Ottawa Hospital Research Institute 2013–2014 Annual Report
Ottawa researchers announce their treatment of the first participant in a clinical trial that genetically enhances a patient's own stem cells to repair damaged heart tissue after a major heart attack.
(Photo credit: Julie Oliver / Ottawa Citizen. Reprinted by permission)
Partners launch ImmunizeCA, a smartphone app that is the brainchild of Dr. Kumanan Wilson. ImmunizeCA puts vaccination information into the hands of Canadians, so people across the country can easily and accurately manage their vaccinations and those of their family.
Nature Communications publishes a paper from Ottawa researchers outlining how advanced mathematical modelling can be used in the fight against cancer. The technique predicts which treatments and genetic modifications will make cancer-killing viruses more effective.
In Molecular Therapy, Dr. Bell and his colleagues show how a strain of bacteria can selectively target tumour cells to destroy their already weak antiviral defences, making cancer-fighting viruses more effective. This is the first demonstration that viruses and bacteria can be combined to target cancer.
Nature Communications publishes a finding from Dr. Michael Rudnicki's team that a smaller version of the protein Wnt7a is just as effective in promoting muscle regeneration, and yet is much easier to manufacture and deliver to people affected by diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Drs. Chris Kennedy and Dylan Burger publish a paper in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that identifies a novel urinary biomarker for diabetic kidney disease — detectable before the earliest symptoms of the condition become evident.
Dr. Ian Stiell and his colleagues publish the first clinical decision tool to help emergency physicians determine which patients with a serious lung condition (COPD) should be admitted to hospital and which can safely be sent home.
In an advance for personalized medicine, Dr. Derek Jonker publishes findings in the British Journal of Cancer that identify a gene that could be used to predict which colorectal cancer patients are likely to benefit from a targeted therapy called cetuximab.
Drs. Erin Keely and Clare Liddy publish a study showing that family doctors who use a virtual medical consultation tool usually obtained a specialist’s advice in less than three days. Patients can often wait several months for a traditional in-person consultation. The system was developed by Drs. Erin Keely and Clare Liddy with the Champlain LHIN.
Appearing in Clinical Cancer Research, a study led by Dr. Harry Atkins suggests that a potent anti-leukemia vaccine can be made by infecting leukemia cells with a cancer-fighting virus. This preclinical study showed a strong and lasting immune response against the introduction of leukemia cells that would have otherwise been fatal.
Dr. Rashmi Kothary publishes a discovery that 2.5% of the population may carry a genetic risk factor for metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity. This segment of the population carries the defective gene for SMA (spinal muscular atrophy, the leading inherited cause of death in young children) but does not have any related neurological problems. Dr. Kothary's team has previously linked the SMA-causing gene to metabolic diseases.
The Journal of the American Medical Association publishes a simple clinical decision rule developed by Dr. Jeffrey Perry to help emergency doctors identify which patients with headache have a dangerous subarachnoid hemorrhage or SAH (bleeding in a certain area of the brain). Called the Ottawa SAH Rule, this tool could save up to 1,750 lives annually in Canada and the U.S.
In Stroke, Dr. Dar Dowlatshahi shows how a novel CT scanning video procedure could help determine which stroke patients are likely to benefit from blood clotting drugs. Approximately 13% of all strokes are caused by bleeding (hemorrhage) in the brain, but only those patients with active bleeding could potentially benefit from these drugs.
EurekAlert! identifies "Fighting fat with fat: Stem cell discovery identifies potential obesity treatment" as its top news release of 2013, visited more than 660,000 in the year. Its subject was Dr. Michael Rudnicki’s discovery of a trigger that turns muscle stem cells into brown fat.
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