “Because of the way we designed these new facilities, babies that need special care can be put in the hands of neonatal medicine intensive care specialists within seconds after delivery.

“At Rush, the birthing suites and operating rooms are right next to the NICU resuscitation room, so that a team of specialists can immediately and optimally care for babies in crisis,” said Kimura.

The antepartum rooms also are near labor and delivery, so in urgent situations women and their babies can promptly get the care they need.

Keeping services close and right next door to each other limits how far and how often babies need to move, which helps limit their risk of infection and reduces exposure to light and sound to help with the baby’s development.

For more information about the new Rush Family Birth Center, visit Rush Transformation.

 Read the Discover Rush story.

 Read the entire news release.

 

How Calcium is Involved in Irregular Heartbeats

heartbeat_thinkstock_edited-1Researchers at Rush have identified the underlying mechanism of calcium-triggered cardiac arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats. The discovery, described in the Jan. 19 issue of Nature Medicine, has major implications for the development of molecularly designed drugs specifically targeted at this form of arrhythmia.

The study was led by Wayne Chen, PhD, professor of molecular biophysics and physiology at Rush and professor of physiology and biochemistry at the University of Calgary-Libin Institute. Michael Fill, PhD, professor of molecular biophysics and physiology at Rush, collaborated on the research.

Cardiac arrhythmias can cause dizziness and fainting, or in severe cases, sudden death. While many factors, including genetics, contribute to the development of arrhythmias, research has shown that a common cause of cardiac arrhythmias is calcium overload. Calcium overload disrupts the finely controlled electrical activity governing contraction of heart muscle.

Calcium is stored inside cardiac cells, much like skeletal muscle cells, in preparation for contraction. The protein responsible for release of calcium is known as the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2), or the calcium release channel, which acts like a safety valve that prevents calcium overload.

Read the news release.

‘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.