Medical Journals Publish Cancer Research of WVU Physicians

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Physicians at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center are engaging in cutting-edge research aimed at providing patients with the best possible care.  Three members of the hematology/oncology team at West Virginia University were recently selected to have their research appear in prestigious medical publications, and a fourth will present research findings at a national conference.

“I am very proud of our clinical researchers,” says Jame Abraham, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Center clinic and section chief of hematology/oncology. “They are advancing knowledge about cancer that will help oncologists everywhere better understand the disease and improve patient treatment and outcome.”

Michael Craig, M.D., interim director of the blood and marrow transplant program at the Cancer Center, is lead author of research that focused on antibiotics and bacterial resistance in hospitalized patients. Dr. Craig’s study involving a schedule change of antibiotics for patients with low white blood counts and fevers resulted in an overall decreased incidence of certain infections, without an increase in the number of resistant infections. His work will be published in Bone Marrow Transplant.

Ayman Saad, M.D., will present his research in animal stem cell transplantation and multiple myeloma (cancer in plasma cells) at the SSCI Oncology Young Investigator Forum in New Orleans in February. Dr. Saad and his team are seeking to reduce the incidence of Acute Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD)— a common complication of patients who undergo a stem cell transplant. The group found that adjusting part of the mix of stem cells used for the procedure significantly reduces the risk of GVHD. In another area of research, Saad found that combining a novel drug along with chemotherapy commonly used to treat multiple myeloma greatly enhances the ability of the chemo to kill the myeloma cells.

Aasim Sehbai, M.D., studied a serious condition of the jaw called osteonecrosis that some cancer patients developed after taking bisphosphonates--a family of drugs commonly used to treat different kinds of cancer as well as some bone diseases such as osteoporosis.  In Community Oncology, Dr. Sehbai provides a clinical account, diagnostic methods and treatment or management of the condition. Dr. Abraham was the lead author of the article.

In the journal Medical Hypotheses, William Harless, M.D., PhD., provides a mathematical model indicating that cancer patients who’ve undergone surgery as part of their treatment regimen would benefit more from follow-up chemotherapies if they are administered sooner than the standard 30 days or so after surgery.

- WVU -

For more information:
Sherry Stoneking, Cancer Center, (304) 293-4599

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