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Tag Archives: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

TTUHSC El Paso Nursing Graduates to be Honored at Commencement and Pinning Ceremony

Thirty-six students who have completed Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso)’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program will be recognized during a commencement and pinning ceremony, alongside 27 registered nurses (R.N.s) who have completed the R.N. to B.S.N. program.

“The tracks offer students unparalleled access to resources worthy of an academic health sciences center, such as interprofessional educational activities, a robust digital clinical library, and opportunities for nursing students to engage with other health profession students in medicine and the biomedical sciences,” said Michael Scott, D.N.P., R.N., associate dean of academic programs in the GGHSON.

During the ceremony, the graduates will be presented with a nursing pin by a person of their choosing, usually a friend or family member. The time-honored tradition is a symbol of newly graduated nurses entering the nursing profession.

This year’s graduating class represents a spectrum of age groups, with graduates ranging from 21 to 43 years old.

Twenty-one percent of the class is male and 79 percent is female, and three graduates are veterans.

The two GGHSON programs are unique to the Borderland because they offer a hybrid educational model — some courses are online and others are conducted in-person.  Students in the GGHSON also benefit from interprofessional collaboration.

This is the seventh pinning ceremony for the GGHSON since TTUHSC El Paso became a standalone university in 2013.

What: Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON) commencement and pinning ceremony

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16

Where: Plaza Theatre (125 Pioneer Plaza)

TTUHSC El Paso Faculty Publish Cardiology Textbook

A textbook guiding cardiologists on the latest treatments in cardiovascular medicine was recently published by two faculty members at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).

The second-edition textbook is titled Cardiovascular Catheterization and Intervention: A Textbook of Coronary, Peripheral, and Structural Heart Disease. Text updates focus on cardiovascular catheterization, the process of placing a long, thin tube through an artery or vein. The procedure may be used for diagnostic purposes or heart disease treatments, such as stent placement.

TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., who is also a practicing cardiologist, and Debabrata Mukherjee, M.D., chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, are the book’s primary medical editors. The two are recognized as international leaders in the field of cardiology based on their extensive knowledge of cardiovascular medicine.

“I am honored to have participated in the development of this book,” said Dr. Lange. “The field of cardiovascular medicine is constantly advancing. I truly hope this updated text helps current and future cardiologists continue honing their skills to provide patients with quality clinical treatment when it comes to heart disease.”

Dr. Mukherjee added, “This new edition focuses on tailoring treatment to individual patients or patient-centered care, taking into account specific risk factors and comorbidities, appropriate use of devices and very importantly, patient preferences.”

To date, nearly 2,000 copies of the first edition have been sold, with 70 percent of the total sales made in England and Europe and 30 percent in the U.S. and Asian markets. The book publisher, Taylor and Francis Group, anticipates similar, if not higher, sales for this latest edition.

Dr. Lange has served as president of the American Heart Association Texas affiliate and is an active clinical investigator. He has published more than 300 journal articles and book chapters related to ischemic heart disease, valvular heart disease and congenital heart disease. He serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals, as well as several national guideline committees.

Dr. Mukherjee is the chief of cardiovascular medicine at TTUHSC El Paso. He has been invited to lecture at several major national and international meetings; authored over 500 publications; edited 18 textbooks; and written more than 100 textbook chapters on cardiovascular diseases. He has also coauthored several national cardiology guidelines.

Those interested in purchasing a copy of the textbook can visit CRC Press.

TTUHSC El Paso Hosts Free Outdoor Movie Series: Red Raider Reels

The public and media are invited to attend Red Raider Reels, a free movie series hosted by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).

Red Raider Reels will kick off at sundown Friday, Sept. 15 with a screening of the 2016 animated comedy “SING.” The movie screenings will continue every Friday evening until the final showing Oct. 13.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket, picnic chairs, snacks, and drinks. Free pizza will be provided on a first come, first served basis, and popcorn will be for available for a small donation. Alcohol, glass containers, and pets are prohibited. Parking is available at the lot east of the lawn.

Red Raider Reels is sponsored by the Office of Institutional Advancement. For more information, please call 915-215-4850.

