Barnes-Jewish Hospital | Washington University Physicians

CURIOSUS: The Art and Science of Medicine

ky00r-ee-OH-sus; Latin; adjective Eager to learn or know; inquisitive


MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF PANCREATIC CANCER
In Depth

MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF PANCREATIC CANCER

BY STEPHANIE STEMMLER

Every few years, as he pursues breakthroughs for one of the world’s most notoriously difficult cancers to treat, William Hawkins, MD, says he feels like the first man who walked on the moon. “When you have an idea, and you test it in the laboratory, and you find a new insight that no one else has known previously, that’s cool,” he says. “It pushes the frontier of cancer research that much closer to effective treatments for my patients. It really is like boldly going where no one has gone before.”

NEW FOCUS ON EMERGING DISEASES
Bench

NEW FOCUS ON EMERGING DISEASES

BY JULIA EVANGELOU STRAIT

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine are establishing an international collaboration that aims to help scientists prepare for the next pandemic and, perhaps, provide insight into the current one.

PENCIL BEAM PROTON THERAPY DELIVERS PRECISION
Bedside

PENCIL BEAM PROTON THERAPY DELIVERS PRECISION

BY JEN MILLER

While radiation is a key part of therapy for 70% of people treated for cancer, its side effects can be significant. That doesn’t mean radiation shouldn’t be used; it is an effective treatment. But making radiation more targeted can mitigate side effects. That’s where pencil beam proton therapy comes in.


MAKING MEDICINE
History

MAKING MEDICINE

BY CONNIE MITCHELL

Some call it the “therapeutic pipeline.” Others refer to it as “bench to bedside.” Both phrases refer to the scientific process that delivers new therapies, new medicines, to people who are sick. In the pipeline metaphor, an idea rushes along, like water in a hose, from the minds of researchers into the lab, through testing and approvals to the pharmacy or treatment room. In the bench metaphor, progress is similarly linear, advancing from the scientist’s bench in the lab to the patient’s bedside. But neither image paints an accurate picture.

MATERNAL-FETAL & NEWBORN TRANSPORT SERVICES: MOBILIZING FOR MOMS
Q&A

MATERNAL-FETAL & NEWBORN TRANSPORT SERVICES: MOBILIZING FOR MOMS

BY CONNIE MITCHELL
PHOTOS BY GARA DYSON & GREGG GOLDMAN

Jeannie Kelly, MD, MS, and Roxane Rampersad, MD, recently sat down to talk with me about the Maternal-Fetal & Newborn Transport Services, a fleet of aircraft and ambulances prepared to transport pregnant women and newborns in need of specialized care.

Addressing the Donor Organ Shortage
In Depth

Addressing the Donor Organ Shortage

BY CONNIE MITCHELL
ILLUSTRATION BY ABIGAIL GOH

They would fill St. Louis’ Busch Stadium more than twice, take every seat in 261 jumbo jets and fill each bed in Barnes-Jewish Hospital 85 times over. They are the more than 108,000 Americans waiting for an organ transplant. And for too many, a donor organ won’t arrive in time.

PROTECTING OUR MOMS & NEWBORNS
Policy

PROTECTING OUR MOMS & NEWBORNS

BY JEN MILLER

The state of Missouri is ranked 44th in the United States for maternal mortality, according to America’s Health Rankings 2019. Missouri’s maternal mortality rate for black women is nearly three times higher than that for white women. And, according to the Missouri Foundation for Health, approximately 600 infants die every year in Missouri; 33% of those deaths occur in St. Louis and in the Bootheel, in the southeasternmost part of the state.

ANTI-DEPRESSANT MAY HELP TREAT COVID-19
Bench

ANTI-DEPRESSANT MAY HELP TREAT COVID-19

BY JIM DRYDEN

In a preliminary study of COVID-19 patients with mild-to-moderate disease who were attempting to recover in their homes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have found that the anti-depressant drug fluvoxamine seems to prevent some of the most serious complications of the illness, and makes hospitalization and the need for supplemental oxygen less likely.

The study involved 152 people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers compared the outcomes of those treated with fluvoxamine to the outcomes of those given an inactive placebo. After 15 days, none of the 80 people who had received the drug experienced serious clinical deterioration. Meanwhile, six of the 72 given placebo (8.3%) became seriously ill, with four requiring hospitalization.


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