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


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 RHYTHM OF LIFE: CHRONOTHERAPY AND CANCER CARE
In Depth

THE RHYTHM OF LIFE: CHRONOTHERAPY AND CANCER CARE

BY ANDREA MONGLER

Wake, sleep, repeat. Day in, day out. It’s a pattern we’re so familiar with that most of us give it little, if any, thought. The sleep-wake cycle is simply one of life’s daily rhythms. In fact, it’s one of our circadian rhythms. Put simply, circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that our bodies experience over a 24-hour cycle. They affect our sleep, our body temperature, our appetite, our hormones and more. And it turns out these daily rhythms may play a key role in cancer treatment.

ROBOTIC SURGERY BENEFITS LIVING KIDNEY DONORS AND RECIPIENTS
Bedside

ROBOTIC SURGERY BENEFITS LIVING KIDNEY DONORS AND RECIPIENTS

BY PAM MCGRATH
IMAGE COURTESY OF BARNES_JEWISH HOSPITAL

When used to perform living-donor nephrectomy—the removal of a kidney from a living donor for transplantation into a recipient—a robotic surgery system offers a number of benefits. For example, the donor’s stay in the hospital may be shortened and recovery may happen more quickly.

Though many such donation surgeries already are being done using a minimally invasive procedure that offers living donors similar benefits, the robotic procedure allows for additional improvements.


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