What: Free outdoor movie series (See schedule below for details.)

When: Fridays at sundown, Sept. 15-Oct. 13

Where: 5001 El Paso Drive (lawn between the Medical Education and Medical Sciences Buildings)

Third Annual Hearts for Sparks Golf Classic Set for Saturday

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) will hold its third annual Hearts for Sparks Golf Classic to benefit the Medical Student Run Clinic (MSRC) located in the community of Sparks.

Started in 2013 by PLFSOM students, the clinic operates twice a month on Tuesday evenings in the Sparks community.

Located in far east El Paso county, Sparks is home to residents who lack health insurance and sometimes cannot afford a trip to a doctor; 43 percent of its residents live below the U.S. poverty line, according to U.S. Census data.

The MSRC provides free primary health care screenings, such as diagnostics, blood work and patient education. Run entirely by students with faculty oversight, the clinic not only benefits the Sparks community, but gives students real-life opportunities to hone their medical and Spanish language skills.

Proceeds from the Hearts for Sparks Golf Classic event will go directly toward funding for the MSRC.

Participants will receive lunch and dinner, unlimited range balls, a goodie bag, and 18 holes of golf.

What: Hearts for Sparks Golf Classic

When: 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 (shotgun start)

Where: Butterfield Trail Golf Club (1858 Cottonwoods)

El Paso Health Hosts Annual Back-To-School Events; 1000 Backpacks Scheduled for Giveaways

El Paso Health announced its 2017 lineup of annual back-to-school health fairs, along with the presentation of 1000 backpacks for giveaways for local students.

“Over the years, we have engaged with students and their families as they head back into classrooms,” said Frank Dominguez, President and CEO of El Paso Health.

“El Paso Health is proud of our commitment to the community and this is just one of many ways we connect with those with the greatest need.  We hope that these events afford everyone a fresh start for the new school year,” Dominguez added

Each event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public.  Attendees will have access to information, resources, and no cost health screenings.  Entertainment and special appearances by Super Heroes are also planned.

Backpacks will be distributed while supplies last.

The El Paso Health Back-to-School Health Fairs are scheduled for:

Saturday, August 12th from 9:00am – 12:00pm

Eisenhower Community Center  |  5628 Eisenhower Avenue

Saturday, August 26th from 9:00am – 12:00pm

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso  |  4801 Alberta

For more information, call 915-532-3778 or visit www.epfirst.com

TTUHSC El Paso Hosts 12th Annual Obstetrics and Gynecology Symposium

Physicians, nurses, health care professionals, and students will gather for the 12th Annual Obstetrics and Gynecology Symposium on Friday. The conference, jointly hosted by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) and University Medical Center of El Paso, will focus on OB-GYN issues that are prevalent along the U.S.-Mexico border.

At 10:15 a.m., Vijaya Galic, M.D., will present “21st Century Gynecological Cancer Care on the Border.” Dr. Galic is chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso and an assistant professor at TTUHSC El Paso. She joined the institution in December 2016 and specializes in the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer, offering the latest interventions to improve survival, including radical surgical procedures, intra-abdominal chemotherapy, and precision medicine.

Dr. Galic is an expert in curative operations for women with primary and recurrent uterine and cervical cancer, including procedures to preserve fertility.

Dr. Galic earned her M.D. at the University of Washington School of Medicine and M.B.A. at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Galic later completed a joint fellowship program in gynecologic oncology at New York Presbyterian Hospital through Cornell University and Columbia University.

Additional symposium topics will include labor pain and epidurals in the borderland, risk factors for gestational hypertension and preeclampsia, and contraceptive counseling for adolescents along the Texas-Mexico border.

The event will be keynoted by Jason D. Wright, M.D., chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Columbia University.

The 12 Annual Obstetrics and Gynecology Symposium was organized by the Office of Continuing Medical Education.

Gallery+Story: TTUHSC El Paso Breaks Ground on $83M Medical Sciences Building

Tuesday morning, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) officially broke ground on the Medical Sciences Building (MSB) II, an $83 million, 219,900-square-foot facility. The five-story building will more than double the campus’ research capacity and add crucial instructional space to support its growing student population.

“This building is integral to our vision for TTUHSC El Paso,” said Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., president of the university. “This will enable us to recruit more researchers to tackle our region’s medical challenges, increase student enrollment in our programs, and ultimately, retain some of the nation’s most well-prepared, culturally competent health care professionals right here in the borderland.”

The MSB II second, third, and fourth floors — more than 87,000 square feet — will be dedicated to research, including laboratories, offices, and research administration. The first floor will house the campus’ largest teaching auditorium yet — a 9,200-square-foot space that can accommodate up to 500 people — and will also feature a dining and food services area that will be staffed by outside vendors. The remaining space will be dedicated to a library, a reflection room for quiet space, classrooms, student study rooms and administration.

“The completion of MSB II will catalyze the development of basic and translational biomedical research at TTUHSC El Paso by providing us with new laboratory facilities to grow interconnected scientific programs that address major diseases and other problems in health care,” said Peter Rotwein, M.D., vice president for research. “We will have the opportunity to recruit new faculty, teach our students the newest aspects of biomedical investigation, and enhance our capabilities in translating discoveries into better treatments and cures.”

Like other campus facilities, the building’s exterior will mirror the architecture of the Spanish Renaissance, which is distinguished by ornate columns, red-tiled roofs, and colossal archways.

Funding for the MSB II was approved by the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015 under House Bill 100, which appropriated $75 million for the building’s construction. TTUHSC El Paso will contribute an additional $8 million, bringing the total construction cost to $83 million.

Construction of the MSB II will be complete in approximately two years. Houston-based architectural firm Perkins + Will designed the building and Sundt Construction, Inc. is contracted to build the new facility.

Gallery photos courtesy TTUHSC El Paso

TTUHSC El Paso Physician Hosts Online Q&A on Digestive Disorders

An upcoming Facebook Live Q&A will invite the community to listen in and pose health questions to a physician from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).

In honor of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month, Richard McCallum, M.D., a physician and researcher in the Department of Internal Medicine, will host the session. Dr. McCallum, who specializes in gastroenterology, or stomach ailments, will take questions from viewers about a variety of gastrointestinal topics, including IBS, acid reflux, gluten intolerance and dietary needs for those with a sensitive stomach.

Dr. McCallum received his Doctor of Medicine from The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia and completed his residency at Washington University’s Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He went on to serve as director of gastroenterology at the Yale University School of Medicine and later, was recruited by the University of Virginia and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Dr. McCallum joined TTUHSC El Paso in 2010.

Participants are encouraged to submit their questions to Dr. McCallum in advance and RSVP on TTUHSC El Paso’s Facebook Live Q&A on Tummy Aches and Ailments event page.

This Q&A session is part of a new TTUHSC El Paso initiative called The Exam Room. The Exam Room encourages the El Paso community to engage with expert health care professionals at TTUHSC El Paso. Each month, The Exam Room will hold one or more public Q&As, each focusing on a different health-related topic and highlighting a TTUHSC El Paso health care specialist who has volunteered to answer questions on the subject.

What: Live health care Q&A open to the El Paso community

When: 11 a.m. Friday, April 14

Where: Online at facebook.com/ttuhscep

The Exam Room – April

TTUHSC El Paso Hosts Boxer Briefs Walk in Support of Colon Cancer Awareness

In observance of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the community is invited to march on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) campus — donning their favorite pair of boxers.

“We thought this could be a fun way to build awareness about a disease that’s often not taken seriously,” says Navkiran Shokar, M.A., M.D., M.P.H. “In fact, El Paso has some of the lowest colon cancer screening rates in Texas — That needs to change.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, encourages participants to march in their boxer shorts along a set course on the TTUHSC El Paso campus. The high point of the walk is a stroll through a fun — and educational — giant inflatable colon. The event will culminate in a contest and prize for the most creative boxers.

During the event, local colorectal cancer survivors will share their stories in both English and Spanish. Health care organizations from across El Paso, including Centro San Vicente, the Hospitals of Providence and Centro De Salud Familiar La Fe, will also have booths set up to share information about colorectal cancer screening and prevention.

The Boxer March was organized by the Southwest Coalition for Colorectal Cancer (SuCCCeS). SuCCCeS is a collaboration led by TTUHSC El Paso, University Medical Center of El Paso, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health, Project Vida Health Center, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, the El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System, and other major health care providers in El Paso.

*March will commence at approximately 10:30 a.m.

What: TTUHSC El Paso hosts El Paso’s first boxer walk in support of colorectal cancer awareness.

When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 25*

Where: Medical Education Building (MEB) lawn (5001 El Paso Drive)

Event Flyer – Colorectal Cancer Awareness Boxer March

7th Annual Students United Para Nuestra Salud Health Fair set for Saturday

The public is invited to attend the 7th annual Students United Para Nuestra Salud (SUNS) Health Fair. The fair, hosted by students at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso), will provide free health services to the community.

Free blood pressure and diabetes screenings, dental screenings, glaucoma screenings, and EKG screenings — which measure the heart’s electrical activity — will be offered to attendees. The fair will also offer free vaccinations, children’s bicycle helmets, a blood drive, and prizes and activities. Physicians will be on-hand to answer health questions and give presentations.

Medical, nursing and biomedical science students, along with local volunteer physicians, qualified community members, and TTUHSC El Paso faculty, will host educational booths and conduct health screenings.

Students from Dolphin Terrace Elementary and its 21st Century After School Program have been actively preparing to perform dances and skits during the fair. Ysleta Independent School District administrators will also grill and sell meals to help fundraise for the school.

This year’s event is expected to draw approximately 700 attendees, and with the volunteer list growing, more events, presentations, and activities are still expected to be added.

The SUNS Health Fair was launched by former medical student Chau Vu and the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Today, it is run by a 12-student committee from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM).

What: SUNS Health Fair

When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 4

Where: Dolphin Terrace Elementary School, 9790 Pickerel Dr., El Paso

TTUHSC El Paso Partners with Vietnamese Medical Institutes

In an effort to advance medical training and education in Vietnam, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) has partnered with the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City (UMP-HCM) and Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine (PNT UOM).

On Monday, leadership from the two institutions will visit TTUHSC El Paso for the first time. Tran Diep Tuan, M.D., president and dean of UMP-HCM, Vu Minh Phuc, M.D., vice dean of UMP-HCM, and Pham Dang Dieu, M.D., vice dean of PNT UOM, will tour the campus and visit with TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A.

“This new international partnership is a testament to how TTUHSC El Paso’s reach goes far beyond the border city,” Dr. Lange said. “This is a unique opportunity for us to collaborate with skilled medical professionals and educators in another country and to help them achieve their goals.”

As part of the partnership, TTUHSC El Paso Professor Hoi Ho, M.D., will assist with the creation of a Faculty Development Program (FDP) to train Vietnamese faculty at their respective institutions. Up to 60 faculty members will attend regular sessions with Dr. Ho in Vietnam to learn how to integrate medical education and clinical simulation in undergraduate curriculum.

Dr. Ho, who directs the Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS) at TTUHSC El Paso, will also assist the universities in establishing clinical simulation centers to help students receive more effective medical education.

ATACS is an integral component of medical education at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. The center uses both mannequins and “standardized patients” — people trained to act out clinical scenarios —to facilitate clinical practice. The lab’slife-like animatronic mannequins are designed to replicate the full spectrum of medical conditions, from childbirth to respiratory distress and diabetic symptoms. This unique environment gives health care professionals and students a chance to refine their clinical skills and see the effects of clinical decisions that they may encounter in real-life situations.

*During their campus tour, the visitors will make a special stop at ATACS to learn more about the unique technology and learning environment offered at TTUHSC El Paso.

TTUHSC El Paso Physicians Host Q&As on Heart Health, Breast Care

Two upcoming Facebook Live Q&As will invite the community to listen in and pose health questions to physicians at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).

In honor of American Heart Month, the first session at 3:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 will be hosted by Debabrata Mukherjee, M.D., chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Mukherjee, who specializes in cardiovascular medicine, will take questions from viewers about all things heart-related, including heart attack, stroke, coronary artery disease, and heart failure.

Dr. Mukherjee has been named to the Best Doctors in America list for several years, has authored over 500 publications, and has edited more than 14 textbooks on cardiovascular disease.

At 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, Karinn Chambers, M.D., director of the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso (TTP El Paso) Breast Care Center, will hold a Q&A session on breast care. Viewers are invited to ask questions about a wide-range of health issues related to breast health, such as breast cancer and mammograms.

Dr. Chambers is one of only a handful of surgeons in the U.S. who has studied breast surgical oncology. This niche specialty means a surgeon has training and experience in every aspect of breast care: pathology, imaging, biopsy, genetics, radiology, medical oncology, and breast surgery.

The breast care session will feature a special guest appearance by Associate Vice Chancellor Victoria Pineda. She’ll preview the upcoming philanthropic event Bubbles & Brunch, which will help support the TTP El Paso Breast Care Center.

Participants are encouraged to submit their questions in advance and RSVP on TTUHSC El Paso’s event pages:

Facebook Live Q&A on Heart Health

Facebook Live Q&A on Breast Care

What: Two live health care Q&As open to the El Paso community

When: 3:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 – Heart health Q&A

4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13 – Breast care Q&A

Where: Online at facebook.com/ttuhscep

TTUHSC El Paso Physician Elected President of County Medical Society

Gilbert Handal, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso), has been elected president of the El Paso County Medical Society (EPCMS).

As the EPCMS’s newest president, Dr. Handal brings 50 years of experience as a practicing pediatrician, and 40 years of experience as a pediatric infectious disease specialist in the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM).

“Dr. Handal has an impressive track record at TTUHSC El Paso and a heart to serve the community — no matter what obstacles are in the way,” said TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A. “I have no doubt that he will serve as an excellent president and advocate for El Paso’s medical community.”

The pediatrician was elected president on the basis of numerous merits, including having served on a several councils within the society. In addition to his new role in the EPCMS, Dr. Handal is the Marta Cuellar-Acuña Chair for Child Advocacy in TTUHSC El Paso’s Department of Pediatrics and founding chair of the institution’s Global Health Committee — now known as the International Affairs Council.

“I am very excited to have Dr. Handal take over the reins of the El Paso County Medical Society,” said David Mansfield, M.D., the former President of the EPCMS. “His commitment to the El Paso community has been exemplary in the past and will continue going forward; he represents the ultimate bridge between the so-called ‘town and gown’ divide.”

Dr. Handal has several goals as the EPCMS president, including 1) to dramatically increase local physicians’ membership rates in both the EPCMS and the Texas Medical Association (TMA); 2) to increase PLFSOM faculty involvement in these two organizations so that TTUHSC El Paso serves as an example to other medical schools across Texas; 3) to increase local physicians’ overall involvement in specialty societies (e.g., the El Paso Pediatric Society); and 4) to enhance collaboration between TTUHSC El Paso physicians and local private practice physicians.

Dr. Handal will officially be inducted as president of the EPCMS at the Doubletree Hotel at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1. The ceremony will be keynoted by Paul L. Foster, executive chairman of Western Refining.

The infectious disease specialist received his medical degree from the University of Chile in 1967, and went on to complete his pediatric residency at the University of Chile and at the University of Miami. He completed his fellowship in infectious diseases and pediatric critical care at the University of Miami. Dr. Handal is currently named to the 2015-16 Best Doctors in America® list.

The EPCMS advocates for the practice of medicine; unites physicians throughout the county and the state of Texas; elevates the standards of the medical practice; educates the public about disease prevention and the medical knowledge base; and facilitates communication both within the medical community and between the medical community and the greater public.

Video+Story: TTUHSC El Paso Research Leads to New Anti-Cancer Drug in Europe

Cancer research conducted by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) scientists is causing a stir in Europe.

Propranolol, a medication studied by Assistant Professor Brad Bryan, Ph.D., was recently granted orphan drug designation by the European Commission (EC). The designation signifies that the EC supports the use of a drug because of its significant benefits to treating patients living with rare diseases — in this case, soft tissue sarcomas.

Bryan’s research is partly credited for propranolol being granted this designation in Europe. Its ability to treat angiosarcoma, a very lethal form of soft tissue sarcoma, was originally discovered in Bryan’s TTUHSC El Paso lab.

Pan Pantziarka, Ph.D., Anticancer Fund. Credit: Anticancer Fund.
Pan Pantziarka, Ph.D., Anticancer Fund. Credit: Anticancer Fund.

In one study, Bryan used cell lines and animal models to show that propranolol could fight angiosarcoma and remarkably reduce the growth of tumors; the results were published in a 2013 PLOS One paper. Later, in a 2015 JAMA Dermatology article, Bryan described treating a patient with angiosarcoma — who only had months left to live — and bringing the tumor down to undetectable levels. What’s more, the treatment had little to no side effects.

Several scientists across the world have reported similar results since then, testing propranolol on their own patients with the rare cancer.

The successful results caught the attention of the Anticancer Fund. After gathering research on the drug’s effects, the nonprofit foundation — which is dedicated to expanding the range of treatment options available to cancer patients — applied to have propranolol approved as an orphan drug in Europe.

“Our ultimate objective is to have propranolol, if proven effective, fully licensed as a new standard of care treatment for angiosarcoma,” says Pan Pantziarka, Ph.D., an oncology researcher at the Anticancer Fund. “Bryan’s research was important because not only did it demonstrate the validity of this approach in animal models, but it also illustrated the effect of treatment in a patient for whom existing treatments are unlikely to be effective. These two elements were important in making the case for the clinical potential of propranolol in this rare and hard-to-treat cancer.”

Propranolol was recently granted Orphan Drug Designation by the European Commission to treat a rare disease. The medication, commonly used for high blood pressure, is being repurposed to treat soft tissue sarcomas. Credit: Tommie Morelos / Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
Propranolol was recently granted Orphan Drug Designation by the European Commission to treat a rare disease. The medication, commonly used for high blood pressure, is being repurposed to treat soft tissue sarcomas. Credit: Tommie Morelos / Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

In an age of soaring cancer drug prices, propranolol offers a glimmer of hope for the checkbooks of some cancer patients.

First developed in the 1960s, today, propranolol is a generic drug, meaning it’s available for a relatively affordable price. Current prescription drug therapies for sarcomas can cost patients upwards of $10,000 a month. Propranolol, however, only costs about $4 a month.

“Treating soft tissue sarcoma can easily top $100,000 to $200,000,” Bryan explains. “While propranolol will certainly not replace these treatments, our data show it improves the ability of the treatments to work — all at the cost of a generic co-pay.”

The Anticancer Fund has plans to meet with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom to discuss the level of evidence required to take propranolol through to relicensing.

If relicensed, propranolol’s drug label could be changed to officially indicate its use in treating soft tissue sarcomas. International health guidelines could also be updated to designate propranolol as an official cancer drug, thereby encouraging physicians to use the new form of treatment.

Self-tests Improve Medical Examination Scores Significantly, Faculty Find

Listen up, medical students. If you’d like to improve your exam scores, you may want to start using self-tests as study aids.

The importance of self-tests in pre-clerkship medical education was recently revealed by a team of faculty members at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso). Led by Dolgor Baatar, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of immunology, the study assessed how repeated, self-directed test-taking affected first-year medical students.

As part of their research, Dr. Baatar and his team offered a class of students multiple choice self-tests prior to five formative exams in basic medical science. On average, 60 percent of the class used the self-tests as study aids before each exam. In four out of five exams, students who used the self-tests as study aids performed better than those who did not. Importantly, students who used four or more self-tests also performed better on a summative exam.

These findings suggest that self-tests should be routinely offered as study aids in medical schools and that students should take advantage of them — if they’d like to see their exam grades improve.

Other members of the research team were Naomi Lacy, Ph.D., associate professor of medical education, Zuber Mulla, Ph.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and Janet Piskurich, Ph.D., professor of immunology and microbiology.

The results were published last month in the journal Medical Science Educator.

Author:   – TTUHSC El Paso

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